Myrtle Beach raises property taxes to hire ten new police officers

In a little more than one week, property owners in Myrtle Beach will be shelling out more money so the city can hire 10 new police officers.

July 1 a three mill tax increase will begin.

"Three mills on a $100,000 of value for a owner-occupied home it will be $12 extra per year," said Mark Kruea, Myrtle Beach City Spokesman.

Kruea said this is the second tax increase in 10 years.

"Several years ago, city council did a three mill tax increase and then gave back one and a half mills, so over the last 10 years taxes will have gone up a total of 4.5 mills. That's a pretty good record," said Kruea.

This last tax increase is going to strengthen the police force.

"We've added so many new visitors over the last five years. The boardwalk as well has created a busy area downtown, everybody was thinking, 'Gee, it'd be nice to have a greater police presence there'," said Kruea.

The police department is already hiring, but the process could take time.

"Unless they're already certified officers, they're going to have to go to the academy for three months. That's a lengthy process along with the FTO, the field training officer program that they'll have to go through after that," said Captain David Knipes with the Myrtle Beach Police Department.

Capt. Knipes said once the officers are trained, they'll be on the street patrolling areas that are becoming more populated like Ocean Boulevard and The Market Common.

"The continuing growth and the home building that's going on down there, and the number of people that it is going to bring in, it calls for the need of additional public safety and fire," said Knipes.

Kruea said it will take about a year until the new officers are out patrolling the streets.

City Council approved a $156.9 million budget for the fiscal year of 2014-2015.