By Paul Gable
Horry County Council is about to make another mistake with regard to the MBREDC.
Council will vote Tuesday night on extending its funding contract to the Myrtle Beach Regional Economic Development Corporation for another year. This would commit the county to three more years of funding from the current two.
County council should not have agreed to a new two-year contract when considering its budget for the current fiscal year. It is making a terrible mistake extending the contract.
The excuse is a new executive director for the MBREDC, for which there is a search currently ongoing, will want a three-year contract to agree to a deal.
But, with the history of the MBREDC, not only in its current iteration, but also in all the ones that came before, county council would do better if it burned $1.1 million in the parking lot of the government center as give this agency another dime!
What it is doing here is giving away tax dollars to an agency whose only goal is to give away more tax dollars to bribe companies to relocate to Horry County.
And, it doesn’t do that well!
All we have to do is remember AvCraft, Project Blue, Ithaca Gun Company and PTR Industries to see how woeful has been the performance of MBREDC.
But, it always claims to have a number of projects in the pipeline. The problem is the pipeline goes dry before the jobs are ever created.
Of the more than 1,500 jobs announced by MBREDC over the last five years, approximately 773 have been filled.
At the same time, Horry County has spent approximately $6,600,000 funding MBREDC. That figure does not include any reduced rent, fees in lieu of taxes or other types of incentives which have been given away to the companies involved.
To save you the math, that amounts to $8,538.16 per job created plus the wasted tax and other reductions.
In an effort to hide this from the public, the resolution permitting this contract extension is listed under the consent agenda for the regular Horry County Council meeting Tuesday September 15, 2015. In this manner, it won’t be debated, or even acknowledged, individually, which might bring it to light for most taxpayers.
Only three months ago we heard about the desperate need to raise taxes because the county was running out of money. Deals like this are the reason why!
When this passes, as I’m sure it will, I know of a bridge in Brooklyn council should consider buying. It would be no more of a waste of tax dollars than continuing funding of this seriously underperforming entity.