By Paul Gable
Congratulations to Myrtle Beach City Council on its 56-24 victory in Tuesday’s forced annexation referendum.
When it comes to creative ways to get around the intent of the law, or to create a new one, Myrtle Beach City Council stands preeminent.
Attaching commercial property to a residential annexation referendum, a decision in which the commercial property owners had absolutely no say, was a brilliant coup.
It makes no difference that the commercial properties will see their business license fees increase by approximately 1000% or that they will experience other tax increases. In the words of one city council member – “That’s the way the world works.”
It’s certainly the way the Myrtle Beach world works.
Unfortunately for the businesses, they aren’t in the tourism industry so they won’t even benefit from the “tourism sales tax” which pays for the marketing costs of “preferred businesses” in Myrtle Beach.
One business will benefit from the annexation – the Gold Club will be able to operate as a full adult entertainment club again instead of the modified operations it has had to adopt since Horry County changed its adult entertainment rules. Who knows, maybe the Gold Club will decide to become the second all-nude club within the Myrtle Beach city limits.
If the results of the referendum stand, don’t expect this to be a one-time event. There’s a lot of commercial property between the backgate of the former Air Force Base and the intersection of U.S. 17 and U.S. 501 that must be looking pretty attractive to Myrtle Beach City Council right now, including some other adult entertainment establishments that have been negatively affected by Horry County’s new rules.