By Paul Gable
In the words of Yogi Berra it’s “déjà vu all over again” as the City of Myrtle Beach is back with another attempt at forced annexation of businesses.
After winning the vote, but subsequently determining there were legal issues with a referendum held for the Bridgeport and Waterside Drive communities three months ago, Myrtle Beach is looking further north this time.
Last month, the city sent a letter to residents of the Magnolia North subdivision soliciting their signatures on a petition to annex into the city. It is questionable, under state law, whether the city can solicit a petition or the idea and petition to annex must be initiated by residents of an area.
Like the Bridgeport and Waterside Drive annexation, the city is looking to add to the annexation of the residential area a number of businesses (basically east along U.S. 17 Bypass to Grissom Parkway from 48th Avenue North to 38th Avenue North).
Once again, the business owners will have no input on the annexation process because only resident registered voters in the annexation area can sign the petition or vote on the referendum.
It appears Myrtle Beach City Council is determined to make this type of annexation process work regardless of the fact the affected businesses will experience significantly increased taxes and fees if they are annexed into the city while having no say in the process.
Even if the city is successful in having an annexation referendum pass, the process likely will not end with a city ordinance accepting the referendum results.
Several sources have told us they believe there are very interesting fundamental constitutional issues raised by this type of annexation attempt (i.e. attaching commercial property, with no say in the process, to a residential annexation petition and referendum).
Even though it’s not a constitutional issue, isn’t taxation without representation fundamentally un-American?
Is all the recent hobnobbing with Chinese officials confusing Myrtle Beach City Council as to which country they live in?