The pending lawsuit between Horry County and the City of Myrtle Beach over the proceeds from the proposed sale of the city owned portion of Pirateland and Lakewood campgrounds highlights another example of poor public policy that has been the lowlight of incumbent Mayor Brenda Bethune and city council’s last three years in office.
This will be at least the fourth major lawsuit involving the city, three of which have Horry County on the opposing side, since Bethune took office.
The lawsuit that does not include Horry County was brought by merchants affected by a supposed “family friendly overlay zone” on Ocean Boulevard that prohibits the sale of certain items which are readily available and sold throughout the remainder of the city.
These prohibitions appear to be not only a violation of the 14th Amendment to the Constitution, which guarantees equal application of the law, but since over 90 percent of the affected businesses are Jewish owned, also appear to be discriminatory and anti-Semitic. Bethune led the charge in passing these discriminatory restrictions by city council.
Unequal application of the law and discrimination against a certain segment of the business community is certainly bad public policy.
In the three lawsuits involving Horry County, it appears the city was attempting to get its hands on pots of money that the city used extremely suspect logic to lay claims to,
One lawsuit has the county and Horry County School District suing the city over alleged misuse of approximately $20 million in TIF funds collected from Market Common.
A second lawsuit was initiated by the city against Horry County for hospitality fee collection. In this one, the city attempted to allege that the county has been illegally collecting hospitality fees in the city since January 1, 2017 and was looking to lay claim to over $100 million in funds.