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Did you know...???  Page 2

More interesting facts about Myrtle Beach




·      Did you know…  That sales taxes and fees charged locally for items purchased or consumed range from a low of zero percent for unprepared food to as much as 16.5 percent for mixed liquor drinks at some establishments?  Here is a breakdown of the taxes and fees charged in the City of Myrtle Beach on various items.  The totals changed May 1, 2017, when Horry County's one percent road sales tax (RIDE 3) was added....

Unprepared food purchasable with food stamps  0%

Prepared food (includes restaurant meals)  11.5%
(5% State Sales Tax + 1% State Tax Relief + 1% Local Education Capital Improvements Sales Tax + 2.5% Hospitality Fee* + 1% Tourism Development Fee + 1% RIDE 3 road tax = 11.5%)

Retail sales (clothing, books, computers, etc.)  9%
(5% State Sales Tax + 1% State Tax Relief + 1% Local Education Capital Improvements Sales Tax + 1% Tourism Development Fee + 1% RIDE 3 road tax = 9%)

Accommodations (lodging)  13%
(5% State Sales Tax + 2.5% Hospitality Fee* + 2% State Accommodations Tax + 0.5 % Local Accommodations Tax + 1% Local Education Capital Improvements Sales Tax + 1% Tourism Development Fee + 1% RIDE 3 road tax = 13%)

Other guest charges and sales at hotels, etc.  9%
(5% State Sales Tax + 1% State Tax Relief + 1% Local Education Capital Improvements Sales Tax + 1% Tourism Development Fee + 1% RIDE 3 road tax = 9%)

Admission tickets  7.5%
(5% State Sales Tax + 2.5% Hospitality Fee* = 7.5%)

Mixed liquor drinks  11.5% to 16.5%
(5% State Sales Tax + 1% State Tax Relief + 2.5% Hospitality Fee* + 1% Local Education Capital Improvements Sales Tax + 1% Tourism Development Fee + 1% RIDE 3 road tax = 11.5% minimum.  However, some establishments choose to pass part or all of the 5% State Liquor Excise Tax directly to the customer, rather than including it in the price of the drink, for a total of up to 16.5%)

* Note:  Of the 2.5% Hospitality Fee, Horry County receives 1.5% to pay for RIDE 1 projects, while local jurisdictions (towns, cities, the county) receive the remaining 1% collected in their respective jurisdictions.  The Hospitality Fee is charged on prepared food, accommodations and admissions. The RIDE 3 sales tax was implemented on May 1, 2017. 

·      That by 2007, 1,060 customers had signed up to pay their Myrtle Beach utility bills on-line, with 20 percent deciding they no longer want a paper bill at all?  The city has approximately 16,500 utility accounts for water, sewer, solid waste collection and stormwater management.  For more information about on-line payment options, visit


·      That Myrtle Beach State Park, just south of the city limits, opened in 1936 and was South Carolina’s first state park?  The park was a project of the Civilian Conservation Corps.


·      That 51 former Myrtle Beach Pelicans have played in the Major Leagues since the team began in 1999?  By the way, the city and the county share ownership (70 percent city, 30 percent county) of Coastal Federal Field, soon to be BB&T Coastal Field.


·      That our Public Works crews and contractors occasionally find pieces of the original wooden water lines that were used along Ocean Boulevard and Kings Highway during the early 1900s?  The four-inch square cypress piping has a two-and-a-half inch circular opening through which the water flowed.  The wooden, gravity-fed water lines were used until the early 1930s, when the first pressurized water system was installed, several years before Myrtle Beach became an official town.  A section of the old wooden pipe is on display in the Public Works Administration Building on Mr. Joe White Avenue.


·      That Myrtle Beach has 14 beach-going wheelchairs available for use at no cost on a first-come, first-serve basis?  The chairs are equipped with balloon tires and safety belts for people who are disabled or handicapped.  From April 15 through September 15, ask at the nearest lifeguard stand and a chair will be brought to that location.  Chairs are available in one-hour increments during the summer, due to the demand.  From September 15 to April 15, call 918-1382 to arrange for use of a chair for up to one week.  We will bring the chair to your residence or hotel lobby during the fall and winter months.  Use of the chairs is free, but we do require a photo identification.


·      That during the peak summer season, from May 1 through Labor Day, four zones allow ocean surfing and kayaking between 10:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.?  The four areas are: 1) from the terminus of the TA-80 Zone (south of Damon’s) to the southern city limits, 2) from 37th Avenue North to 47th Avenue North, 3) from 62nd Avenue North to 68th Avenue North, and 4) from 82nd Avenue North to the northern city limits.  In all other locations, surfing and kayaking are permitted only before 10:00 a.m. or after 5:00 p.m., with the exception of the former Pavilion area, from the south side of Eighth Avenue North to the north end of the public boardwalk, where surfing and kayaking are allowed only from October 1 through March 15.


·      That Plyler Park on Ocean Boulevard at Mr. Joe White Avenue is named for Justin Whitaker Plyler, an early visionary who loved Myrtle Beach and saw what it could become?  Plyler operated several businesses following service in World War Two, including the Gay Dolphin Gift Shop, which he founded in 1946.


·      That the State of South Carolina regulates the use of golf carts on the public streets?  Here are the rules under South Carolina law....

     A. Only the owner of the golf cart or his agent or employees may operate the vehicle. The operator must be a licensed driver, have proof of financial responsibility and a permit to do so, and have them in his or her possession during operation. The S.C. Department of Motor Vehicles issues the $5 permits.

     B. Operation is not allowed on primary highways, such as US 17, Kings Highway and US-501. You may cross a primary highway, but you may not drive along it.

     C. Operation is allowed on any secondary highway or street if:

1. the operation is within two miles of your residence; and
2. the operation is during daylight hours only; and
3. the operation is by the permitted, licensed and financially responsible owner or his agent, and
4. the vehicle is complete with all equipment required by statutes when you put vehicles on the public ways.

By the way, Myrtle Beach is working to establish golf cart parking spaces on the oceanfront streetends in the residential section. The streetend at 50th Avenue North has been so configured and is the prototype for this plan.

·      That in South Carolina, any vehicle displaying a valid handicapped, Purple Heart or Disabled American Veterans license tag, or a valid and official handicapped hang tag, may park for free at any parking meter?  If your vehicle displays one of these, then you do not have to pay a parking meter anywhere in the state. 

·      That Myrtle Beach has received more than $3 million in Community Development Block Grant funding for local projects since fiscal year 1994-95?  Myrtle Beach became an entitlement community that year, although the federal CDBG program began in 1974.  The city received $206,338 in CDBG money this fiscal year and anticipates receiving $208,003 in CDBG funding next year.  Local projects paid for in part through CDBG grants include street and storm drainage improvements throughout the Booker T. Washington neighborhood; the Swansgate Apartments, Futrell Park Homes and Balsam Place Apartments; stormwater drainage at Alliance Inn; fencing and landscaping for Habitat for Humanity homes; and planning and technical assistance for various neighborhood projects and studies.

·      That Chapin Memorial Library has 32 computers available for the public’s use? The Reference section has 18 computers with Internet access and one more for word processing. The Children’s section has three computers with educational games and eight with filtered Internet access. Two express computers with Internet access are available on the library’s first floor.

·      That the moon-booted cement footprints of Colonel Charles M. Duke, Jr., astronaut and South Carolina native, are displayed on the special events plaza at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center?  You’ll find the prints in the pavement near the fountain and flagpoles.  As the accompanying plaque explains, he walked on the moon April 20, 1972, 35 years ago.

·      That wide, multipurpose paths for bicyclists, walkers, joggers and other human-powered transportation exist along Grissom Parkway, Harrelson Boulevard and Farrow Parkway?  These paths are more than mere sidewalks, since they are designed to accommodate a variety of uses.  In addition, Mr. Joe White Avenue and portions of Ocean Boulevard are marked with bicycle lanes in the roadway.

·      That the word “neon” does not appear in the Myrtle Beach sign ordinance?  In fact, “neon” does not appear anywhere in the city code, which is available on-line at

·      That the Grand Strand has experienced effects from at least five major hurricanes since the 1880s?  These include the Category 3 storm in August 1885 that made landfall at Beaufort, the Category 3 storm in August 1893 that made landfall near the Sea Islands, the Category 3 storm in October 1893 that made landfall between Charleston and Myrtle Beach (it was called the “tidal wave” because of the huge storm surge in Horry County), the Category 4 Hazel in October 1954 that made landfall near Little River and the Category 4 Hugo in September 1989 that made landfall at Isle of Palms.  In addition, a Category 1 storm made landfall in Myrtle Beach in September 1883 and a Category 2 storm made landfall in Myrtle Beach in October 1899. 

·      That Myrtle Beach currently has 595 street names, from Abby Lane to Yucca Avenue, with more on the way?  The five newest street names are Robert White Drive, Battery Alley, Tirrell Loop, Forster Avenue and Grandiflora Circle.  From January 2006 to January 2007, 47 new street names were added in the city.  Under state law, city (and county) planning commissions have final authority to approve street names, following duly advertised public hearings.

·      That the full text of the South Carolina Freedom of Information Act is available at  This “did you know” is in honor of Sunshine Week, March 11-17, co-sponsored by the South Carolina Municipal Association and the South Carolina Press Association.  Sunshine Week recognizes the importance of the Freedom of Information Act in securing open, honest government in South Carolina.

·      That Myrtle Beach offers a “human rights and housing complaint hotline” as an outreach of the city’s Human Rights Commission? The hotline number is 918-1130 and is available for calls and messages 24 hours a day. City staff members refer callers to the appropriate agency or source to handle the issue. In 2006, the hotline received 37 calls. Most referrals are to the South Carolina Human Affairs Commission, the city’s code enforcement division, the magistrate’s office, the Myrtle Beach Housing Authority, the S.C. Ethics Commission, the S.C. Consumer Affairs Commission and other local human service agencies.

·         That Gabreski Lane, home of the Base Recreation Center on the former Myrtle Beach Air Force Base, is named for Colonel Francis S. Gabreski, America’s top air ace in Europe during World War II and the third highest-scoring U.S. ace ever? As a young second lieutenant, Gabreski was stationed in Hawaii on December 7, 1941. Of Polish descent, Gabreski asked to be transferred to Europe after Pearl Harbor. He downed 28 enemy planes over France and Germany and destroyed three more on the ground, then was captured after crash-landing on what would have been his last mission. He spent 10 months as a prisoner of war. Gabreski also became an air ace during the Korean War, where he was credited with shooting down six-and-a-half planes. Colonel Gabreski assumed command of the 342nd Fighter Day Wing at Myrtle Beach Air Force Base on September 10, 1956. It later became the 354th Fighter Day Wing. Gabreski retired from the Air Force in 1967 and died in 2002 in Long Island, New York. The Francis S. Gabreski Airport in Suffolk County, New York, is named in his honor.

·         That the Myrtle Beach Police Department performs fingerprinting for the public from 3:00 to 4:00 p.m. each Tuesday at the Law Enforcement Center Annex on Mustang Street? To be eligible for this fingerprinting service, you must be a resident of the City of Myrtle Beach, or the company requesting your fingerprints must be located within the City of Myrtle Beach. Unsure whether you live in the city limits? Call the Annex at 918-1800 for assistance. You must bring a valid South Carolina picture identification card (driver’s license), with your correct address, in order to be fingerprinted. If you have an out-of-state identification card, you must provide proof of employment or intent of employment with a business within the city limits. The Police Department does not provide fingerprint cards; the company requesting your fingerprints should supply a card with pre-printed information, including your name, date of birth and current address. Finally, if you need fingerprints for a concealed weapon permit, you must live inside the city, not just work inside the city, in order to qualify for fingerprinting.

·         That the reference staff at Chapin Memorial Library is indexing obituaries appearing in the Sun News and Myrtle Beach Herald The index begins with January 1999 and is kept current.  In addition, staff adds a retrospective year every three to six months.  The index includes the name, date of death and date of publication.  The actual obituary is available for viewing and copying via the library’s microfilm record of each newspaper.  Local residents may visit the library and make copies for 10 cents each.  Staff members will check the index when requested by e-mail, mail or telephone.  Out-of-town customers are asked to send a self-addressed, stamped envelope and $1.00 per obituary requested.  You can e-mail the staff at or call 843-918-1275.  The mailing address is Chapin Memorial Library, P. O. Box 2468, Myrtle Beach, SC  29578.

·         That city-owned structures and their contents are insured for a total of $203,162,920?  The 376 structures – administration buildings, pump stations, water tanks, dune walkovers, dugouts, scoreboards, picnic shelters, storage sheds, fences, static airplanes, recreation centers, Chapin Memorial Library, Coastal Federal Field, Doug Shaw Stadium, Nance Plaza, Grand Strand Humane Society, etc. – are valued at $148,009,945, while the contents are valued at $55,152,975.  These totals do not include the city-owned hotel at the Convention Center or the hotel parking deck.  Instead, those are insured by the hotel management company for $47,084,818 (structures) and $8,663,000 (contents), bringing the current total insured value of city-owned structures and contents to $258,910,738.  These totals do not include the value of the underlying land or any underground items, such as water and sewer lines.  

·         That the Myrtle Beach Fire Department answered 10,200 calls for service during calendar year 2006?  That’s more than 18 times the number of calls in 1980, when the department responded 563 times.  The 2006 totals include:  303 calls for fires or explosions; 207 calls for hazardous materials; 6,698 calls for Rescue and EMS services; six calls for severe weather and natural disaster; and 1,703 false alarms or false calls.  Medical emergencies accounted for the Fire Department’s greatest number of calls – 65.66 percent.

·         That Native Americans used the yaupon holly, for which Yaupon Drive is named, for medicines and ceremonies?  The evergreen yaupon shrub has dark leaves and, during the winter months, bright red berries.  Indians gathered the leaves to brew a tea-like beverage.  The colorful berries are still used as decoration today during the holidays.  The berries also are a plentiful winter food for birds and other wildlife.  The yaupon holly is common throughout the southeast, and many coastal towns, like Myrtle Beach, have a Yaupon Drive named after this abundant plant.

·         That residents of Kingston County successfully petitioned the state in 1801 to change the area’s name to Horry District, in honor of Brigadier General Peter Horry?  Horry District became Horry County in 1868.  Peter Horry owned three plantations near Winyah Bay.  He served as a lieutenant colonel during the Revolutionary War and, later, as a brigadier general in the South Carolina Militia.  He also represented Prince George Winyah and All Saints Parishes in the South Carolina House and Senate.  Horry was born in South Carolina about 1747 and died February 28, 1815, in Columbia at the age of 68.  He is buried in the Trinity Episcopal churchyard in Columbia.

·         That during 2006 the Myrtle Beach City Council declared 441 vehicles derelict or abandoned, according to state code, and ordered them removed from private property?  Abandoned means a vehicle that is inoperable, while derelict means a vehicle that is unregistered, inoperable or both.  State law requires that any abandoned or derelict vehicle be prominently tagged, giving notice that it will be removed if it remains unregistered and/or inoperable after seven days.  Once the vehicle is removed, the owner is notified and has 30 days to reclaim the vehicle, or it is sold at public auction. 

·        That it is illegal for any person to use, fire, shoot, discharge, sell or offer for sale, store, exchange, give away or possess any fireworks in Myrtle Beach?  This prohibition includes the beach itself.  Violations may result in a ticket or arrest, as well as confiscation of the fireworks. Fireworks displays by pyrotechnic professionals may be approved by the fire marshal if properly permitted and supervised.

·        That Myrtle Beach’s traffic engineering division installed 165 holiday decorations on Kings Highway, from 29th Avenue North to Third Avenue South, and on Ninth Avenue North, Main Street, Oak Street and Broadway in the downtown area?  The decorations include lighted Santas, angels, wreaths and reindeer.  In all, the holiday cheer uses approximately 16,625 light bulbs.  The decorations are installed the week before Thanksgiving and removed during the first week of January.

·        That Myrtle Beach approved its first sign ordinance in 1978 and established the Community Appearance Board in 1981?  The CAB is the city's architectural review board. 

·         That metal detecting is permitted on the beach, but not in the dunes or in the beach access street-ends?  You can use a metal detector on the beach itself, but it is illegal to climb or walk on the dunes or to break or damage sea oats or beach grass, for any reason, with penalties up to $500 and/or 30 days in jail.  Metal detecting is not allowed in parks or on other city property.

·         That there are no other incorporated cities called Myrtle Beach?  Florida, for instance, has towns called “Myrtle Grove” and “Myrtle Island,” but no Myrtle Beach.  An Internet search may show “Myrtle Beach” mentioned in other states, but these are mistaken references to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. 

·         That 39 areas of unincorporated Horry County are completely surrounded by the City of Myrtle Beach?  Some are single-family lots, while others are large tracts of many acres with multiple owners.  These “doughnut holes” within the city do not receive city services and are not subject to city zoning or building regulations, although some properties within these enclaves may receive city water and/or sewer service at double the in-city rate.  In South Carolina, annexation is initiated by the property owner in one of three ways:  a) a property owner can petition to be annexed if the property is contiguous to the town or city; b) a contiguous neighborhood can petition for annexation if 75 percent of the property owners having 75 percent of the assessed value agree to the petition; and c) in a designated area, 25 percent of the electors can petition the town or city council to hold a special election and, if the town agrees, 50 percent of the electors plus one must approve the annexation before it can occur.  Towns and cities generally provide a higher level of service than unincorporated areas.  

·         That Myrtle Beach has received both TsunamiReady and StormReady status from the National Weather Service? The city has been designated as StormReady for a couple of years, but received its official TsunamiReady designation October 31, 2006. Nationally, only 36 sites are designated TsunamiReady, including Myrtle Beach, Surfside Beach and Horry County. Charleston County is the only other TsunamiReady site in South Carolina. Visit and for more StormReady and TsunamiReady information. (Note: North Myrtle Beach will be recognized as TsunamiReady in January.)

·         That the Ted C. Collins Law Enforcement Center on Oak Street is named for the late Ted C. Collins, who served the city for 20 years, first as a member of City Council and then as a municipal judge? Judge Collins died suddenly December 26, 2000. He served on City Council from 1978 to 1986 and then as a Municipal Court judge from 1988 until his death. City Council named the Law Enforcement Center in Judge Collins’ honor on March 13, 2001. Council’s proclamation reads, in part, “Ted Collins was well known for his compassion, humor, friendliness, warmth and personality, traits that won the respect of others and served him well in politics and on the bench.”

·         That 77 prominent South Carolinians, past and present, are honored in the official South Carolina Hall of Fame at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center?  Hall of Fame inductees include four South Carolinians who signed the Declaration of Independence, four who signed the U.S. Constitution, three astronauts, five medical doctors, one dentist, five Ph.D.s and five generals. Jazz great Dizzy Gillespie is a member of the Hall of Fame, as is 1960 World Series M.V.P. Bobby Richardson of the New York Yankees. The Hall of Fame display includes portraits and descriptions of each of the honorees. Touch-screens provide additional information, including a quiz to test your knowledge of South Carolina’s history and its Hall of Fame members’ contributions. Two new honorees are inducted into the South Carolina Hall of Fame each year. Visit to learn more.

·         That the Myrtle Beach Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), as defined by the U.S. Census Bureau, is all of Horry County?

·         That the Myrtle Heights-Oak Park neighborhood is on the National Register of Historic Places?  The 65-acre historic district is roughly along both sides of North Ocean Boulevard, from 32nd Avenue North to 46th Avenue North.  Recognized in 1998, the district includes 61 contributing buildings and sites and 20 noncontributing sites.  Most of the historic properties are single-family homes dating from the 1920s, ’30s and ’40s.  (You knew, of course, that the Myrtle Beach Train Depot is on the National Register of Historic Places.)

·         That Chapin Memorial Library is the only city-owned library in South Carolina? A public library originally opened in 1939 on North Kings Highway in the old Chamber of Commerce building, which was unused at the time.  The library started with 501 books.  During World War II, the library moved to the Chapin Company building as part of the government recreation program for soldiers.  The library returned to the Chamber building following the war, but relocated in May 1947 to the old USO building in the 1200 block of North Ocean Boulevard, before briefly moving back to the Chapin Company.  In August 1948, the Chapin Foundation provided $40,000 for a library building on city parkland and $2,000 more for landscaping.  The city’s Chapin Memorial Library opened June 1, 1949, in its current location and has been expanded four times. 

·         That from May 1 to Labor Day, dogs are not permitted on the beach between 10:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.?  When dogs are permitted on the beach, they must be on a leash of seven feet or shorter, and you must pick up droppings and properly dispose of them.  (Updated January 28, 2010)

·         That the City of Myrtle Beach adopted its first zoning code on September 17, 1947?   

·         That the oath of office for early City Council members included a statement that they had not taken part in any duels?  Here is the oath of office prescribed by the state constitution when Myrtle Beach became a town in 1938:   “I do solemnly swear that I am duly qualified, according to the Constitution of this State, to exercise the duties of the office to which I have been elected, and that I will to the best of my ability, discharge the duties thereof, and preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of this State and of the United States.  I do further solemnly swear that I have not since the first day of January, in the year eighteen hundred and eighty-one, engaged in a duel as principal, second or otherwise; and that I will not, during the term of office to which I have been elected engage in a duel as principal or second or otherwise.  So help me God.”

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P.O. Drawer 2468
Myrtle Beach, SC 29578
Phone:  (843) 918-1000
Fax:  (843) 918-1028

© Copyright 2010, The City of Myrtle Beach. All rights reserved.