Myrtle Beach raises taxes to throttle bike rallies - - Columbia, South Carolina

Myrtle Beach raises taxes to throttle bike rallies

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WIS) - After years of complaining, people living in Myrtle Beach may finally get some relief from the loud roar of motorcycles in May.

For years, residents have been trying to get the city of Myrtle Beach to do away with the two biker weeks held every May.
They are tired of the noise, reckless driving, crime and litter that comes with it.

Now the city council is taking action. Wednesday night the council took the first step at eliminating bike weeks.
It passed a new property tax increase, and the extra money will go toward efforts to stop the bikers from coming next year. Also, a motion was passed to cancel any city contracts with biker-related events.
But since the biker weeks are not official Myrtle Beach events, the city is still trying to figure out how to get the bikers not to just show up.
The city says it wants the month of May to go back to being a family vacation month, not a time for rowdy partying.

"It's what you and your thousands of event attendees do when you are here. It's not who you are or what you drive. It's what you do and what your behavior is when you're here. That's the issue," says Mark Kruea.

WIS News 10 talked to that spokesman Wednesday, and he says some of the people who attend the events are upstanding citizens in their own communities, such as off-duty police officers and school principals.
But when they come to Myrtle Beach they seem to let loose and throw all the rules out the window.

People who attend the bike rallies warn that once the events are gone, Myrtle Beach could lose bikers who come down for vacations at other times.
The city is planning to hold a public meeting so business owners and others can voice their opinions.
Count on WIS News 10 to let you know when that happens.

Updated by Logan Smith

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