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Horry County, South Carolina

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Transparency grading process

Horry County is one of 46 counties in South Carolina. As of the 2010 census recorded the county's population to be 269,291. Founded in 1801, its county seat is Conway, and its largest city is Myrtle Beach. The county shares with Georgetown County an arc-shaped strip of sandy beaches and barrier islands called the Grand Strand, which is a major U. S. tourist destination and retirement community. The area centered in Myrtle Beach is becoming a metropolitan area.

Website evaluation

Last rated on May 2, 2012.

The good

  • Budgets, annual financial reports, and tax rates posted.[1]
  • Council members listed with contact information.[2]
  • Meeting schedule, minutes and agendas available.[2]
  • Taxes can be paid online.[3] Local tax information provided.[4]
  • Form and information to file a public records request provided.[5]
  • Zoning[6] and building permit information provided.[7]
  • Administrative officials listed with telephone contact information.[8]
  • Bids are available.[9]

The bad

Budget

The FY 2011-2012 budget totals $299,755,359. It was approved by the City Council on June 21, 2011. General fund tax revenues for property tax on real estate was projected to increase by 1.8% from the FY 2011 collection. The budget includes 36 new county positions in 7 departments. It included 84 unfunded positions as a cost saving measure. It does not include any compensation increases.[10]

FY 2010 Actual FY 2011 Budget FY 2011 Estimated FY 2012 Budget
Revenue $277,417,151 $265,661,443 $288,846,089 $276,097,761
Other Sources $60,977,478 $49,789,697 $25,101,369 $11,950,445
Total $338,394,629 $315,451,140 $313,947,458 $288,048,206
Expenditures $278,643,431 $273,155,323 $282,277,365 $283,768,565
Other Uses $44,797,576 $46,631,341 $19,579,640 $8,815,589
Total $323,441,007 $319,786,664 $301,857,005 $292,584,154
Net Increase (Decrease)
In Fund Balance
$14,953,622 $(4,335,524) $12,090,453 $(4,535,948)
[10]

Expenditures by category are as follows:[10]

Source Percent of Total
Debt 15.7%
Contingency and Other 8.0%
Contractual Services 11.5%
Depreciation 2.3%
Capital Projects 8.9%
Supplies and Materials 5.3%
Transfers Out 3.0%
Personal Services 2.0%
Other Agencies 2.0%
Business and Travel 3.3%

Revenue sources are broken up as follows:[10]

Source Percent of Total
Taxes 38.5%
Intergovernmental 8.9%
Other Sources 4.1%
Transfers In 3.0%
Fund Balance 3.8%
Interest 0.8%
License and Permits 2.0%
Documentary Stamps 0.7%
Fees and Fines 38.2%

Public Employees

Elected Officials

The county is governed by a 12 member County Council. Members are:[2]

Name Position/District
Tom Rice Chairman
Harold G. Worley District 11
Brent Schulz District 2
Marion Foxworth, III District 3
Gary Loftus District 4
Paul D. Price, Jr. District 5
Bob Grabowski District 6
James R. Frazier District 7
Carl Schwartzkopf District 8
W. Paul Prince District 9
Jody Prince District 10
Al Allen Vice Chairman- District 11

Administrative Officials

The current interim County Administrator is Steve Gosnell.[11]

A county organizational chart can be found here.

Salaries

See also: South Carolina state government salary

The county does not provide salary information online. However, a database of 2009 salary details provided by The Sun News contains information on employees earning over $50,000. It lists ten employees earning over $100,000 in annual salary, with the highest being former county administrator John Weaver, who earned a salary of $167,606.00.[12]

Pensions

See also: South Carolina public pensions

All eligible full and part time county employees are required to participate in the SC Retirement System. Employees contribute 6.5% of their gross earnings per pay period. The county contributes 9.24% into the account. Police, firefighters, and detention officers contribute 6.5%, while the County contributes 10.65%. Regular retirement is 28 years of service or age 60. Police retirement is 25 hers of service or age 55.[13]

Employees may also participate in the SC Deferred Compensation Program, a tax sheltered 401k retirement account program. Contributions are payroll deductible.[13]

Transparency & public records

Freedom of Information Act requests are handled by the Public Information Office.[14]

Taxes

The FY 2012 budget expected $288,048,206 in total county revenues.[10]

Lobbying

See also: South Carolina government sector lobbying

In 2005, Horry County reported $0 spent on lobbying.[15]

External links

References