Local Viewpoint - Tourism Fee - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Local Viewpoint - Tourism Fee

By Ted Fortenberry - bio | email

State lawmakers are working on legislation that would allow local governments the opportunity to pass a tax that would be used for tourism marketing. We are 100 percent in favor of the proposed legislation and appreciate the work of the legislators who have pushed to make this happen.

Rather than sticking their heads in the sand, these state leaders came up with a solution, an idea that if implemented locally could result in millions of dollars used to support the state's No. 1 industry. They are not voting to pass a tax; they are voting to provide one more tool to help our region grow.

In our local view, we support the effort because it enables local leaders to make decisions that are best for their communities. State legislatures across the country will approve tax breaks and incentives and provide millions of dollars of infrastructure improvements when an automobile manufacturer or other large industry is considering locating in their state. With tourism leading the way as South Carolina's No. 1 industry we must provide similar tools to survive and thrive.

Actually, when you think about it, we all need to understand that our No. 1industry IS manufacturing; we manufacture vacation getaways, fun, golf, entertainment, great meals and wonderful resorts. The way you grow that industry is through marketing, and the competition - just like competition to recruit other industry - is doing everything in their power to recruit that family or vacation group to their location. If we win this marketing battle, it means more money in our communities, and that ultimately means more jobs and more amenities.

Join us in supporting this important legislation and tell your state representatives that you appreciate what they are doing to help us control our destiny and grow our state's most important industry.

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