Horry Co. leaders weigh accommodations tax options

Horry County, SC - By A.J. Ross - bio | email

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) – The Horry County Accommodations Tax committee met on Wednesday at the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce to talk about how they could best spend an estimated $2.7 million collected through accommodations taxes.

Anyone who stays at a hotel, lodge, or campground in Horry County is subject to pay the 12 percent tax that helps fund projects like beach renourishment, beach patrols, and other tourism related improvements. In Myrtle Beach city limits, the tax is hiked to 13 percent.

"Over the last few years, we have been seeing a reduction in the A-tax because of the economy," explained Horry County spokeswoman Lisa Bourcier.  "Unfortunately we're not able to fund all the agencies and projects that we have before at the same levels."

In fact, since the 2007 fiscal year, the county has seen a steady decline in the amount of money it has received from accommodations taxes. That year, the county received $3,237,000, followed by:

  • 2008 - $3,191,000
  • 2009 - $2,952,000
  • 2010 - $2,642,605

"People come here for the beach so we need to make sure that beach is clean and taken care of," said Bourcier.  "We have used the tax money in the past for additional beach services, police, first responders and marketing."

The Horry County Accommodations Tax Committee is still narrowing down which projects and agencies will be given top priority.  Their suggestions will then go through Horry County Council for final approval.

Joy Korros, the general manager of the Schooner II Resort, says she has more than a few suggestions for how the money could be spread around.

"I know my owners would love to see more things along the beach. The boardwalk is a great idea, but maybe some extra things added to the boardwalk," said Korros.  "Some extra patrolling on the beach areas and the hotels at night, especially in the busy season would be a great thing to do."

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