Country Music Fest among highest-requested uses for A-Tax funds - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Country Music Fest among highest-requested uses for A-Tax funds

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – Organizers with the Carolina Country Music Fest are asking Myrtle Beach City Council for $100,000 in accommodations tax revenue for 2016.

In total, local agencies asked for nearly $9.3 million in accommodations tax money for 2016. The committee knocked that down to about $5.3 million in its recent recommendation.

Under that recommendation, most would go to the city for projects and patrols, but after that, the remaining $897,000 could be split between 32 different agencies.

"To the extent possible, City Council tries to balance the amount of money it's giving with the amount of return it will get in terms of economic benefits,” explained City of Myrtle Beach spokesman Mark Kruea.

One big request this year came from the Carolina Country Music Fest. Organizers with the huge event asked city council for $100,000 to go towards out of market advertising in nearly 20 cities.

President and CEO Bob Durkin says the request is in relation to how much money is being spent on marketing and making the festival bigger.

"Everyone saw the impact, economically, that Carolina Country Music Fest had on Myrtle Beach last year, so, if we have more money, we're going to put those resources to bring more people and have a larger economic impact,” Durkin said in a phone interview.

In Tuesday's City Council workshop, the committee had no problems with the request, recommending council approve the entire request for the event.

Spokesman Mark Kruea says the event has a large economic benefit, which helps justify the request.

City council won't make its final decision on ATAX appropriations until next month.

Kruea says council's recommendations usually follow the committee's

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