MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Surfside Beach is the latest municipality to take control of their accommodations tax.
Horry County has been collecting a 1.5 percent hospitality fee from municipalities for the past 20 years, and Surfside Beach joined Myrtle Beach, opting to keep the money instead.
"Before we had no control over the money, now we have total control,” said Surfside Beach Councilman Randle Stevens. “The county was charging a 1.5 fee so we just transferred it. We did the same thing Myrtle Beach did.”
According to county officials, Horry County collected over $1.3 million dollars from Surfside Beach last year. Now, Stevens says that money will be used for tourism-related town projects instead.
"Most of the money will be going back into Surfside, to build our infrastructure, to take care of things we need. It could be spent on police, it could be spent on roads, it could be spent on all different kinds of things here,” he said.
Horry County was originally going to use money collected from it’s hospitality fee to help fund I-73, but after learning municipalities were pulling their funding they are reconsidering.
WMBF News reached out to Horry County council members to get their response to Surfside Beach’s decision.
Horry County Councilman Al Allen said it’s up to each municipality to decide what they would like to do with their portion of their atax funding and the county understands that.