Horry County Council discusses ongoing hospitality fee feud with municipalities

Horry County Council discusses ongoing hospitality fee feud with municipalities

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) – The Horry County Council said during Tuesday night’s meeting that there is a lot of misinformation regarding the hospitality fee and the fight with Grand Strand leaders.

The Horry County League of Cities held a news conference Monday discussing the ongoing battle.

The mayors of cities and towns in Horry County spoke out about House Bill 4597, which would require them to pay the county a hospitality fee. The leaders said it blocks cities and towns from rightfully collecting fees within their own jurisdictions.

Council members said during the meeting that there was a lot of misinformation spread at the news conference.

They said the county doesn’t want to force the cities to use their money in a particular way. Council members also said they just want to be able to sit down and discuss the issue.

The City of Myrtle Beach currently has a lawsuit against Horry County, claiming that the county illegally collected hospitality tax money.

Because of the lawsuit, county leaders said they don’t know if they’ll have the hospitality fee money they thought they’d have. They went out to say that the upcoming budget would’ve been even better for taxpayers if they had that money.

“it’s kind of like they’ve taken our tools out of the toolbox. We don’t have the money that we thought we were going to have,” Horry County Councilman Danny Hardee said. “We could’ve passed this budget with no tax increase, but they took our tools out of the toolbox, so we’ve got to wait until we can get our tools back to go to work on it. And I hope that maybe this council can sit her next year and roll this stuff back.”

Horry County Council Chairman Johnny Gardner added that he believes with the hospitality fee in place as it has been for the last couple of decades, every municipality in the county would continue to grow and reap the benefits.

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