Court clarifies that Horry County cannot collect hospitality tax from municipalities

Court clarifies that Horry County cannot collect hospitality tax from municipalities
(Source: WMBF News)

HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WMBF) – A court order filed on Wednesday cleared up confusion over who Horry County is allowed to collect hospitality fees from during an ongoing legal battle.

It all stems from a court order on June 26, where a judge said Horry County could not collect a 1.5% hospitality fee from the City of Myrtle Beach while a lawsuit moves through the court system. Myrtle Beach is accusing the county of illegally collecting hospitality tax money without consent.

Following the ruling, Horry County announced it would continue to collect fees from other municipalities. But municipalities, like North Myrtle Beach, fired back and said Horry County didn’t have the authority because they were included in the court order.

Court documents filed on Wednesday confirmed that fact.

“For clarification, this Court is hereby making it clear that it’s Order for a Preliminary Injunction dated June 21, 2019, includes not only Myrtle Beach but also Atlantic Beach, Aynor, Conway, Loris, North Myrtle Beach and Surfside Beach during the pendency of this action,” the court filing states.

Also, in the court order, the judge decided not to hold Horry County in contempt for trying to collect hospitality fees from municipalities, but did make a note that the county should have known better than to try and collect fees.

“However, this Court is being extremely lenient with this ruling as the Complaint specifically makes clear in paragraphs 1, 7, 40, 42, and 43 that all municipalities in Horry County are included in this action,” the court documents state.

The preliminary injunction order for the municipalities will take effect on August 10.

See below for a timeline tracing this ongoing dispute over the hospitality fee:

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