HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WMBF) – A judge wants Myrtle Beach and Horry County to get together at one table and discuss the battle over hospitality fees.
The judge issued the order on Wednesday, directing the city and county to engage in mediation within 20 days.
The city and county have both approved Florence attorney Karl A. Folkens, Esquire to be a mediator between the two parties in the ongoing legal battle.
“The city is prepared to participate in the ordered mediation in good faith and looks forward to an opportunity to discuss a possible resolution of its dispute with the county in a confidential setting,” Myrtle Beach city spokesperson Mark Kruea said in an email.
Myrtle Beach filed a lawsuit in March claiming that Horry County illegally collected millions of dollars in hospitality fees. It all stems from a resolution that was passed in 1996 that allowed the county to collect a 1.5% hospitality tax, but that resolution was set to expire in 2017.
But Horry County argues that the termination date was extended to Jan. 2, 2022, but Myrtle Beach said it never consented to the extension.
Since then there has been numerous court filings, injunctions and mass confusion over hospitality fee collection.
The judge ordered that mediation must start taking place no later than August 1.
See below for a timeline tracing this ongoing dispute over the hospitality fee: