MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - The highly-contentious hospitality tax was up for discussion at the Myrtle Beach City Council meeting and a special called North Myrtle Beach meeting on Tuesday.
It’s been a saga going on for several months now over who can collect money generated by the hospitality tax in Horry County and the incorporated municipalities.
The county has said it should be able to collect until January 2022.
But the city of Myrtle Beach said it was never notified that the expiration date was extended from the original 2017 termination date.
While a lawsuit filed by the city of Myrtle Beach against the county makes its way through the legal process, a judge said each municipality involved can continue to collect its own fees.
Earlier this year, the city of Myrtle Beach passed a new hospitality tax and amended the accommodations tax for the city. Tuesday’s meeting discussed the business penalties associated with it.
The current accommodations tax penalty is 2% per month and the current hospitality tax penalty is 25%.
In a first reading Tuesday, the city of Myrtle Beach voted to ensure consistency between the charges.
“I think the 25% was really the oversight, it was not intended, I think 2% is what was intended so we are just making the ordinance read as the other fee, the other tax reads 2%,” said Myrtle Beach spokesman Mark Kruea.
All were in favor of the ordinance change for businesses that are late with their tax contributions.
The proposal still needs to pass a second reading to make the penalties consistent.
North Myrtle Beach City Council also met Tuesday to discuss a resolution involving its own hospitality taxes.
They’re making sure they’re prepared for whatever is decided by the courts.
“The city is holding it’s tax in advance, so if we have to repay the county, should the lawsuit fail, we will be able to do that” said North Myrtle Beach spokesperson Pat Dowling.
The city isn’t sure when they will have a final answer but they’re preparing now.
“We’re just gonna have to go through these steps," said Dowling "We do have mediation that forced by the judge that will go on between Horry County and the City of Myrtle Beach, I guess August 10th, so we will see how that works.”