Myrtle Beach opposes hospitality fee bill introduced in S.C. Statehouse

Myrtle Beach opposes hospitality fee bill introduced in S.C. Statehouse
The South Carolina statehouse in Columbia, SC. (Source: WMBF)

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) – Myrtle Beach and Horry County leaders took a trip to the Statehouse to discuss a bill that centers around the hospitality fee battle.

Horry County representative Alan Clemmons pre-filed House Bill 4745 back in November that would take control of the decision over who receives hospitality fees out of the hands of the county and city leaders.

County and city leaders have been fighting for nearly a year over hospitality fees after Myrtle Beach filed a lawsuit, accusing the county of illegally taking millions of dollars from municipalities.

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The controversy has led to numerous appeals, injunctions and even forced Horry County Council to cancel it’s I-73 contract with the South Carolina Department of Transportation because they no longer have the funds to pay for it.

Clemmons told WMBF News back in November that the legislation is a way to keep I-73 plans from stalling out.

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He said the bill would allow the county to continue to collect a portion of hospitality fees and accommodations taxes, but it would also give the municipalities the portion of the hospitality fee that they’re fighting to keep.

The money collected would go toward the construction of I-73 and then once that’s completed, the hospitality fee money would go toward any other infrastructure projects in Horry County.

But during a subcommittee hearing Wednesday, the city of Myrtle Beach issued a statement, stating that it opposes the bill and said that it gives too much power to Horry County leaders.

“Notwithstanding our shared commitment to I-73, the City of Myrtle Beach cannot support the bill under consideration by this sub-committee. In the view of the City of Myrtle Beach, the Legacy County-Wide Hospitality Fee bill improperly takes power away from the governing bodies of the City of Myrtle Beach, and every other municipality in Horry County, and gives it to Horry County Council,” according to the statement.

But despite its opposition, the city of Myrtle Beach said it supports Clemmons’ goal getting I-73 built. The city has also said it is in favor I-73 and would devote financial resources to the project.

The legislation is currently being discussed in the House Ways and Means Committee.

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