MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) – Myrtle Beach officials announced Tuesday the changes coming to the hospitality tax, local accommodations tax, and hospitality fee in 2021.
According to information posted to Myrtle Beach’s Facebook page, city leaders approved an increase in its local accommodations tax in March 2019, going from 0.5 to 3% and implemented its 2% hospitality tax.
That same month was when city leaders filed a lawsuit against Horry County, claiming that the county was illegally taking millions of dollars in hospitality fees from the municipalities.
It stems from a resolution passed in 1996 that allowed Horry County to collect a 1.5% hospitality tax. The money was spent on numerous road projects throughout the county.
The resolution was slated to expire in 2017.
But in December 2016, the county passed an ordinance that extended the Sunset Provision on the 1.5% hospitality fee to Jan. 1, 2022. According to Myrtle Beach leaders, the county did not receive their consent.
In July 2019, Myrtle Beach began to collect the taxes it had approved four months earlier, while the county stopped collecting its 1.5% hospitality fee inside the city limits, according to information from Myrtle Beach leaders.
Recently, the city and county reached a settlement of the lawsuit contesting Horry County’s collection of the hospitality fee from Myrtle Beach businesses.
“The settlement agreement provides, among other things, that the county will resume collections of its 1.5% Hospitality Fee inside the City of Myrtle Beach, but will pay to the city all amounts collected from city businesses, less a 1% administrative fee,” the city’s Facebook post stated.
Myrtle Beach will also “reset” the rates of its hospitality fee and tax, and local A-tax to the rates it charged prior to July 2019, according to information from the city. Those changes will be effective Jan. 1, 2021.
The Myrtle Beach City Council is expected to approve the changes by ordinance during a special meeting on Dec. 1 and at the regular meeting on Dec. 8, according to the social media post.
Once the ordinance passes, on Jan. 1, businesses will collect and pay to the city of Myrtle Beach the various fees and taxes, just as they did prior to July 1, 2019, according to officials.
“The benefit is the cities will keep all the money that’s collected within their jurisdictions," said Myrtle Beach spokesperson Mark Kruea. "They won’t be giving that money to the county to pay for a road project that is complete at this point, so the cities really are going to receive a larger piece of the pie as a result of the settlement.”
A breakdown of those fees and taxes, from the city, can be seen below: