Hospitality tax dispute in Horry County continues after yet another twist

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CONWAY, SC (WBTW) – All municipalities within Horry County must vote again on a proposed hospitality tax settlement, following amendments approved Monday night by Horry County Council.

A settlement would be approved if all municipalities agree to not use hospitality money to pay any attorney fees.

In November, News13 reported that municipalities in Horry County had spent nearly $888,000 in legal fees over the hospitality tax battle.

On Monday night, a lot of discussion focused on the funding for the I-73 project. Council members say the project keeps the allocated money geared towards improving the vacation destination.

Raising I-22 was discussed in addition to the I-73 project, addressing flooding concerns the county saw during Hurricane Florence.

“The lack of interstate has bound Horry County for a long time based on the kind of industries we can support,” Horry County Councilman Johnny Vaught said, “because no industry can relocate into a town or area that does not have interstate service.”

Horry County council members said Monday night the county was willing to offer its municipalities $19 million dollars to settle the lawsuit. The city requested $53 million.

The plan is now passed back to the municipalities to vote on again.

In October, Horry County and the City of Myrtle Beach met for their third mediation meeting regarding the dispute.

new hospitality tax plan for Myrtle Beach went into effect on July 1, 2019.

This all comes after the city filed a lawsuit against the county in March, claiming the county had been illegally collecting “tens of millions of dollars per year” through the hospitality fee.

Count on News13 as we continue to follow developments in this story.

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