Judge approves hospitality fee lawsuit settlement between Horry County, municipalities

Grand Strand

HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WBTW) — A judge approved Tuesday the hospitality fee lawsuit settlement between Horry County and its municipalities, ending the nearly two-year dispute.

Judge William H. Seals, Jr. approved Horry County’s proposal which proportionally distributes the $19 million between the municipalities relative to the percentage collected in each jurisdiction, according to the settlement.

News13 reached out to Myrtle Beach Mayor Brenda Bethune and she sent us this statement:

“We are very pleased to be one step closer to a final resolution of this matter. We look forward to putting this behind us and working more closely with the county.”

We also reached out to Horry County and have not yet heard back.

Read the full settlement below

In March 2019, the City of Myrtle Beach filed a lawsuit against Horry County, claiming the county had been illegally collecting “tens of millions of dollars per year” through the hospitality fee.

In the complaint filed in 15th Circuit Court, the city took issue with a 1.5% hospitality fee Horry County has collected from Myrtle Beach and other municipalities since Jan. 1, 2017. The fee was collected on accommodations, food and beverage, and amusements.

The 1.5% hospitality fee took effect on Jan. 1, 1997 and was supposed to end on Jan. 1, 2017, according to the city’s complaint.

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