North Myrtle Beach is now one step closer to changing where hospitality and accommodations tax dollars go.
Currently, Horry County gets half of the hospitality fee and accommodations tax paid to North Myrtle Beach.
“City council thinks at this point to return all of that to the city, so that we can accomplish infrastructure projects that we have not been able to work out with the county,” said Pat Dowling, city spokesperson.
North Myrtle Beach City Council approved first readings of ordinances that would bring that money back to the city Thursday.
Dowling estimates the city will gain about $6 million a year from this, if the plans pass second reading.
He says there’s no shortage of things those funds can be used for.
“We can certainly use that money to further those projects and services,” said Dowling. “We’ve got public parking problems, we’ve got ocean outfalls to build at $12 million a pop, we’ve got beach re-nourishment, you know, we’ve got fire and police services that are impacted by tourism.”
Residents and tourists won’t feel the effects of the changes, Dowling says.
“They’ll be paying the same amount that they always have. If you’re a resident, you go out to dinner and you eat prepared foods, you’ll be paying the same amount two weeks from now if this passes second reading, as you do today,” he said. “The same is true for tourists. If you’re staying in a hotel here, or in an accommodation, you’ll be paying the same amount.”
City council decided to make these changes after reviewing the law that says local municipalities or local jurisdictions have the right to levy up to a 2% hospitality tax and a 3% accommodations tax, according to Dowling.