Horry County, Myrtle Beach appear one step closer to settling hospitality tax dispute

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MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) – Horry County and the City of Myrtle Beach appear closer to a resolution in the ongoing hospitality tax dispute.

Both sides met Thursday for their third mediation meeting on the topic. Mediation began at 10 a.m. and lasted into the night.

Horry County Council Chairman Johnny Gardner told News13 late Thursday that he can not discuss the details of mediation, but that “tremendous progress” was made. Gardner says the hope is that the County can next recommend a settlement to the parties involved. If that settlement is then accepted by all, a judge can then approve it. If it is approved, the dispute will conclude.

Myrtle Beach spokesperson Mark Kruea told News13, “The negotiators made progress in their discussions, but it’s too early to say whether any agreement has been reached.”

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.

In August, after a lot of back and forth between the groups- and other municipalities, the two sides spent more than 20 hours in mediation, but came to no resolution.

In early October, News13 learned the dispute would be reviewed by the State Supreme Court.

The most recent meetings came after Governor Henry McMaster put pressure on officials to solve the issue. There are concerns over the future of I-73, and Horry County’s deadline with SCDOT is December 1.

Count on News13 for updates as this dispute continues.

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