State allows Myrtle Beach to allocate more from accommodations tax to law enforcement, first responders

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MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) – The General Assembly approved a provision to allow Myrtle Beach to allocate more money to law enforcement and first responders.

Under South Carolina law, 30% of local government’s accommodation tax revenue goes to the municipalities designated marketer. In Myrtle Beach, the money goes to the Chamber of Commerce.

However, this year, and the past two years, only 15% of the money will go to the Chamber.

“The accommodations tax was created so that local governments who have a lot of tourism can use the accommodations tax money, rather than charge the local residents for those services that need to be provided to tourists; police and fire, that’s what the accommodations tax exists, Myrtle Beach spokesman, Mark Kruea said. “The General Assembly recognized that we’ve got some challenges with as many visitors as we have and being such a small town, but they allowed us to use a piece of what would generally go to the designated marketing organization for our law enforcement.”

The City says this allocation helps pay for the departments without charging local residents.

This is the third year the City will allocate the money this way under the legislature approved proviso.

“Over the years the General Assembly has recognized that we’ve got some special needs here so we’ve got a proviso that continues on a year-to-year basis,” Kruea explained.

He says during the pandemic, the strategy for marketing Myrtle Beach will change.

“We aren’t out of the woods yet with Covid-19 so things will be different this year, both as we market to people and as people come to visit us,” he said. “It’s not going to be a normal year by any means. The landscape is different because of Covid-19. How we attract visitors, who we attract, is something we’re all working on to make sure we do the right thing under Covid-19.”

To learn more about how the Chamber of Commerce says the pandemic impacted tourism in Myrtle Beach during 2020, click here.

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