“Mass confusion,” that’s how the county treasurer describes the ongoing battle between county, city, and town councils over who can collect tax dollars when consumers buy prepared foods and other services.
And while our elected officials are battling it out in courtroom filings, completely lost in the shuffle are the impacts on consumers, businesses, and the reason elected officials want all this money.
The fee was passed by the Horry County Council in 1993 to pay for numerous roads, and extended a few years ago for the sole purpose of raising matching funds needed to get state and federal dollars for Interstate 73 construction.
County council amended the fee last year to include a massive influx of spending for public safety needs.
But since the county has gone ahead and raised our property taxes and numerous other fees to help cover that $8 million in public safety and employee raises, the hospitality fee is no longer needed for that purpose.
And now, some elected officials have declared I-73 a dead project.
So, if the county is not going to spend these tax dollars on roads or public safety, what are they fighting for?
And what exactly is Myrtle Beach and other coastal areas planning to do with the fees that were originally passed to build roads?
It’s mass confusion all right, residents and tourists don’t know where they might get double-taxed,
Businesses don’t know what fees to collect on hotel bills and admission tickets.
This territorial infighting between councils has to stop.
Our elected officials have beaten the hospitality fee issue into the ground.
Until the court decides who gets to do what, every county, city and town council needs to pull the plug and stop collections.
To help them get started, we’ve written the obituary:
The Hospitality Fee died this week.
It was 22 years old.
Fee, also known as “Tax” to family members and foes, was proceeded in death by a sister Fee in Myrtle Beach, and several niece and nephew fees throughout Horry County.
A group of concerned residents found Fee Wednesday morning, bloodied and beaten beyond all recognition.
Reports say roving gangs of political rivals are the prime suspects in the slaying.
In lieu of flowers or donations, taxpayers ask that elected officials keep their hands in their own pockets until after the funeral.