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8/19/2014 11:44:00 PM
Council Considering implementing hospitality tax
Brian King
Staff Writer

Hospitality tax funding has helped the City of Greenwood give a nearly complete makeover to the Uptown area over the course of the last decade. Similarly, the towns of Ninety Six and Ware Shoals utilize hospitality tax funding for tourism related projects. Greenwood County will now be exploring implementing a hospitality tax to assist with tourism related projects.
 
The matter was addressed during Greenwood County Council’s administration and finance committee meeting Tuesday afternoon. Councilman Steve Brown, who was the city manager for the City of Greenwood for nearly three decades and began the work on the City Center Master Plan before retiring in 2009, recommended council look into the issue.
 
“It seems that, since I’ve been on council, the number of projects we are funding out of the general fund relating to tourism seem to be increasing,” Brown said. “A great avenue to fund those projects is the hospitality tax.”
 
The hospitality tax, if adopted, would apply to the unincorporated portions of Greenwood County. Hospitality tax revenue is collected on prepared food and is generally 2 percent of the purchase. The funds are restricted to uses related to tourism by state law. County manager Toby Chappell told council that the S.C. Department of Revenue estimated the county would collect more than $380,000 if a hospitality tax was adopted.
 
Brown asked county manager Toby Chappell to have the county staff study the issue and bring a recommendation to council. Chappell said he expects to make a presentation to council at the Sep. 2 administration and finance committee meeting.


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Reader Comments

Posted: Wednesday, September 3, 2014
Article comment by: Bruce Riggins

I agree with you 100% Herb Smith! We already pay too much tax and all levels of government keep dreaming up ways to confiscate more of our hard earned dollars. It would be more beneficial to take a long hard look at how our existing tax dollars are spent and cut some of the wasted funds.

Posted: Tuesday, September 2, 2014
Article comment by: Janice Miller

Jobs & property tax relief are sorely needed in Greenwood.
Who cares about tourism when you are suffering?


Posted: Thursday, August 21, 2014
Article comment by: Herb Smith

I would urge the County Council to take a step back and look at what you are considering. Greenwood County has some serious problems in areas other than tourism. I won't describe all the problems but all deserve serious time and innovative attention of the Council. To devote a great deal of time and energy to a project of trying to harvest more tax dollars from the same tax payers seems misplaced. The idea that a hospitality tax is paid by strangers who come in from other places to leave their money in Greenwood is flawed it is paid by the county residents who eat meals and snacks in establishments other than their own kitchens.

If the county cannot fund all the tourism projects it is asked to fund from present tax dollars, don't fund the projects.




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