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.