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Accommodations tax: Shortage of funds has panel weighing cuts

By Charles Swenson
Coastal Observer

With Georgetown County accommodations tax receipts down for the first time in a decade, the panel that recommends how that money is spent is looking for projects that will generate revenue.

“It’s our job to remind County Council that we have to regenerate these funds,” said Will Dieter, who chairs the Accommodations Tax Advisory Committee.

The committee heard this week from five groups that want a total of $648,734. There is about $175,000 available, down from $502,000 at this time last year.

After hearing from applicants this week, committee members said they want to focus on projects that bring overnight visitors – people who pay the 2-percent tax that funds grants for tourism-related programs.

“If people aren’t coming, it doesn’t matter if you have tennis courts or landscaping,” Dieter said.

Accommodations tax collections in the county were down 2.8 percent in the fiscal year that ended June 30. They totalled $962,497.

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