June 14, 2024


sights and trips

More than $700K in requested Myrtle Beach accommodation tax funds rejected by City Council | Myrtle Beach News

MYRTLE BEACH — The city of Myrtle Beach received requests from 31 applicants who wanted a share of approximately $5.2 million Myrtle Beach has from its annual accommodation tax — although $716,500 in requested funds by tourism and arts organizations were not granted by the Myrtle Beach City Council.

The council recently allocated 65 percent of the tax funds between those applicants and related tourism needs, with some applicants receiving thousands less than requested.

Nearly 100 percent of the requests made by the city were approved, representing 90.1 percent of the available $5.2 million.

“We always receive more requests for grant money than is available,” said Mark Kruea, a Myrtle Beach spokesperson, wrote in response to an email sent to Michael Price, the city’s senior financial analyst.

Kruea said in a previous interview with the Post and Courier, Myrtle Beach the requests in previous years far exceed the revenues available.

In 2018, Myrtle Beach saw $1.058 billion in lodging sales. In 2019, that increased to $1.13 billion in 2019, and then dropped in 2020 to $842 million, according to the Annual Report of the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce and the Convention and Visitors Bureau.

While the COVID-19 pandemic had an influence in tourism across the country, South Carolina’s looser restrictions limited the impact along the Grand Strand. 

“We didn’t shut down,” Gov. Henry McMaster said in reference to South Carolina looser COVID-19 restrictions during a recent event in Myrtle Beach. 

The remaining 35 percent of the accommodation tax is split up per South Carolina state law as follows: $25,000 to the General Fund, 5 percent of revenues to the General Fund, 15 percent of revenue after the first $25,000 for policing services and 15 percent after the first $25,000 foes to the chamber for advertising. 

The accommodation tax is a product of funds gathered via Myrtle Beach tourists, as they are charged an additional 2 percent tax when they stay in short-term rentals such as hotels. This helps offset the costs of tourism-related business.

The tax was created for tourist communities who have a large number of visitors, Kruea said. Adding that residents and business should’t have to pay for the extra cost of providing tourism services to visitors. 

“So the A-Tax gives us a revenue source — doesn’t cover all the expenses — but a revenue source that we can use to pay for the extra police and fire and other services that we exclusively provide because we have so many visitors,” Kruea said. “We’re not a normal town of 35,000 people.”

Here are the events that were granted funds, including the amount requested: 

Tourism and art organization applicants for accommodation tax funds

Baseball at the Beach

  • Amount requested: $55,000
  • Amount Granted: $25,000

Myrtle Beach’s Beach Ball Classic

  • Amount requested: $60,000
  • Amount Granted: $35,000

Beach United FC

  • Amount requested: $30,000
  • Amount Granted: $7,500

Carolina Master Chorale 

  • Amount requested: $30,000
  • Amount Granted: $20,000

Champion Autism Network 

  • Amount requested: $14,000
  • Amount Granted: $6,000

Claire Chapin Epps Family YMCA

  • Amount requested: $52,000
  • Amount Granted: $30,000

Coast Futbol Alliance 

  • Amount requested: $30,000
  • Amount Granted: $15,000

Coastal SC Volleyball Tournaments 

  • Amount requested: $8,000
  • Amount Granted: $4,000

CrossFit Up Dog Beach Town Throw Down 

  • Amount requested: $30,000
  • Amount Granted: $3,750

Crossroads Event Productions, Inc. 

  • Amount requested: $50,000
  • Amount Granted: $22,500

EdVenture (formerly Children’s Museum of SC)  

  • Amount requested: $35,000
  • Amount Granted: $18,000

Franklin G. Burroughs-Simeon B. Chapin Art Museum 

  • Amount requested: $100,000
  • Amount Granted: $60,000

Grand Strand Juniors 

  • Amount requested: $35,000
  • Amount Granted: $12,000

Keepers Foundation 

  • Amount requested: $12,000
  • Amount Granted: $3,000

Long Bay Symphony 

  • Amount requested: $75,000
  • Amount Granted: $50,000

Myrtle Beach International Film Festival 

  • Amount requested: $20,000
  • Amount Granted: $7,500

Myrtle Beach Jeep Jam  

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  • Amount requested: $15,000
  • Amount Granted: $7,500

Myrtle Beach Mini Marathon

  • Amount requested: $10,000
  • Amount Granted: $5,250

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Myrtle Beach Shrine Club 

  • Amount requested:$20,000
  • Amount Granted: $7,500

Omar Shriners

  • Amount requested: not reported
  • Amount Granted: $7,500

Myrtle Beach World Am

  • Amount requested: $70,000
  • Amount Granted: $20,000

North South Game Committee 

  • Amount requested: $25,000
  • Amount Granted: $15,000

Oceanfront Merchants Association 

  • Amount requested: $150,000
  • Amount Granted: $90,000

Palmetto Studios Arts Alliance 

  • Amount requested: $40,000
  • Amount Granted: $15,000

Sons & Daughters of Italy 

  • Amount requested: $25,000
  • Amount Granted: $5,250

South Atlantic Shrine Association (SASA) 

  • Amount requested: $98,500
  • Amount Granted: $30,000

Sonshine Recovery Ministries (Concert of Hope) 

  • Amount requested: $10,000
  • Amount Granted: $5,000

The Arts Grand Strand 

  • Amount requested: $500
  • Amount Granted: $500

Waccamaw Arts and Crafts Guild 

  • Amount requested: $38,000
  • Amount Granted: $11,250

Waves of Praise Gospel Festival (Coastal Broadcasting and Reggie Dyson) 

  • Amount requested: $110,000
  • Amount Granted: $10,000

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City of Myrtle Beach accommodation tax requests

Sports Tourism Department

  • Amount requested: $50,000
  • Amount Granted: $25,000

Office of Financial Management and Reporting

  • Amount requested: $320,000
  • Amount Granted: $320,000

2007 Beach Renourishment Project

  • Amount requested: $134,760
  • Amount Granted: $134,760

International Student Outreach Program

  • Amount requested: not reported
  • Amount Granted: $30,000

Waterfront Patrol

  • Amount requested: not reported
  • Amount Granted: $3,069,180

Beach Services (Emergency Personnel & Equip)

  • Amount requested: not reported
  • Amount Granted: $488,310

Beach Monitoring

  • Amount requested: $62,000
  • Amount Granted: $62,000

Convention Center Marketing

  • Amount requested: $550,000
  • Amount Granted: $555,000

Reach Alex Brizee at 843-637-9881. Follow her on Twitter @alexbrizee.