Dorchester County enacted a 2% Hospitality Tax on prepared food and beverages effective January 1, 2019, for the unincorporated areas of Dorchester County.
The local hospitality tax shall be 1% for establishments located within the boundaries of any incorporated municipalities within the County which have not imposed a local hospitality tax prior to the effective date of this Ordinance. Business owners collect and remit the tax directly to Dorchester County.
The revenue generated by the hospitality tax must be used exclusively for the following purposes:
- tourism-related buildings including, but not limited to, civic centers, coliseums, and aquariums;
- tourism-related cultural, recreational, or historic facilities;
- beach access and renourishment;
- highways, roads, streets, and bridges providing access to tourist destinations;
- advertisements and promotions related to tourism development;
- water and sewer infrastructure to serve tourism-related demand.
In a county in which at least nine hundred thousand dollars in accommodations taxes is collected annually pursuant to Section 12-36-920, the revenues of the hospitality tax authorized in this article may be used for the operation and maintenance of those items provided in (A)(1) through including police, fire protection, emergency medical services, and emergency-preparedness operations directly attendant to those facilities.
In a county in which less than nine hundred thousand dollars in accommodations taxes is collected annually pursuant to Section 12-36-920, an amount not to exceed twenty percent of the revenue in the preceding fiscal year of the local hospitality tax authorized pursuant to this article may be used for the additional purposes provided in item (1) of this subsection.
It is the Council’s intent to enhance the County’s appeal to tourists through further development of the County as a destination for tourist related activities.