County hospitality tax discussed in Powdersville

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By Stan Welch – The possibility of a countywide two cents hospitality tax dominated the discussion at a public meeting held by District Six Councilman Ken Waters in Powdersville Tuesday night. For his part, Waters announced that he favored putting the issue up to the voters in a non-binding referendum, and declared he would abide by his constituents’ wishes. “We can break the vote out by District, and I will not vote for this tax unless the people of District Six tell me to.”

The proposed tax would be used to fund capital improvements, such as construction of recreational facilities, or to promote tourism in a given area. The two per cent tax would be applied to all sales of hot food throughout the county. Every municipality in the county already has the tax and all benefit from the generation of significant revenues.

West Pelzer, for example, plans to use the lion’s share of its annual revenues to pay for the construction of Chapman Park. The construction will be paid for with a loan and the hospitality tax revenues will be used to guarantee that loan.

Waters said that there are still a number of details to be worked out in the actual ordinance that would be submitted to the public. He said caution is best, especially in an election year. “If I just plowed into this, come the next election, that would be the first thing I would hear”

Waters said he has been in talks with SCDOT officials over the closing of Three Bridges Road, a main artery in the Powdersville area. The state refused to repair several potholes based on their opinion that the road was never deeded to the state and remains private property.

He reported that construction on the Super WalMart will begin this summer and completion is expected for next summer. “We’ll all be shopping there by next summer,” said Waters.