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Town of Springdale passes H-Tax for community improvement

Springdale, SC (Paul Kirby) - On March 5th, 2019, the Springdale Town Council passed Ordinance 0-19-03. This is an ordinance providing for a Local Hospitality Tax on the sales of prepared meals and beverages in establishments in the Town of Springdale.

The laws regarding how Hospitality Taxes are spent are very specific in South Carolina. SC Code 6-1-730 says that the use of revenue from local hospitality tax must be used for tourism related expenses. That could be buildings like a civic center, coliseum, or even an aquarium. It could also be spent on cultural, recreational, or historic facilities. There are a lot of more specific items listed in that law too.

Some might ask how any of this would apply to the small town of Springdale. First, the definition of a tourist might not be what you’re thinking. The State of SC has now adopted the definition of tourist used by the National Tourism Industry Association and the South Carolina Department of Parks Recreation and Tourism. This defines a tourist essentially as a "traveler" from 50 miles away or more. But, in the same policy, the same committee that adopted the standard says that it does examine every application for the economic impact the "tourist" has on the visited community. So, the tourist may be from an area closer than the 50 miles if a significant economic impact can be shown after these people’s visit.

Basically, if the Town of Springdale uses H-Tax money to continue to expand their town park’s water features and people bring their children from Columbia to enjoy its cooling effect, they are a tourist. Those visiting people would probably spend money in Springdale buying sandwiches, food at the Carolina Buffet, and anything else that requires preparation before being served to the consumer. The idea is to allow the visitor to pay to make things nicer for the people who live in Springdale. These nice things will also draw more visitors to pay the tax. Sure, the residents will also be paying the .02, but if you’ve ever been by the Carolina Buffet or the Lizard’s Thickets at meal times, you can bet all those people don’t live in the town. Most are visitors from outside the town.

Springdale’s town administration recently sent a packet concerning this tax to all businesses required to collect this tax. If you have any questions, please call Municipal Clerk Leeann Eden at 803-794-0408.

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