State Accommodations Tax Funds
For detailed information regarding how State Accommodations Tax Funds can be spent, please refer to Section 6-4-10 of the South Carolina Code of Laws and the Department of Revenue’s official advisory opinion contained in the SC REVENUE Ruling #98-22. This information is available upon request from the Town Clerk or online at www.scstatehouse.gov.
Tourism Related Expenditures
Any money in this tourism-related fund must be spent on tourism-related expenditures, which include:
- Advertising and promotion of tourism so as to develop and increase tourist attendance through the generation of publicity
- Promotion of the arts and cultural events
- Construction, maintenance, and operation of facilities for civic and cultural activities including construction and maintenance of access and the nearby roads and utilities for the facilities
- The criminal justice system, law enforcement, fire protection, solid waste collection, and health facilities when required to serve tourists and tourist facilities. This is based on the estimated percentage of cost directly attributed by tourists
- Public facilities such as restrooms, dressing rooms, parks and parking lots
- Tourist shuttle transportation
- Control and repair of waterfront erosion
- Operating visitor information centers
Applications for funding from the State Accommodations Tax Fund are reviewed and recommendations are made by the State Accommodations Tax Advisory Committee. These recommendations must be approved by Summerville Town Council before funds can be disbursed. These expenditures are also reviewed by the State of South Carolina’s Tourism Expenditure Review Committee who looks to distinguish between events or activities designed for and attended primarily by those in the local community from those events that are designed for and attended primarily by non-residents who come from outside the community.
In looking to make a determination regarding the purpose or intent of an activity or event, the State’s Tourism Expenditure Review Committee looks to substantiate the promotional activities undertaken to bring non-residents into the area to attend the funded activity. The promotional efforts are a key indicator of the extent to which the purpose of the funded activity is to attract non-residents. As the statute identifies such promotional activities to be an approved use of funds, the State’s Tourism Review Expenditure Committee encourages counties and municipalities to consider this factor in granting funds.