West Ashley should get its fair share of hospitality tax revenue

West Ashley should get its fair share of hospitality tax revenue
September 30 17:00 2019 Print This Article

In a Mayoral forum held Friday night at Seacoast Church West Ashley campus, WCBD anchor Carolyn Murray posed a question about why West Ashley doesn’t get its equitable share of hospitality tax revenue. Charleston collects a 2% sales tax on prepared meals, food, beverages and alcohol served on the premises. While the revenue collected from hospitality tax has been $138 million since 2010, only $500,000 has been spent on West Ashley projects.

Mayor John Tecklenburg attributed the disparity to state law. Former City Councilman Maurice Washington made the case that more money should be going to West Ashley. West Ashley establishments generate about 20% of the city’s hospitality tax revenue.

State revenue code Section 6-1-730 (B) states that hospitality tax revenue may be used for “tourism-related, cultural, recreational, and historic facilities.” Next April, Charleston will observe a months-long 350th Anniversary celebration centered around Charles Towne Landing. It would be highly appropriate for hospitality tax money to be used to landscape the Northbridge Gateway leading up to Charles Towne Landing.