Political News

Government 101: A guide to Clarendon's government and taxes


Many citizens have been concerned over the taxes in Clarendon County. Over the next few weeks, The Manning Times will be running a series breaking down the taxes in Clarendon County. The first tax in the series is the Local Hospitality Tax.

By definition, a local hospitality tax for Clarendon County is a tax imposed by Clarendon on the purchase of prepared or modified foods and/or beverages for consumption. Food/beverages for immediate consumption would include fast food, restaurant meals, doughnuts, pastries, and catering. Every time a citizen goes through a drive through or has a meal at a local restaurant, they will pay the one percent Hospitality Tax on their bill. 

Foods that are exempt include pre-packaged foods, canned goods, jars of food, and more. Almost everything at the grocery store does not come with the Hospitality Tax. 

Many people may wonder who is responsible for collecting the tax. The answer is simple: the restaurant, deli, or fast food establishment that serves the food or beverage to the patron is responsible for the collection and remittance of this tax.

  The purpose of the tax is to have funds available for the county to help bring in events that will increase money spent within the county limits.

For example, at January's County Council meeting, the Director of Tourism asked the Council for $75,000 dollars for the county to host the Bassmasters Elite Tournament this year. These funds would come from the Hospitality Tax. The money is already there, as the food and beverages have already been taxed. Council voted yes and in return hosting the tournament will bring millions back to Clarendon County. The fisherman and people that will accompany them will stay in Clarendon hotels and eat at Clarendon restaurants, thus paying into the hospitality tax for our county. 

The tax was implemented in Clarendon County on Jul. 1, 2017.