Goose Creek gets closer to hospitality tax reality

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) - If you eat and drink in Goose Creek you may be noticing a little something extra on the bill. On Thursday, Goose Creek City Council will be discussing plans on how money raised from a proposed hospitality fee would be spent.

Last week, City Council had the first reading on the hospitality fee proposal and voted 5-1 in favor of it. The tax will be on anything you purchase to eat or drink in Goose Creek.

"If you want to enjoy camaraderie and a place to assemble, recreation and entertainment, then be prepared to pay the tax," Goose Creek Mayor Michael Heitzler said. "We see it as a user-fee instead of a tax, and we see it as an opportunity for Goose Creek to move from a good town to a great one."

Heitzler said the money will go to parks and recreation in the city.

Proposed ideas include expanding the recreation center to include an Olympic size swimming pool, building tunnels under highways 176 and 52 for walkers and bikers, creating more wedding venues, adding an amphitheater and new athletic complex.

The mayor estimates the city can raise close to a million dollars a year on the proposed 2 percent hospitality tax. Heitzler notes that Goose Creek has not raised property tax in 34 years and it's something he says will not happen under his tenure.

"People who live in Goose Creek, you ain't see nothing yet. This is a great town -- we were already great in a lot of ways but we're going to be greater," Heitzler said. "People of Goose Creek like this place, like the EMS and the fire and trash pickup, and all the things we've done in the last decade. They like to see our community center and our parks expanding but you ain't see nothing yet."

Goose Creek City Council will hold a workshop Thursday night to begin their planning mode for the proposed hospitality tax.

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