A year after it began, collection of York County's hospitality tax is finally on track, although more money could come in once a punishment for skipping payment is developed.
The county has collected more than $1.3 million through the tax from more than 100 establishments, and several groups have said they'd like a piece of that pie. In addition to adding penalties for not charging the tax, officials want to outline the process and criteria to apply for the money.
Last summer, the county found there were more than 60 restaurants not charging the tax that started in January 2007. County Finance Director Beth Latham said the county now has nearly all its restaurants charging the tax. But she said the county is researching changes to its ordinance to make it more enforceable.
"We might have to revise the ordinance to put some teeth into it," Latham said. "There's no consequences if they don't send it in."
The county didn't provide how much revenue they could be missing by people not paying.
This tax is collected from 103 establishments, with Carowinds' 30 vendors considered one. Latham said there are some new restaurants that need to get on board as well.
County Manager Jim Baker said the county would like to address the penalty in conjunction with next year's budget.
The 2 percent tax is to be assessed on all prepared food and drinks served at restaurants and bars in the unincorporated areas. A 1 percent tax is to be collected in the towns of McConnells, Hickory Grove, Sharon and Smyrna on prepared food.
Rock Hill, York, Clover, Fort Mill and Tega Cay collect a separate hospitality tax, so restaurants in those municipalities are exempt from the county tax.
Tega Cay is the last to add this tax. They've collected almost $950 since they started collecting in January, Assistant City Manager Dora Perry said. Only the Tega Cay Golf Club and another business pay the tax right now, but Perry said they're in the process of alerting food vendors in the new Wal-Mart.