Companies in Horry County that are delinquent in paying for business licenses and hospitality fees will soon be hearing from debt collectors and could face wage garnishment or bank levies if the bills aren’t paid.
Horry County adopted an aggressive new program this week that targets out-of-state corporations and individuals that can’t be targeted under the current system that uses South Carolina tax returns to collect debts.
“For example, out-of-state entities who offer hotel booking or vacation rentals by owner are doing business in Horry County and are subject to fees just as county and state residents are,” according to a memo by Wes Covington, deputy county attorney to the Horry County Council.
The collection program operated by the South Carolina Association of Counties provides a higher collection rate for larger debts because it can reach debtors beyond state lines.
2.5 percentHospitality fees collected by Horry County
Barry Spivey, county finance director, said the program targets companies that owe thousands of dollars, as opposed to hundreds of dollars.
County spokeswoman Lisa Bourcier did not have an estimate Wednesday of how much money the county is owed.
Horry County collects 2.5 percent of hospitality fees paid -- taxes that are added to sales of prepared foods, beverages and applied to accommodations.
The amount of fees owed to Horry County was not disclosed to the county council before it unanimously voted to join the program Tuesday.
Bourcier said the new program was presented as a tool to enforce compliance.