Horry County Council is one reading away from modifying its business license requirements that would require some landlords to obtain a business license and exempt some others.
One Councilman, Paul Prince, voted against the measure and said the county needs to work on de-regulating itself.
Currently, property owners who rent out property and make more than $10,000 annually are required to apply for a business license, which can range from $50 per year to $75, depending on how long the property is being rented out.
The new ordinance would allow people to rent out one property without obtaining a license, but requires those who have more than one property to get one. The single property must not be subject to hospitality or accommodations taxes.
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Prince was the lone ‘no’ vote on the ordinance. He said making more small business owners acquire business licenses might deter people from going into business for themselves.
“We’ve got to start de-regulating some to help people get into business,” Prince said. “You can hardly get into business in Horry County … There are hardly any family businesses in Horry County. They can’t get in because of regulations.
“I could have never done anything in business if I would have had to go through these regulations.”
County officials met with area cities to mirror their efforts to collect business license fees from rental property owners, and they felt exempting single-property owners, regardless of their annual income, was best.
The third and final reading of the ordinance will be at 6 p.m. March 17 in Council Chambers, which is when Councilman Harold Worley said he’d like more information on the fee’s impact.
“I would like to know how this amendment, as proposed tonight, affects our budget,” Worley said.