Tourists mixed on new Myrtle Beach sales tax

As the second day of the additional one-cent-per-dollar sales tax came to an end, tourists along the boulevard shared mixed reactions on its implementation.

"I haven't seen that big of a difference," remarked Tammy Dowdell from Kentucky.

Dowdell and her husband arrived in Myrtle Beach on Friday, a day before the new tax began, and she said she had been warned things would be a little pricier.

"I got an e-mail from the hotel I'm staying at saying they were going to increase it (the tax). And I'm thinking $3-6, that's not a big deal."

Not only did the few dollar difference on her hotel room not affect her that much, but Dowdell said nothing has changed, much.

"I haven't noticed any different in my spending or any major changes in the amounts of my bills or anything."

Unlike Dowdell, Lynn Youngblood from York, S.C., seemed a little more concerned with the new tax.

"One penny ... makes a difference," she said, adding her spending "tightened up. We're more window shopping than actually enjoying ourselves at the beach."

At one local Boulevard shop, Extreme Airbrush, the owner said despite some customers complaining about a high sales tax, his sales over the weekend were still decent.

"They're wondering why, how come, you know, this and that. Other than that we still had a good weekend," said Tracy St. Clair.

The way the law is written, the additional penny on the sales tax will last for 10 years, and the revenue generated will go toward promoting out-of-market tourism. City council said after the second year of the tax, owners of owner-occupied properties will get property tax relief.

Here's a breakdown of the current sales tax in Myrtle Beach from the city's web site:

- Unprepared food purchasable with food stamps 1%

- Prepared food (includes restaurant meals) 11.5%

- Retail sales (clothing, books, computers, etc.) 9%

- Accommodations (lodging) 13%

- Other guest charges and sales at hotels, etc. 9%

- Mixed liquor drinks 11.5% to 16.5%

- Admission tickets 7.5%