AIKEN, SC (WFXG) - The debate over one penny comes to an end in the city of Aiken. At Monday night's meeting, Council members voted against repealing the hospitality tax.
The tax is applied anytime you buy something to eat or drink anywhere in the city of Aiken. Some residents say they should've been given the opportunity to vote on it--and others say if you want Aiken to grow, residents have to foot the bill.
Councilwoman Lessie Price leading the charge to save the city's one percent hospitality tax. Price says since the tax was passed last May, the city has been able to improve infrastructure on the south side, match funds to upgrade the local airport and hire a business vitality manager.
Councilman Dick Dewar says his constituents aren't happy. "There's a lot of people that are still unhappy with it," said councilman Dick Dewar. "I felt that the money that we are getting from the hospitality tax might be available through the budget. Don't know for sure, but we haven't even looked." Dewar says he respects the vote.
To give this topic some perspective, neighboring cities like Columbia and North Augusta both have a hospitality tax. Last year, the tax exceeded expectations and bought in more than a million dollars.