State Accommodations Tax is a mandatory 2% charge applied to all accommodations statewide. Accommodations are defined as “… the rental or charges for any rooms, campground spaces, lodgings, or sleeping accommodations furnished to transients by any hotel, inn, tourist court, tourist camp, motel, campground, residence, or any place in which rooms, lodgings, or sleeping accommodations are furnished to transients for a consideration.” These dollars are distributed back to cities and counties by a formula based on point of sale. In addition, the Town has imposed a Local Accommodations Tax by ordinance of 3 % that is collected by the Business License Department.
For towns, such as Bluffton, with a high concentration of tourism activity, Accommodations (bed) tax may be used by the Town to provide additional services "to promote tourism and enlarge its economic benefits through advertising, promotion and providing those facilities and services which enhance the ability of the Town to attract and provide for tourists" beyond those services normally provided by the Town.
Deadlines for Applications are March 31, June 30, September 30, and December 30. The Accommodations Tax Advisory Committee meets once a quarter to recommend funding allocations to Council based on qualifying criteria.