Rental car fees face tax increase

VIDEO: Rental car fees face tax increase

CHARLESTON COUNTY, S.C. (WCSC) - Charleston County officials say they are considering an increase in rental car fees.

Charleston County spokesperson Kelsey Barlow says this 5% increase would fall on the customer renting the car.

The millions of dollars per year that the tax is expected to generate, would go towards airport improvements that would benefit those traveling through the airport, Barlow said.

The tax increase is expected to generate about $4 million, but Barlow says the tax would apply to all rental car services in Charleston County, including the airport.

The ordinance states that the money would go directly towards the Air Service Development Fund, which finances capital improvements and other projects related to the airports and other transportation infrastructure.

These improvements, the county says, would increase mobility and efficiency, and ultimately lead to more affordable airfares.

The ordinance cites the Charleston Area Convention and Visitors Bureau as saying the airport improvements would also greatly increase the number of vehicles rented in Charleston County, as well as increase the number of visitors who spend money on accommodations, retail establishments, restaurants, and other commercial facilities.

If county council approves the tax at Thursday’s meeting, the ordinance will need one more reading before it is finalized.

The fee will go into effect three months after it passes, and the ordinance says it will stay in effect for 25 years.

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