With strengthening tourism numbers reaching pre-pandemic levels, South Carolina’s short-term rental (STR) market is also on the upswing, providing the state’s STR owners with nearly $2 billion in revenue.
To protect STRs across the state, a recently proposed bill is looking to prevent municipalities from banning STRs from operating within their county limits. If it passes, South Carolina counties would need to have ordinances in place to effectively manage the STRs operating within their jurisdiction. Otherwise, they risk not receiving state funding.
Here are the ways 10 South Carolina communities are managing their STRs.
Horry County hosts hundreds of thousands of tourists every summer thanks to its most famous destination, Myrtle Beach. However, whether you’re staying near the boardwalk or in western Horry County, all STRs in Horry County must collect and remit a 2% accommodations tax to the South Carolina Department of Revenue.
A charming beach town, Edisto Beach is a beautiful spot to escape to and visit. Those interested in offering their property as an STR on the island must apply for a business license. In Edisto Beach, these business licenses are valid from May 1 through April 30 and must be renewed annually by the deadline.
Charleston County (North Charleston)
The city of North Charleston in Charleston County wants to ensure that all STRs in the jurisdiction are good neighbors. STR owners must ensure that their STR does not receive more than three violations of the city’s zoning, noise, or refuse ordinance in the previous one-year period. If an STR has more than three violations, their permit is null and void and they will be out of compliance.
Hilton Head Island
Another popular tourist destination, Hilton Head Island issues STR permits year-round. However, the STR permit is only valid during the calendar year in which it was issued. This means that an STR owner who receives an STR permit in November, for example, should be prepared to renew that permit in just a few weeks when the new year strikes.
Mount Pleasant limits the number of new STR permits that are issued every year and already reached max capacity for 2023 by early February. There is a wait list that new, would-be STR owners can get on, but there is no promise they would be approved for an STR permit. Only current permit holders are eligible to renew their permit.
Myrtle & North Myrtle
City leaders in North Myrtle Beach wanted to address the growing logistical concerns that stem from STRs. They recently passed two ordinances to help keep their city orderly and clean. One requires music and loud noise to stop between 11 pm and 7 am. Another requirement is that trash is picked up on two additional days for STRs.
STR owners in Beaufort County are responsible for collecting and submitting the 2% state accommodations tax as well as a 5% sales tax, and 3% local accommodations tax.
STR owners in Colleton County are required to collect and pay the accommodations tax for any STR they operate within county limits. However, STRs can only operate in the proper zoning districts.
Many towns within Dorchester County have passed ordinances that require those looking to operate an STR to register the home with their municipality and have a permit.
Berkeley County requires STR owners to provide an emergency contact that can be reached 24 hours a day.
What’s Next for STRs in South Carolina?
Whether or not the recently proposed bill prohibiting municipalities from banning STRs passes in the South Carolina State House, STRs are always going to have an impact on local economies and communities in South Carolina. Municipalities should have a plan in place to effectively manage the STRs in their jurisdiction and maximize the benefit they can bring to their communities. Learn more about how your community can leverage the most comprehensive STR software suite in the industry.