- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 19, 2017

CONWAY, S.C. (AP) - One South Carolina county is considering extending a sales tax that could pay for an interstate highway.

Local media outlets reported Horry County Council has given tentative approval to extending a 1.5 percent tax that could pay for Interstate 73.

The road is proposed to run from near Myrtle Beach to Michigan.

Horry County officials are especially interested in getting an interstate highway from I-95 to the Grand Strand, the heart of South Carolina’s $20 billion tourism industry.

This hospitality fee was first approved in 1996, and comes from food and drink sales, accommodations and admission fees. Money raised from the tax was used to pay for parts of two new state highways. That debt is expected to be paid off by 2019.

The council has not decided how to spend the money, which could be used for beach nourishment or other area roads.

That prompted Council Harold Worley to vote no.

“We have the cart before the horse,” Worley said. “We’re raising taxes on people before we know what we are spending it on.”

A final vote could come next month.

Members of the state’s congressional delegation hope money for I-73 will be included in an infrastructure bill under consideration.

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