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Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Transfer Smart News: State Proposes to Impose Accommodation Taxes on Timeshares

While many owners today want to get out of their timeshares because of the increasing maintenance fees, there’s a proposal in South Carolina to tax timeshare maintenance fees. This creates uproar in the timeshare industry. Meanwhile, the hoteliers push to impose such taxes on timeshares.

The said proposal aims to collect accommodations taxes on maintenance fees which have previously gone untaxed. According to Paul Goodrich, president of sales and marketing for SPM Resorts, which manages 33 timeshare resorts on the East Coast and in the Caribbean, including three on Hilton Head Island, the annual fees cover such things as roof replacement, management fees and property taxes. He stressed out that timeshare owners already pay accommodations taxes when they rent their property. So, they shouldn't have to pay those taxes on their maintenance fees.

On the other hand, Frans Mustert, a supporter of the proposal and also a Myrtle Beach hotelier who was also instrumental in crafting it, said that timeshare owners who only come to the state a few weeks a year are the same as tourists who rent hotel rooms and they should pay their fair share for the services and marketing.

The accommodations tax funds is drafted to go toward municipal services for tourists and out-of-state marketing for a destination. The legislature-appointed Taxation Realignment Commission estimates that the tax could generate about $10 million in the state. Most of the money would likely come from those vacation hot spots which have most of South Carolina's timeshare units like the Grand Strand or Hilton Head Island areas.

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