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State accommodations tax applications available 

The Beaufort County Accommodations Tax Board is now accepting applications from tourism-related organizations wanting to receive grants from the two percent state accommodations tax fund.

State law allows for a 2% tax levy on the rental of all transient accommodations to help provide financial support to fund tourism-related projects and events. As a result, individuals staying overnight in hotels, motels, inns, and vacation rentals pay 2% above the cost of their lodging.

An application can also be found on the Accommodations Tax Board website at http://www.bcgov.net/departments/Administrative/beaufort-county-council/boards-and-commissions/council-appointed/board-list/accommodations-tax/index.php.

Applications are due Friday, November 21, 2014 before 5 p.m. and must be emailed to atax@bcgov.net.

For questions or more information, email Joy Nelson at jnelson@bcgov.net or call 843-255-2250.

Beaufort County keeps high bond ratings

Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services and Moody’s Investors Services affirmed high ratings for Beaufort County’s general obligation bonds. Standard & Poor’s awarded Beaufort County an AA+ long-term rating while Moody’s Investors gave Beaufort County a rating of Aa1. Both the Aa1 and AA+ are next to the highest (AAA) credit rating that can be received from the rating agencies. The high credit rating allows the county to obtain more favorable interest rates on borrowing thereby saving the county substantial amounts of money over the course of the life of the bond.

Moody’s Investors Services rating gives the county a stable outlook. Its report stated, “the Aa1 rating reflects the county’s healthy reserve levels, a tourism-based economy that has driven rapid tax base expansion, a wealthy demographic profile and a manageable debt burden.”

“Despite a tough financial year in 2014, these credit ratings show how Beaufort County is fiscally responsible and despite challenges, we continue to make financial decisions that benefit the residents of Beaufort County,” said Beaufort County Administrator Gary Kubic.