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Why the sales tax on a meal is 11.5% in Myrtle Beach

We get this question periodically… How much is the total sales tax on a restaurant meal in Myrtle Beach? And here’s the answer, with a breakdown of the different taxes and fees and the jurisdictions which charge them. The total tax on a restaurant meal is 11.5 percent in the Myrtle Beach city limits, or 10.5 percent elsewhere in Horry County.
• Tax on prepared food (includes restaurant meals) 11.5% – (5% State Sales Tax + 1% State Tax Relief + 1% Local Education Capital Improvements Sales Tax + 1% RIDE 3 Fee + 2.5% City and County Hospitality Fees + 1% Tourism Development Fee = 11.5%)
The 5% State Sales Tax goes to the state for general operations; the 1% State Tax Relief is used by the state as a rebate on local school taxes; the 1% Local Education Capital Improvements Sales Tax is charged by the local schools and higher education institutions to pay for education-related capital projects; the 1% RIDE 3 Fee is charged by the county to pay for a significant list of road improvement projects (RIDE stands for Road Improvement Development Effort); the 2.5% Hospitality Fee is charged by the city and county for a variety of projects; and the 1% Tourism Development Fee is charged by the City of Myrtle Beach, with 80% of the TDF revenue used for out-of-market tourism advertising and the remaining 20% used for tourism-related capital projects and a city property tax credit for owner-occupied homes.