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Cities use hotel taxes to pay for development and upkeep projects, but making taxes too high has the unintended effect of decreasing business within hotels and pushing tourists away with high prices.

Travelers in South Carolina wouldn’t pay additional taxes for spa treatments and other conveniences that can be added to hotel bills under a bill approved by the House.

The measure approved Tuesday would delete certain items from the additional 5 percent accommodations taxes on lodging. Another perfunctory vote on Wednesday would send it to the Senate.

Whether travelers pay the tax can depend on how they pay, and legislators say that’s unfair.

For example, it’s not added if someone pays for a massage at the hotel spa. But if they sign for the service, and it’s added to their tab, they do.

Other items the bill exempts from the fee include promotional tourist packages and entertainment.

An amendment specifies that the tax can apply to room service, dry cleaning and in-room movies.

Copyright (2013) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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Tags: south carolina, taxes

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