Property Tax Definitions




Ad Valorem Tax – (Latin for according to value) A tax imposed on properties in proportion to each property’s value. The most common are the ad valorem taxes on real and personal property, which are based on either the assessed or the appraised values.

Real Property – All land and the buildings, structures, or improvements on that land.

Personal Property – All things other than real estate which have value such as cars, trucks, boats, motorcycles, and airplanes, and items used in businesses such as furniture, fixtures, and equipment. All questions regarding personal property should be directed to the Auditor’s Office.

Fair Market Value (FMV) – Value as defined by 12-37-930 which states that “All property must be valued for taxation at its true value in money which in all cases is the price which the property would bring following reasonable exposure to the market, where both the seller and the buyer are willing, are not acting under compulsion, and are reasonably well informed of the uses and purposes for which it is adapted and for which it is capable of being used.”

Property Tax Value (PTV) or Capped Value – Each political subdivision shall value real property by a method in which the value of each parcel of real property, adjusted for improvements and losses, does not increase more than fifteen percent every five years unless an assessable transfer of interest occurs. Value as limited by Article 25 Chapter 39 of Title 12.

Assessed Property Value – The amount of a property’s value that is subject to be taxed, as determined by the Assessor. To determine the assessed value, the property tax value(PTV) is multiplied by the appropriate assessment ratio as noted below.

  •   Owner-occupied and agricultural properties are assessed at 4 percent of their appraised value.
  •   Commercial and non owner-occupied residential properties are assessed at 6 percent of their appraised value.
  •   Manufacturing properties are assessed at 10.5 percent of the appraised value (determined by the S.C. Department of Revenue).
Reassessment – Process required by state law to determine the change in market value of property over a certain period of time in order to provide equity among taxpayers. Reassessment is a revaluation of real estate. Presently State Law requires each County to reassess every five(5) years.

Assessable Transfer of Interest (ATI) – A transfer of an existing interest in real property that subjects the real property to reappraisal. For purposes of this definition, an existing interest in real property includes a life estate interest.

Millage Rate –The amount of mills levied in order to meet the budget of a school district, county, city, or other political subdivision. One mil equals 1/1000 of a dollar or 1/10 of a cent. If the tax rate is 239 mills, multiply .239 by the assessed value to determine the amount of property tax due.



Government Center, 1930 University Pkwy | Aiken, SC 29801 Aiken County Government | © 2018