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FOR YOUR INFORMATION

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, watercraft, motorcycles, aircraft, and items used in business such as furniture, fixtures and equipment.

Fair Market Value - The amount for which property can reasonably be expected to sell on the open market with a willing buyer and a willing seller.

Assessment Ratio - The percentage of your property's value that is subject to taxation. For example, the assessment ratio of owner occupied residential property is 4%. Multiply your home's fair market value by the assessment ratio of 4% to determine the assessed value.

Assessed Value - An appraisal or fair market value of real or personal property multiplied by the appropriate corresponding ratio equals the assessment or assessed value. Assessed value multiplied by the millage rate equals the amount of property tax due.

Millage Rate - The amount of mills levied in order to meet the budget of a school district, county, city or other political subdivision. One mill equals 1/1000 of a dollar or 1/10 of a cent. If the tax rate is 194.9 mills, multiply .1949 by the assessed value to determine the amount of property tax due.

HOW IS MY PROPERTY TAXED?
The South Carolina Constitution provides for the following ratios to be applied to the market value or use value of property to arrive at the assessed value:

  • Your home (legal residence): 4.0%

  • Second home (or any residential property where you do not live): 6.0%

  • Agriculture real property (privately owned): 4.0%

  • Agricultural property (corporate owned): 6.0%

  • Commercial real property: 6.0%

  • Manufacturing real and personal property: 10.5%

  • Utility real and personal property: 10.5%

  • Personal property: 10.5%

  • Railroads, airlines, pipelines (real and personal property): 9.5%

  • Personal passenger motor vehicles: 6.0%

  • Business motor vehicles: 10.5%


HOW DO I GET THE BEST TAX RATE FOR MY HOME?
If you own a home, you want to be sure to obtain the 4% assessment rate if you live in the home and claim it as your legal residence. Otherwise, your tax rate will be 6%. To obtain the lower rate, you will need to complete an application with the County Assessor. This should be done as soon as you move into your home, but may be filed anytime before January 15, when taxes are due. Once you have filed this application, you will not need to complete another one, unless there is a deed name change, or use of the property changes. Call 803.642.1583 for information.

ARE THERE ANY AVAILABLE PROPERTY TAX BREAKS?
For all homeowners - Each homeowner is allowed an exemption up to $100,000 of the home's fair market value from property taxes for school operating costs based on the 1995 millage (81.8). This exemption applies only to your legal residence, not to second homes, vacation homes or rental homes. No application is needed for this exemption, it will automatically be reflected in your tax bill.

Homestead exemption - If as of December 31 preceding the tax year of the exemption you were 65 years of age or older, or if you were totally disabled or legally blind, and lived in South Carolina for at least one year as of December 31, you may qualify for the homestead exemption. The homestead exemption excludes the first $50,000 from the fair market value of your legal residence. Application for the homestead exemption should be made at the County Auditor's office. Call 803.642.1514 for information.

For certain military veterans that are 100% disabled service connected, or law enforcement officers and servicemen killed in the line of duty, paraplegics, quadriplegics and hemiplegics - A house and one acre of land on which the house is located is exempt from property tax for veterans who are totally disabled from a service-related disability or for their surviving spouse, for the surviving spouse of a military person or law enforcement officer killed in the line of duty, and for paraplegics, hemiplegics, quadriplegics or their surviving spouses. Application should be made through the South Carolina Department of Revenue. Call 803.898.5482 for information.
 
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