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FAQs: Property & Taxes
     
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Where can I find out my official E911 street address?
  Visit the E-911 Addressing Office (803-642-2054) in the Planning & Development Department in Kalmia Plaza. You will have to show them on a map where your house is located, and where your driveway comes off the road.
 
When can you file an appeal against the valuation of real property?
  An appeal must be filed in writing within 30 days of receiving the assessment notice. You must file your appeal with the County Assessor. Don't wait until your tax bill arrives to appeal your new value; it's too late then.
 
Who can file an appeal against the valuation of real property?
  The property owner has the right to appeal the new value assigned to their property if, after receiving their assessment notice, they disagree with the new value.
 
How do I get a building permit?
  For building permits located anywhere in the County except in the cities of Aiken and North Augusta, apply at the Planning & Development Department, Kalmia Plaza in Aiken (803-642-1518). You will need to bring two sets of construction plans, and know your tax parcel number. If you will not be using public sewer, a septic tank permit from DHEC is required. A building permit is required for any construction valued at $1,000 or more. A General Contractor's License is required for anyone constructing a non-residential building valued more than $5,000.

For building inside the cities of Aiken or North Augusta, please contact their building permit offices.
 
Must I notify someone before burning leaves or limbs in my yard?
  According to the SC Forestry Commission website, State law requires that you notify the Forestry Commission prior to burning outdoors. In most cases, the law applies to burning leaves, limbs and branches that you clean up from your yard. The notification law does not apply within town or city limits, but other local ordinances may apply within those areas; be sure to check with those local officials before burning. In Aiken County, dial toll-free 800-895-7057 for a quick, easy way to make your yard debris burning notification. Just dial the number, listen to the message, and leave your name, address and phone number. The law requires that you clear a firebreak around the burning site and have the right equipment available to keep the fire under control. You must also stay with the fire until it is completely safe. Please visit the Forestry Commission's website for more information on outdoor burning: www.state.sc.us/forest/fireburn.htm.
 
Where are deeds recorded?
  All records relating to property (deeds, mortgages, plats) are recorded in the RMC Office (803-642-2072) at 828 Richland Ave. W. in Aiken (the County Office Complex). Copies of deeds can be obtained at a minimal cost.
 
What is this thing on my tax bill about a fire fee?
  Fire fees are assessed by the fire departments on all properties located within their fire district. Fire departments do not get any tax money from Aiken County to operate the fire departments and must use fire fee money for operational expenses (equipment purchases, utilities, fuel, fire fighting supplies, etc.). Under terms of contracts with the county, a fire fee is assessed in the County budget ordinance for each fire district, and is billed on the County's property tax bill. If the fire fee is not paid by the time property taxes become delinquent, many of the fire departments have instructed the County to turn the unpaid fees over to a collection agency.

Please contact your fire department for more information about their fire fees.
 
How do I know which fire district I am in?
  Fire district boundaries were established by County Council in 1988. Most areas of the County are served by volunteer fire departments. Call the Planning Department Mapping Division at 803-642-7592 to see which fire department protects your house.
 
Who do I call to arrange for garbage pickup?
  If you live in one of the cities, call the city for information about garbage pickup. The County does not provide garbage pickup in the unincorporated area of the County. You will have to call a private company to get garbage picked up at your house.

All County residents can use the County Recycling Drop-off Centers to dispose of their household garbage. Please click here for more info and the Center closest to you.
 
Landfills - Where are they located, Hours of Operation and Holiday closing schedule.
  Aiken County no longer operates a public MSW landfill. You may take your garbage and recyclables to one of the Residential Recycling Drop-Off Centers listed here.

2013 Holiday Landfill and Convenience Center Operation Schedules

Construction debris and yard vegetative debris (no trash), and furniture can be taken (7 AM to 5 PM Monday through Saturday) to the Barden C & D Landfill located at 411 Connector Road in Graniteville. The County's Wagener C & D Landfill accepts the same type of debris plus dead animals. The Wagener Landfill is located at 1769 Wagener Trail Road (Hwy 138) approximately 4.5 miles southwest of Wagener, and is open Wednesdays from 7:30 am until 5:00 pm.

Holiday closings for all drop-off centers and landfills are January 1st, Martin Luther King Day, Good Friday, Memorial Day, July 4th, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day. If you have any questions, contact the Solid Waste Division of the Public Works & Engineering Department (803-642-1533).
 
How do I report littering or illegal dumping?
  Call the Litter Buster Hotline at (tollfree) 877-754-8837 to report littering. Call 502-STOP to report illegal dumping.
 
Where can I get County maps?
  The GIS Mapping Division (803-642-7592) of the Information Technology Department, located at Kalmia Plaza, has copies of County road maps for sale. The Official County Road Map Atlas, which includes all Federal, State, and County roads (paved and dirt), is also available for sale for $25.
 
If I paid off my mortgage, when will I get a copy of my deed?
  In South Carolina, you must own the property before you can mortgage it. Most likely, you would receive a copy of a deed when property was purchased. The mortgage company is responsible for satisfying your mortgage.
 
My neighbor has a house which is falling down and his pool is full of green slime. Who do I call?
  Call the Planning & Development Department at 803-642-1518 to obtain a Nuisance Complaint form which must be filled out and signed by five residents living within 1000 feet of the nuisance. Return the form to Planning & Development for action.

For health concerns, call the Environmental Sanitation Division of DHEC at 803-642-1637.
 
What are County office hours?
  County Offices are open from 8:30 am until 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday.
 
What days are County Offices closed?
  County Offices are closed on official holidays - New Year's Day, Martin Luther King's Birthday, Good Friday, Memorial Day, July 4th, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day and the day after Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
 
Do I need to record a Power of Attorney?
  Power of Attorney does not have to be recorded in the RMC office. However, most banks, hospitals, investment firms, etc. require them to be recorded. Recording a Power of Attorney document ensures that in the event the original is lost, a certified copy is always available.
 
How do I find out who owns a piece of property?
  The RMC Office records by the owner's name and legal description. If you do not have the owner's name, you can research the property in the Assessor's Office on the tax maps. By locating the piece of property on the tax map, a parcel number can be used to find the owner's name.
 
Recycling - What to recycle, Where to recycle and Holiday closing schedules.
  Aiken County no longer operates a public MSW landfill. You may take your garbage and recyclables to one of the Residential Recycling Drop-Off Centers listed here.

Citizens are requested to recycle cardboard, mixed paper (newspaper, junk mail, phone books, magazines, soft cover books, and hardbound books; No. 1 and 2 plastic bottles, aluminum cans, steel cans, wet cell batteries, scrap metal and appliances, vegetable oil, used oil, oil filters, oil bottles, and tires. Old MIXED FUEL may be taken to the Belvedere, Langley, or Reynolds Pond Drop-Off Centers and placed in the special (red) tank. NO waxed paper, vinyl coated paper, plastic cards, or trash is to be placed in recycling containers. To do so is considered ILLEGAL DUMPING and subjects one to court appearance with possible fines and/or several hours of community service time. Holiday closings for all drop-off centers and landfills are January 1st, Martin Luther King Day, Good Friday, Memorial Day, July 4th, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day. If you have any questions, contact the Solid Waste Division of the Public Works & Engineering Department (803/642-1533).
 
I have some paint/thinners/chemicals/ that need to be disposed of. Where can I take these?
  Please contact the Aiken County Solid Waste Division at 803-642-1533 for the proper procedures and locations to dispose of these hazardous wastes.
 
Is the information in the RMC Office online?
  In 2005 the RMC Office implemented a document indexing and imaging system. Deeds and other real estate documents are scanned and available for viewing immediately. The online index starts from 1982 and can be searched for and viewed in the eGov section of our website.
 
What is the Register of Mesne Conveyance Office?
  The Register of Mesne Conveyance (RMC) office handles all of the recordings of real estate in Aiken County. All mortgages, deeds, and plats of property, easements, and rights of way are recorded in this office. Also recorded are the South Carolina tax liens, federal tax liens, mechanics liens, and UCC finance statements. A law firm, bank, mortgage company, or individual may record these documents. After recording, these documents are microfilmed and are processed into a book form in the RMC Office. These records are public information. The RMC Office also records Military OD-214 forms. To obtain a copy, you must present a valid identification before the information can be released.
 
How far back do the County's RMC (deeds, etc.) records go?
  Records in the Aiken County RMC Office date back to 1872 and are public information.
 
What Does RMC stand for?
  Register of Mesne Conveyance
 
Do I have to come to the office to receive copies of the RMC records?
  You do not have to come into the office to receive copies of the RMC records; however, you must send a written request and $5.00 to receive the copies.
 
My road needs scraping. Who do I call?
  Roads are scraped approximately every six weeks. If your road needs attention, call the Public Works Department, Road and Bridges Division at 803-642-1532.
 
Who fixes potholes on roads?
  It depends if the road is a state road, a city road, or a County road.

State roads can be identified by black signs at the intersection (S-2-xxx). Call the SC DOT Highway Maintenance Department at 803-641-7665 to request repairs on a state road.

If you live in a city and the road is not a state road, call that City's Public Works Department.

If you live in the County and the road is not a State road, call the County Roads and Bridges Division at 803-642-1532.
 
What is the Senior Tax Workoff Program?
  This program allows citizens 60 years or older to work for Aiken County Departments to earn an amount equal to the Aiken County portion of their property taxes on their personal residence (school taxes are not included). This program applies only to the taxes on residential properties and does not apply to commercial properties. Please call the County Administrator's Office at 642-2012 to obtain more information or an application to participate in the program. You may Apply Online, or you may Download the Application and mail it.
 
What Are the Effects of Stormwater Pollution?
 
  • Health:       Stormwater pollution poses a serious health risk to people swimming or fishing in contaminated waters.
  • Environment: Countless plants and animals can become sick or die from contact with stormwater pollution.
 
I live at the top of a hill. Alternatively, I live at the bottom of a hill and everyone else’s storm water runoff impacts my property. Why do I have to pay the storm water fee?
  Water quality affects all residents in Aiken County and therefore, all property owners must pay their fair share of the costs to keep the rivers, lakes, and streams clean
 
What kinds of pollutants are sometimes found in stormwater runoff?
  Paint thinner and paint products, motor oil, pesticides, styrofoam cups, paper, human and animal feces, antifreeze, dirty diapers and dead animals are but a few of the possible pollutants found in stormwater runoff.
 
What is the County doing about illegal discharges into the storm drains?
  The County is developing an ordinance that will address illicit discharges. Enforcement of this ordinance is required as part of the NPDES permit requirements. County officials will be authorized to cite any person or persons caught discharging any illicit materials into a storm drain or waterbody.
 
What can a resident do when they notice a stormwater impact?
  The County Stormwater Manager is on hand to take calls or emails reporting stormwater impacts between the hours of 7:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. During non-business hours, calls can be made to the Sheriff’s Office who will contact the Stormwater Manager to respond to the report.
 
Here are some things home owners can do to help prevent water pollution:
 
  • Water your lawn only as needed
  • Use pesticides and fertilizers sparingly – use organic mulch or safer pest control whenever possible
  • Compost or mulch yard waste
  • Cover piles of dirt or mulch used in landscaping
  • Inspect your septic system every 3 years and pump your tank every 3 to 5 years
  • Dispose of household hazardous waste responsibly (avoid sinks or toilets)
  • Wash your car on your lawn so the water infiltrates into the ground
  • Repair leaks and dispose of used auto fluids and batteries at designated drop off or recycling locations
  • Pick up pet waste and dispose of it properly. Flushing is best.
 
Who do I contact if I have questions about Stormwater Management?
 
For questions, please contact the Aiken County Stormwater Manager:
By phone: 642-1535
By email: shutson@aikencountysc.gov
By mail:
Public Works and Engineering - Stormwater Division
Attn: Scottie Hutson, Acting Stormwater Manager
828 Richland Avenue West
Aiken, SC 29801
 
I have seen catch basin labels. How do I get a label for a catch basin near me?
  The County is developing a program to label catch basins. This program will allow civic groups and individuals to label storm drains in their neighborhoods or other areas of concern. If you are interested in helping with this effort please contact the Aiken County Stormwater Manager.
 
Do catch basins and storm drains get cleaned out?
  Yes, currently the County cleans catch basins and storm drains as needed. Under the new stormwater program a regular maintenance schedule will be developed as part of the County’s permit requirement, to insure the stormwater discharges meet SCDHEC quality guidelines.
 
What is a catch basin?
  A catch basin is a curbside, box-like receptacle that collects storm water runoff from the street and empties into the underground storm drain pipe which carries the runoff to our lakes and streams.
 
Are sewers and storm drains the same thing?
  No. They are two separate systems. Wastewater from homes, industry, etc. travels through the sanitary sewer system where it is treated at sewage treatment plants before reuse or discharge into the streams. Runoff from streets, parking lots, yards, etc. enters the storm drain system, receives no treatment, and flows directly to our lakes and streams.
 
How are Stormwater fees determined?
  Residential, agricultural, and commercial parcels with improvements are billed $24 annually. Manufacturing properties are charged based on a the commonly accepted rate for stormwater fees know as the Equivalent Residential Unit (ERU). This is a descriptive value based on the property's size and the amount of solid surfaces on it, such as parking lots.
 
What is a Stormwater Fee?
  The Stormwater Fee is a fee generated to finance Aiken County’s efforts to first remove and/or eliminate pollutants from the stormwater system before they are able to contaminate our lakes and streams and second meet the guidelines set forth by the EPA and SCDHEC.
 
What is the ultimate goal of NPDES permitting?
  The goal of NPDES permitting is to improve and protect the quality of our nation’s waterways by eliminating pollution from stormwater runoff to the maximum extent practicable.
 
What is an impervious surface?
  Impervious surface means those improved, harder-surfaced areas that either prevent or inhibit the natural entry of water into the soil. Rooftops, buildings, streets, parking lots, sidewalks, asphalt, concrete, other paving, driveways, gravel, patios, artificial turf and storage areas are all examples of impervious surfaces.
 
Is the Stormwater Fee considered a tax?
  No, the stormwater fee is not a tax. It is a fee generated to finance the County’s Stormwater Program, which is tasked with the responsibility of minimizing or eliminating pollutants from the County stormwater system.
 
How do I dispute my Stormwater fee?
  Please see information regarding the Stormwater Appeal Process.
 
How is the Stormwater Fee billed?
  The Stormwater Fee is billed in conjunction with yearly real property tax notices. The Stormwater Fee will appear on your real property tax bill and will be collected by the County Treasurer with your property taxes.
 
What is the NPDES permit?
 

NPDES stands for National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System, which is the compliance system for the Clean Water Act. The NPDES permit requires municipalities, like Aiken County, that discharge storm water to the waters of the United States meet minimum federal water quality requirements trough the implementation of six minimum control measures. The six minimum control measures that Aiken County must adhere to are outlined below.
1.   Public Education and Outreach
Distribute educational materials and perform outreach to inform citizens about the impacts polluted stormwater runoff discharges can have on water quality.
2.   Public Participation/Involvement
Provide opportunities for citizens to participate in program development and implementation.
3.   Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination
Develop, implement, and enforce a program to detect and eliminate illicit discharges to the storm sewer system (includes developing a system map and informing the community about hazards associated with illegal discharges and improper disposal of waste).
4.   Construction Site Runoff Control
Develop, implement, and enforce an erosion and sediment control program for construction activities.
5.   Post-Construction Runoff Control
Develop, implement, and enforce a program to address discharges of post-construction stormwater runoff from new development and redevelopment areas.
6.   Pollution Prevention/Good Housekeeping
Develop and implement a program with the goal of preventing or reducing pollutant runoff from municipal operations. The program must include municipal staff training on pollution prevention measures and techniques (e.g., regular street sweeping, reduction in the use of pesticides, or frequent catch-basin cleaning).

 
What is Stormwater?
  Stormwater runoff is the most common cause of water pollution. It occurs when rainwater runs off buildings, driveways, roads, sidewalks, and lawns, and as it flows, it collects pollutants such as animal waste, trash sediment, chemicals, grease, and oils and transports them to the municipal storm system which ultimately leads to local rivers and streams without treatment.
 
Am I still charged the stormater fee even if it does not rain for a long time?
  Yes. The pollution potential is actually much greater when it has not rained in a long time because pollutants can build up on all impervious surfaces. In any storm, the initial runoff, or first flush, is the most contaminated. Contrary to what some people believe, stormwater charges are not based upon rainfall. Costs are incurred to reduce pollution. Rainwater is simply the carrier that transports the pollutants to open waterways.
 
What happens if the County does nothing or refuses to comply with the permit?
  Should the County choose not to comply with the permit, SCDHEC and/or the EPA may issue penalties for willful non-compliance that can reach up to $75,000 per day with each day a separate offense or imprisonment, or both.
 
Hasn't the county always had storm drains? Nothing has changed at my home or business. Why am I being charged now when I wasn't several years ago?
  Yes, the County has had storm drains for a long time. However, the federal regulations that require a comprehensive stormwater quality management program are new. The stormwater fee enables the County to meet its responsibility of instituting programs designed to remove and/or eliminate pollutants from the stormwater system before they can contaminate our lakes and streams.
 
What is an ERU?
  An ERU (Equivalent Residential Unit) is the average size of a residential home in Aiken County.
 
How do I transfer a tag (license plate)?
  The transfer of a license plate is handled through the State's Department of Motor Vehicles (SCDMV). A visit to the County's Auditor's office is not needed when a license plate is being transferred. There are certain requirements in ownership and weight of the vehicle that the plate is being transferred from and also the vehicle it will be transferred onto. Contacting one of the local SCDMV would be advisable prior to their visit.

SCDMV locations in Aiken County (showing address and phone numbers):

Aiken
North Augusta
 
I have paid a tax lien, but it is still on my credit report. Will you take it off, or write a letter that it is paid?
  The RMC office records the original tax liens and satisfies and / or releases them upon notification from SC Department of Revenue or Internal Revenue Services (IRS). The credit reporting agencies gather the information once the liens are recorded, but only rarely do you ever pickup when the lien is satisfied or released. If the tax lien has been satisfied and/or released, you may obtain a copy and send it to the credit reporting agencies and ask that the liens be removed from your credit report.
 
I think my property taxes are too high. What causes this?
  Please click here for more information about taxes in Aiken County.
 
I did not get a tax bill. Who do I call?
  Please call the Auditor's Office at 803-642-1510.
 
How do I register my vehicle?
  Bring your title or old car registration form to the Auditor's Office. The Auditor's Office will issue you a tax bill, which must be paid in the Treasurer's Office in the same building.

Take your paid tax receipt and title or car registration to the SC Division of Motor Vehicles at 1755 Richland Avenue Eastin Aiken or 1913 Ascauga Lake Road in North Augusta to complete the registration and obtain your tag.

For questions concerning vehicle registration, contact the SC DMV at 800/442-1368 or visit their website at www.scdmv.org.
 
How do I know if my vehicle qualifies for a high mileage discount?
  We have a chart provided to us by the Department of Revenue for mileage adjustments. You can contact the Auditors office by calling 642-1510 or e-mail auditor@aikencountysc.gov and give us your mileage and year of your vehicle to find out if you are eligible.
 
Who provides water in my area?
  The County has no control over water providers in the county. Check with your next door neighbor to see who is the water provider. Please click here for a list of the public water providers in Aiken County.
 
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