The Homestead Exemption Program exempts $50,000 from the value of your legal residence for property tax purposes. You may qualify if:
- You hold complete fee simple title or life estate to your primary residence.
- As of December 31 preceding the tax year of the exemption, you were a legal resident of South Carolina for one calendar year.
- As of December 31 preceding the tax year of the exemption:
- you were 65 years of age, or
- you were declared totally and permanently disabled by a state or federal agency having the authority to make such a declaration, or
- you were legally blind as certified by a licensed ophthalmologist.
If the three statements above are true, you are qualified to receive the Homestead Exemption. Please provide the Berkeley County Auditor’s Office with the following:
- Applying due to age: Birth Certificate, Passport, or State issued ID
- Any Person listed on the deed or title: Social Security Card (with SS# on card), Tax Return (with SS#) or Legal document (with SS#)
- If the property is held in a trust, please provide us with a copy of the Certificate of Trust.
As the surviving spouse of a qualified or potentially qualified Homestead recipient, you may also receive the benefit if you are the surviving spouse of a person who was not otherwise qualified for the Homestead Exemption on December 31 proceeding the tax year for which the exemption is claimed, but was 65 years of age, legally blind, or permanently disabled at the time of his death, and meet the ownership and residency requirements as defined above.
To Apply contact the Berkeley County Auditor’s Office for application information and assistance.
You will need the following documents:
- Proof of your eligibility is required.
- If you are applying due to age, bring your birth certificate, Medicaid card, driver’s license or passport.
- If you are applying due to disability, you will need to present documentation from the state or federal agency certifying the disability showing your date of entitlement.
- If you are applying due to blindness, you will need to present documentation from a licensed ophthalmologist showing the effective date.
- If your property is deeded into a Trust, and you are the income beneficiary of the trust, you will need to present a copy of the trust agreement.
You do not need to re-apply each year except in the event of the death of the eligible owner, or if you move to a new home.
Any of the following changes that may affect your eligibility must be reported to your County Auditor immediately:
- Change in disability status.
- Any change in ownership.
- Rental of your home.
- Remarriage of the surviving spouse.
You may be eligible for exemption of property taxes through the South Carolina Department of Revenue on your home and up to one acre of the land on which the home is located if you are:
- a 100% totally and permanently disabled veteran, law enforcement officer or firefighter with a service-connected disability.
- a paraplegic or hemiplegic or have Parkinson’s Disease, Multiple Sclerosis or Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis.
- the spouse of a veteran, a law enforcement officer or a firefighter who is killed in the line of duty.
An application may be obtained from the Auditor’s Office or downloaded here.
The Soldiers and Sailors Relief Act exempts military personnel, whose HOME OF RECORD is somewhere other than the State of South Carolina, from paying Berkeley County Personal Property Taxes, if the following provisions are met:
- You are a military person stationed in Berkeley County
- Your HOME OF RECORD is somewhere other than the State of South Carolina
- On registering your vehicle or other personal property in Berkeley County, you provide a current (PERIOD COVERED IS CURRENT OR TWO MONTHS PRIOR) LES or an Affidavit of Domicile (obtained from your Joint Legal Office) to the Berkeley County Auditor.
- A title, bill of sale or current registration from another state must be presented at the office of the Auditor along with an ORIGINAL Affidavit of domicile or a photocopy registered in Berkeley County for that particular calendar year. An LES is good for the current month up to two months prior to the current month.
- The personal property (vehicles, watercraft items or a mobile home used as a residence must be singularly titled in the name of the military person in order to qualify for a 100% exemption or must be housed aboard a military installation and is titled in the names of people in addition to the military person that the property would be subject to half of the taxes normally due on said property. In addition, leased vehicles may now be exempt from property taxes also. Application for military exemption on personal property must be made in person or by someone acting on behalf of the military person.
If you are a POW, a Medal of Honor recipient, have a 100% permanent and total service connected VA disability, or require the use of a wheel chair, you may be exempt from property taxes on up to two (2) vehicles. You may obtain applications from the Auditor’s Office.
In order to get vehicles totally exempt, only lease companies and spouses can be on the title; anyone else’s name on the title will cause the exemption to be lost.
All marine equipment, which includes boats, motors and trailers valued at $500 or less is exempt from property taxes.
All new manufacturing establishments are exempt from county property taxes for five years from the time of establishment.