How do property taxes work?
There are three parts to the property tax system:
- The Tax Rate – This amount is usually reflected in the mills or millage rate.
- Assessment Ratio – The percentage of the property’s value that is subject for taxation according to South Carolina State Law.
- Fair Market Value – A reasonable amount for which property can be sold to a willing buyer.
What does the term Assessment Ratio mean?
Assessment Ratio is the percentage of your property’s value which is subject for taxation. The South Carolina Constitution provides for the following ratios to be applied to the market or use the value of property to arrive at the assessed value:
- Home (legal residence) 4%
- Second Home (for any residential property where you do not live) 6%
- Agriculture real property (private owned) 4%
- Agriculture real property (corporate owned) 6%
- Commercial real property 6%
- Manufacturing real and personal property 10.5%
- Utility real and personal property 10.5%
- Railroads, pipelines 9.5%
- Aircraft 6%
- Watercraft 10.5%
- Business Personal Property 10.5%
- Vehicles 6%
When is my payment considered late if mailed?
- The postmark must be no later than the date due to avoid a late penalty.
- If the due date should fall on a weekend or a holiday, the due date would be the following business day.
To whom do I dispute my vehicle tax amount to?
There are three ways to dispute your vehicle tax bill:
- Vehicle Taxes – You may appeal any vehicle property tax on your vehicle by contacting the Auditor’s Office. You may apply for a reduction of taxes based on a dealership giving you a written appraisal (complete with the vehicle’s make, model, year, and vin number) signed and dated by a manager. According to State Law, this appeal must be done by the last day of the month in which the tag expires. If you miss this deadline, you cannot appeal your tax bill for that year.
- High Mileage – The high mileage section on the tax bill may be completed and faxed, emailed, mailed or brought into the office for an updated bill. You must apply before the last day of the month in which the tag expires.
- Car Dealership Purchase – These bills may only be appealed by the bill of sale or buyers order. The sticker or cash price (rebates cannot be included) must be less that the appraised value on your bill. According to State Law, this appeal must be done by the 120-day mark from the date of purchase of the vehicle. If you miss this deadline, you cannot appeal your bill until the renewal year.