South Carolina Property Taxes

The following information has been provided by the SC Association of Realtors & Dave Edwards:
When you purchase a home, the assessor can raise the assessed value of your home to the current sales price (point of sale assessment). SC Property taxes are calculated by the formula below:
            (Millage rate x Assessment Ratio x Value) – Tax Credits
            Set by local          4%-Primary Home         Set by           Set by
            Elected                 6%-Rental,                Assessor       Elected
            Officials                commercial, land                             Officials
Assessment Caps
New laws limit the increase on assessed property VALUE to 15 percent every five years. The cap is removed if the property is involved in an “assessable transfer.”
Assessable Transfers:                                                     
  • Sale of property                     
  • Rent-to-own
  • Transfer to/from trusts
  • Transfer by will
  • Long-term lease (20 years)
  • Corporate transfers
  • Changes in zoning/rollback taxes
Exempt Transfers:
  • Any IRS-exempt transfer
  • Transfer to spouse (divorce)
  • Insurance rebuilds (fire, etc.)
  • Foreclosure, forfeiture, deed in lieu
  • Life estates
  • Tax sales
  • Security interests
Reduce your tax liability:
  • Apply for the legal residence tax ratio of 4% (only one legal residence is allowed)
  • Appeal the tax assessor’s appraisal if it is too high
  • Apply for all eligible tax credits (school operations, disability, senior citizen).
Note: Elected officials set the county millage tax rate. Be proactive by voting.
Estimating Property Tax
Consult your attorney or accountant to determine how factors such as point of sale assessment may increase your property taxes. Buyers should get a written tax estimate from their tax assessor prior to closing, at the latest. SC Association of Realtors recommends that buyers get a tax estimate prior to contract.
  • Discuss this information with your attorney or tax accountant.
  • You are responsible for paying your property taxes every year.
  • If you fail to pay your property taxes, you will lose your property.
  • Budget: Taxes, insurance, and possibly your interest rate may increase every year. 
  • Improvements, additions and remodeling add to your home’sassessed value and will increase your taxes.
  • Review the summary of property tax bills from the SC Statehouse.