South Carolina Property Tax : Charleston SC Real Estate

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South Carolina Property Tax

Overall, South Carolina has one of the lowest per capita tax rates in the country. Real and Personal Property tax is administered and collected by local governments with assistance from the South Carolina Department of Revenue. The local millage rate (set at the local level) is applied to the assessed value to determine the annual tax.

How the Tax is Figured

Each class of property is assessed at a ratio unique to that type of property. The assessment ratio is applied to the market value of the property to determine the assessed value of the property. Each county and municipality then applies its millage rate to the assessed value to determine the tax due. The millage rate is equivalent to the tax per $1,000 of assessed value. For example, if the millage rate is 200 mills and the assessed value of the property is $1,000, the tax on that property is $200.

Assessment Ratios

The following class specific percentages are used to determine the assessed value of the property for purposes of taxation:

Primary Residences 4.0% of fair market value
Agricultural Property (privately owned) 4.0% of use value
Agricultural Property (corporate owned) 6.0% of use value
Other real estate (such as investment property) 6.0% of fair market value

Sample Calculation

  • Appraised Value x Assessment Ratio = Total Assessment
  • Total Assessment x Millage Rate = Initial Estimated Property Tax*
  • Tax Credit Factor **(only if applicable) x Appraised Value = Credit
  • Initial Estimated Property Tax – Credit = Total Estimated Tax

For Example:
A $150,000 house x 4% assessment (primary residence) = $6,000
$6,000 x .3133 (Millage Rate) = $1880
Tax credit factor .00229 (if applicable) x $150,000 = $344 Tax Credit
$1880 - $344 (Tax Credit) = $1536 Total Estimated Tax

* Always check with your county assessor as other charges may apply
** Property Tax Credits are applied in Charleston and Berkeley Counties.

County Tax Assessor’s Contact List

Berkeley CountyCharleston CountyDorchester County
www.co.berkeley.sc.us www.charlestoncounty.org www.dorchestercounty.net
(843) 723-3800 (843) 958-4200 (843) 563-0162 or (843) 832-0162

Cut your property taxes!

Do you own and reside in your home?

  • If you have lived in your primary residence for at least one year and 65 years of age or older by December 31 of the preceding year; or if you are certified totally and permanently disabled or blind, you may qualify for the Homestead Exemption. Up to the first $50,000 of your home's appraised value could be totally exempt from taxes. Contact the Auditor’s Office Homestead Exemption Section (843) 958-4220 – Up to the first $50,000 of your home’s fair market value could be tax exempt.
  • If your home qualifies as your primary residence, contact the Assessor's office at (843) 958-4100 to apply for the four percent Primary Residence assessment ratio if your property is not already classified as QR-Qualified Residential. You can also apply for the Agricultural Farmland Assessment at the Assessor’s Office.
  • If you are a military veteran who is totally disabled from a service-related cause, the surviving spouse of a military person who was killed in the line of duty or totally disabled from a service-related cause, you may be qualified for exemption from property taxes on a house and up to one acre of land on which the house is located. Application should be made through the S.C. Department of Revenue (DOR). There is a local DOR Service Center at 3 Southpark Center, Suite 202, next to Citadel Mall (Phone: 843-852-3600).
  • If you are a paraplegic or hemiplegic, or their surviving spouse, you may be qualified for exemption from property taxes on a house and up to one acre of land on which the house is located. Application should be made through the S.C. Department of Revenue. There is a local DOR Service Center at 3 Southpark Center, Suite 202, next to Citadel Mall (Phone: 843-852-3600).
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