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South Carolina Homestead Exemption Program 

 

How the Homestead Exemption Program Can Reduce Your Property Tax Bill

 

Do I Qualify? 

  1. I hold complete fee simple title or life estate to my primary residence. 
  2. As of December 31, preceding the tax year of the exemption, I
    was a legal resident of South Carolina for one year
  3. As of December 31, preceding the tax year of the exemption, I
    * was 65 years of age, or
    * was declared totally and permanently disabled by a state or federal agency having the authority to make such a  declaration, or
    * was legally blind as certified by a licensed ophthalmologist.

If statements 1, 2, and 3 are true, you are qualified to receive the Homestead Exemption.

 

Surviving Spouse Benefit


The surviving spouse of a qualified or potentially qualified Homestead recipient may also receive the benefit if:

  • You are the surviving spouse of a qualified Homestead recipient
  • You are the surviving spouse of a person who was not otherwise qualified for the Homestead Exemption but failed to make application in the year that they would have received the exemption at the time of his/her death.
  • And, If you remarry, you would not qualify for the surviving spouse benefit for the Homestead Exemption.
     
  • When can I apply for the Homestead Exemption on my primary residence?


    The Lexington County Homestead Coordinator may accept applications during the following periods:

     

    • Pre-application Period
      The year that you turn 65 or classified 100% disabled or legally blind, apply between July 16th and December 31st.
    • Application Period
      The year after you turned 65 or classified 100% disabled or legally blind, apply between January 1st and July 15th. 
    • Post-application Period
      Apply between July 16th and before the first penalty date of the tax year that the exemption can first be claimed.
    • If you apply during the post-application period and you qualify, you may be eligible for a refund for the preceding year.
       

    Where do I apply?


    You may apply for the Homestead Exemption at the Lexington County Auditor’s office. If you are unable to go to the Auditor’s office, an agent can make an application on your behalf.

     

    What documents are needed?


    Proof of your eligibility is required.

    1. If you are applying due to age, bring your birth certificate or Medicare card, and your South Carolina Driver’s License.
    2. If you are applying due to disability, you will need to present documentation from the state or federal agency certifying the disability and your South Carolina Driver’s License or South Carolina Identification.
    3. If you are applying due to blindness, you will need to present documentation from a licensed ophthalmologist and your photo Identification.

    Do I need to re-apply annually?

    No. It is not necessary to reapply annually, except when there is a change of ownership as a result of death or a change in occupancy.

     

    When is it necessary to reapply?

     

    It is necessary to reapply when one of the following occurs:

  • Change in disability status
  • Change in ownership
  • Rental of your home
  • Remarriage of the surviving spouse
     
  • What is the benefit?

     

    The program exempts the first $50,000 of the value of your home from all property taxes. See the following examples:

     

                                                              Example Without Credit           Example With Credit                       

    Value of Home                                             $ 62,500                                      $ 62,500        

    Less Homestead Credit                            $      -0-                                         $ 50,000       

    “New” Value of Home                                 $ 62,500                                      $ 12,500

    Multiplied by 4% ratio =                                  2,500                                           500

    Multiplied by millage                                      .285                                              .285 

    Total taxes due =                                        $ 712.50                                      $ 142.50

     

    **This is an example and may not apply the same benefit for your property.
     

    Assistance


    The Lexington County Homestead Exemption Program Coordinator will answer any questions regarding eligibility status and application procedures. Please call (803) 785-8448 to talk to the Lexington County Homestead Exemption Program Coordinator.

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