The Assessor conducts an assessment and valuation of all real property (land and buildings) in Lexington County except for those properties assessed by the South Carolina Department of Revenue (e.g. manufacturing facilities). The Assessor's Office also operates a Reassessment Division, Maintenance/Mobile Homes Division, Mapping Division, and the Assessment Records Division.
The primary duties of the Assessor's Office are to inventory all real estate parcels, maintain the property tax mapping system, and maintain property ownership records. It also adds and values new properties and conducts a reassessment of all properties every five years. Lexington County implemented a countywide reassessment in 2015. The next Legislative mandated reassessment is scheduled for 2020.
Assessing properties is an ongoing process that requires continual corrections and record maintenance. Changes of address, new property or home sales, and changes in land uses of a specific area must be taken into account for accurate tax maps and valuations. The Assessor's Office must keep track of any changes in the 127,000* parcels in Lexington County. The department analyzed, researched, and processed 12,358* deeds in 2014 along with tracking changes to the 22,680* mobile homes registered with the County.
Technological advances allow for a more accurate description of a property and calculation of its value. Maps are digitally created from aerial photographs, which become a key part of the County's Geographic Information System database. Computer assisted mass appraisal software is then utilized to assist in valuing properties based on the GIS database as well as property-specific data generated through building permit data and field inspections.
Property taxes continue to represent the main source of revenue for school districts, special tax districts and general-purpose units of local government under the taxing authority established by the general law of the State of South Carolina. They fund schools, libraries, law enforcement, courts, jails, and other public safety services. Consequently, the Assessor's Office provides an essential function for all entities in the County that rely on property tax revenues.