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Property Tax Bills


Q.  Why was my tax bill sent to the wrong place? 


A.  For real property, the County Assessor’s Office supplies mailing addresses that were provided by the property owner at the time a deed was recorded or a tax discount application was filed.  If a mailing address has changed, the taxpayer should notify the Assessor’s Office.   As a convenience to taxpayers, the Treasurer will forward address correction information to the Assessor’s Office that is submitted on the space provided below the perforated “Detach” line on the bottom right side of the tax bill.


Q.  What property is this tax bill for?


A.  Information at the top of the tax bill identifies the property that this tax bill is for.  Three items at the top of a real estate tax bill that identify the property are:  LEGAL DESCRIPTION, PROPERTY LOCATION, AND TMS NUMBER.  The TMS number is the number used to track the market value, assessment, and ownership information on the property.  The RECEIPT NUMBER identifies the particular tax bill you have received.  The RECEIPT NUMBER is used to track the actual tax bill and its payment status.


Q.  My business just closed.  I don’t have to pay property tax for property related to the closed business, do I?


A.  The status of the business on December 31 determined the tax liability for the next tax year.  Whatever business property was taxable then requires that the taxes be paid by the current owner of the property or on behalf of the current owner if otherwise negotiated if the property was sold or transferred since that time.


Q.  What are all the numbers at the bottom of the tax bill?


A.  These numbers make it possible to process your payment more efficiently.  The numbers are a code that can be read by an optical scanner thereby automating the receipt of payments paid by mail.


Q.  My mother deeded her house to me and now I got the tax bill.  Why? 


A.  The owner of property as of December 31 is the “owner of record” for the next tax year under state law.  That owner’s name is shown in the upper left corner of the tax bill.  If the Assessor’s records show that the property changed hands after December 31 but before August 31 of the next year, the tax bill is being mailed to the current owner.  In most cases, arrangements for the payment of taxes for properties changing hands after December 31 will have been handled at the deed closing.  Since the person having current ownership has the most at stake in seeing to it that the property tax bill is timely paid, the bill is being mailed to that person to follow up with the steps necessary for payment.


Q.  What should I do if I receive a tax bill for property that I owned on December 31 but later sold?


A.  If you can’t remember the arrangements made on how the taxes would be paid, you may wish to contact someone involved with the closing that will remember, such as the real estate agent or closing attorney.  It would be helpful to the new owner to forward to him or her the original bill and retain a copy for your records.


Q.  What if I expected to but did not receive a real property tax bill or my bill has an error on it?


A.  It is to your advantage to make sure that you receive a bill for any property taxes that you should be paying and that the bill is correct.  Responsibility for the tax does not go away if there is a problem that goes undetected; the responsibility for the correct tax payment simply builds up from year to year.  For questions on real property (land, buildings, and mobile homes), call the Assessor’s Office, 785-8190.  For questions on all other property, please call the County Auditor’s Office 785-8181.


Q.  Does the tax bill for my land include the tax for my mobile home?


A.   If you receive two real property tax bills, check them carefully because one is probably for your land and the other for your mobile home (unless you own other real property in addition to your mobile home or lot).  If you received just one tax bill and there is any question in your mind about whether the mobile home taxes have been included you can get the answer by calling the Assessor’s Office mobile home division at 785-8367.