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II.  Property Tax

 

1.   How does the property tax system work?
2.   What do you mean by assessment?
3.   If I mail my tax payment, what is the last date it can be postmarked before being considered late?
4.   Who do I complain to about high taxes?
5.   What is the value of a mill and does it change?
6.   How do I apply for a Military Exemption on my mobile home?
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1.  How does the property tax system work?

  • In simplified terms, there are three elements to South Carolina's property tax system:
    • Tax rate
    • Assessment ratio, and
    • Market value.
  • The tax rate is generally reflected in "mills," or "millage rate."
  • A mill is simply a unit of monetary value equal to one tenth of a cent, or one thousandth of a dollar.
  • For example, a tax rate of 150 mills translates to $.150 (15 cents) tax per $1.00 of assessed value.
  • This is true for both real estate and personal property.
     

2.  What do you mean by assessment ratio?

An assessment is the market value of a piece of property on a certain date, multiplied by the assessment ratio which applies to that piece of property, e.g., a 4% assessment ratio for an owner-occupied house.
 

 

3.  If I mail my tax payment, what is the last date it can be postmarked before being considered late?

  • It must be postmarked no later than the due date to avoid penalty.
  • If the due date falls on a weekend or a county holiday, the due date is extended to the next business day afterwards.

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4.  Whom do I complain to about high taxes?

  • Taxes are set by the governing body/bodies where the property is located.
  • County Council, School Boards, and the applicable city council and/or special purpose district determine how much money must be collected to fund their budgets and the tax rate necessary to meet their budget. 
  • Property taxes make up only a portion of the total amount of revenue needed to fund the budget. 
  • Fees, state collected revenues and other sources of income make up the remainder.


 5.  What is the value of a mill and does it change? The value of a mill is always one tenth of a cent, or one thousandth of a dollar.

  • For example, a tax rate of 150 mills translates to $.150 (15 cents) tax per $1.00 of assessed value.
  • This is true for all types of property.
     

6.  How do I apply for a Military Exemption on my mobile home?

If your home of record is not South Carolina, you do not have to pay personal property taxes while permanently stationed in this state.

  • In order for your mobile home to qualify, it must be your primary residence.
  • It must also be registered and titled in the service member's name to qualify for 100% exemption (if ownership is joint, only 50% of the exemption will apply).
  • This exemption does not include county taxes on real property.  
  • To obtain the exemption, you can submit your latest Leave & Earnings Statement and photocopy of current military ID to the Auditor's office.  
  • You can mail, fax or hand-deliver these documents to the Auditor’s Office to receive the exemption.
  • This exemption is valid for one year, and you will need to reapply every year.
     

 

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