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III. Real Property - Legal Residence/Second Home

 

1. What is the SC Tax Relief/Legal Residence Discount? Who qualifies? How do I know if I have it?

2.  I own a motor home. Can it qualify as my residence?

3.  I own a boat or watercraft. Can it qualify as my residence?

4.  I own a trailer used for camping and recreational travel that is pulled by a motor vehicle.  Can it qualify as my residence?


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1. What is the SC Tax Relief/Legal Residence Discount? Who qualifies? How do I know whether I have it?

 

  • Property owners can apply for the SC Tax Relief/Legal Residence Discount for their one legal residence in the state of South Carolina.
  • This means that the qualifying property’s market value would be assessed at a ratio of four percent rather than six percent to obtain the property’s assessment (assessed value) for tax purposes.
  • Even on a “home place” some of the property may not qualify, for example, rental homes, second homes, commercial property, acreage above five acres, or property receiving another discount, such as agriculture use. You can look at the information in the upper right hand of your tax bill to see whether the billed property has Legal Residence.
  • The Assessor’s Office has the forms that you can pick up, fill out and submit in that office.
  • The property tax notice you received will have an assessment of 4% on the owner occupied line of the tax notice.
     

2. I own a motor home. Can it qualify as my residence?

 

A motor home that:

  • Is used as a primary or secondary residence; and
  • Is eligible for the mortgage interest deduction on a federal tax return; and
  • Has a bathroom, sleeping and cooking facilities, is eligible to be taxed as a residence.  (IRS Publication 936 - Qualified Home Section)
  • However, the taxes are still due in advance, as for personal property, and to be taxed a residence, an application must be made with the County Auditor.
  • The property will be valued in the same manner as motor vehicles are for property tax purposes.
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3. I own a boat or watercraft. Can it qualify as my residence?

A boat or watercraft that:

    • Is used as a primary or secondary residence; and
    • Is eligible for the mortgage interest deduction on a federal tax return; and
    • Has a bathroom, sleeping and cooking facilities, is eligible to be taxed as a residence. (IRS Publication 936 - Qualified Home Section)
    • The property will be valued in the same manner as motor vehicles are for property tax purposes.
       

4. I own a trailer used for camping and recreational travel that is pulled by a motor vehicle. Can it qualify as my residence?

  • A trailer (camper) that is pulled by a motor vehicle that:
    • Is used as a primary or secondary residence; and
    • Is eligible for the mortgage interest deduction on a federal tax return; and
    • Has a bathroom, sleeping and cooking facilities, is eligible to be taxed as a residence. (IRS Publication 936 - Qualified Home Section)
    • However, the taxes are still due in advance, as for personal property, and to be taxed as a residence an application must be made with the County Auditor.
    • The property will be valued in the same manner as motor vehicles are for property tax purposes. 
        
       
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