Property taxes can be a little bit tricky in South Carolina. There is a fairly simple with a simple formula that explains why…

Properties that are assessed at 4% are owner occupied properties. This means the homeowner lives in it as their primary residence. While the 4% is part of the formula used, please don’t get confused with it being as 4% of the sale price. That is not the case. 4% is calculated as part of the assessed value and then that number is plugged into a millage rate for each area. This is how property tax bills are formulated.

Properties that are assessed at 6% are non-owner occupied properties. These are investment properties. Rentals, vacant land, apartment complexes… The state of South Carolina is fairly smart. They have bullet proofed the transaction so they will certainly not miss out on capturing their tax dollars.

When a property in South Carolina changes hands, the state automatically assumes that it will be an investment property. Taxes automatically are calculated at a 6% assessment rate. It is the duty of the new homeowner to go to the state and prove that it is owner occupied.

Here are the steps necessary to get the 4%:

  • It must be your primary residence. 
  • Once the deed is recorded, and you own the house… Go to the highway department. 
  • Change your driver’s license address. 
  • Change your voter registration card. 
  • Gather your tax statements or closing paperwork. 
  • Go to the tax assessor’s office, walk in the front door, and say 4%. 
  • You will then be directed to the office where you must go. 
  • Provide your changed drivers license, your new voter registration card, and make sure to show them your closing papers. 
  • You will then fill out a form, and now you should receive the 4% assessed rate.

Many people forget this. The reason being, is it is something that you have to do after you on the house. When moving into a home there are many things you must do, and after all the boxes are unpacked, it is hard to remember to take care of this important task. One great reminder is when you receive a copy of the deed in the mail. Consider this as your red flag to remind you to go apply for the 4% if it applies to your situation.

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