Property taxes

Taxable value

How is the value of property assessed for tax purposes in your state? Which types of property are subject to tax?

Real and personal property is classified into four categories: manufacturer’s property (including mines and utilities), residential property (legal residences and not more than five acres), agricultural property, and all other property (generally commercial property).

State rate

What is the state property tax rate?

Each category of property is taxed based on an assessment of the property’s fair market value. Manufacturer’s property is taxed on an assessment equal to 10.5% of the fair market value of the property; however, in 2017 South Carolina enacted a property tax exemption for manufacturers to be phased in over six years beginning in 2018 that effectively lowers the assessment ratio on manufacturers’ property from 10.5% to 9%. Commercial property is taxed on an assessment equal to 6% of the fair market value of the property. A taxpayer’s owner-occupied legal residence and agricultural real property is taxed on an assessment of 4% of fair market value.

Local rates

What is the range of local property tax rates levied in your state?

The tax is computed by multiplying the assessed value of the property by the millage set annually by the county. By way of example, if a principal residence has a fair market value of $500,000 and the millage rate set by the county is 493.10 per $1,000, the ad valorem tax would be computed in the following manner ($500,000 x 4% x 0.4931 = $9,862).

Exemptions and deductions

What exemptions and deductions are available?

Agricultural property enjoys both a 4% assessment ratio and a special valuation feature. A taxpayer’s legal residence (as opposed to a second home) is entitled to a tax credit, funded with state sales tax revenues, as well as partial relief from that portion of the millage pertaining to public school operating expenses. There are numerous exemptions from, and special rules pertaining to, property taxes. Some of the more important ones are a multiple lot discount given to developers, special valuations for homeowner association property, an exemption for state property used exclusively for public purposes, and exemptions for schools, charitable organizations, churches, and public libraries.  Additional benefits are provided to manufacturers as discussed in the “Incentive” section below.

Filing requirements

What filing requirements and procedures apply?

An application must be filed with the county assessor’s office to qualify for the 4% assessment ratio on legal residences and agricultural use property.

Real estate transfer tax

How is the transfer of real estate taxed in your state (including tax base, rates, exemptions, and filing formalities)?

A deed recording fee of $1.85 for each $500 of the realty’s value is imposed “for the privilege of recording a deed.” The following are exempt from the deed recording fee:

  • deeds of distribution;
  • gifts;
  • transfers of less than $100;
  • deeds to federal or state governments;
  • transfers between spouses;
  • partition actions;
  • grave spaces;
  • timber deeds;
  • contributions to corporations, partnerships (including limited liability partnerships) or trusts;
  • corporate or partnership mergers or consolidations;
  • corrective or quitclaim deeds;
  • foreclosures;
  • transfers from an agent;
  • conservation easements; and
  • transfers from or to a single-member limited liability corporation and certain family partnerships, family trusts and charitable entities.

Click here to view the full article.