Auditor Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How are property taxes calculated?

A: Each piece of property is assessed based on its use. An Assessment Ratio is multiplied by the market value of the property to determine the assessed value. The applicable millage rates are multiplied by the assessed value to determine the taxes due.

Q: What are the various assessment rates currently in use?

A: The current assessment ratios for the state of South Carolina are as follows based on fair market value:

Prmary Residences 4%
Other Real Estate 6%
Personal Property
(Watercraft, Aircraft, Campers, Business Personal Property)
6% - 10.5% (See County Auditor for details on the 6% rate on Watercraft and Campers)
Commercial boats 10.5%
Primary-residence Boats 10.5%
Agricultural Property (privately owned) 4%  
Agricultural Property (corporate owned) 6%
Manufacturing & Utility Property 10.5%  
Railroad, Airline, & Pipeline Property 9.5%
Motor Vehicle 6% - 10.5%
Motor Vehicle(s) titled in a business 10.5%
Motor Homes (See County Auditor for details on the 6% rate.) 6% - 10.5%

Q: What is School Tax Credit and who qualifies for it?

A: School Tax Credit is an exemption from school operating millage calculated on the appraised value of residential property. South Carolina law allows this exemption for taxpayers who own the home in which they reside and are claiming legal residence. This is an automatic exemption for homeowners who have been given the 4% primary residence assessment ratio.

Q: I have received a tax bill on a motor vehicle I have sold. What do I need to do?

A: If you did not transfer your license plate to another vehicle you may disregard the tax notice. However, when you sell a vehicle you may be entitled to a prorated refund of taxes.

Q: When I purchased my car, the dealership said they would take care of my taxes and tag. Why do I now have a bill?

A: The Dealer was referring to sales tax and tags, not property tax. If purchased from a dealership in South Carolina, you have 120 days from the date of purchase to pay property taxes, If purchased from a dealership from another state, taxes are due before you can obtain a tag.

Q: If I want to transfer my license plate to a replacement vehicle, what do I now do?

A: Take the registration for your previous vehicle along with the title to your replacement vehicle to the Division of Motor Vehicles and register your replacement vehicle. You will not need to pay property taxes on the replacement vehicle until the registration on your previous vehicle expires.

Q: I am a Senior Citizen, Do I qualify for a reduction on my motor vehicle taxes?

A: Currently there are no discounts on the vehicles taxes because of age. However, the DMV will discount your vehicle renewal fee by two dollars if you are over 64 years of age. If you are over 65 years of age, then four dollars will be discounted from the renewal fee.