Assessment Rates

South Carolina Real Property Tax Assessment Rates

South Carolina has two primary assessment rates for real property.  One is six percent and the other is four percent.  To qualify for the four percent rate, the property must be owner occupied and a property owner can only get the four percent rate on one property.  All other property will be assessed at the six percent rate.  South Carolina assumes when you purchase a home that you will not be living there.  To get the four percent rate, you will have to submit an application for the four percent rate to the county.

How are property taxes determined?

Now that South Carolina has passed the “Point of Sale” Tax Law, the county will determine the appraised value to be the amount you paid for the property.  If you paid $150,000 for your home, the appraised value will be $150,000.  The next step is to multiply the appraised value times the assessment rate (4% or 6%) to determine your Assessed Value.  If the property is owner occupied, then you multiply $150,000 X 4% which equals $6,000.  Finally, to determine you property taxes, you would multiply the assessed value times the millage rate.  Every district will have different millage rates.  You can check your county website to determine what your millage rates would be.  For example, if the millage rate is .1209, you multiply $6,000 X .1209 which give you an annual tax of $725.40.

What about large tracts of land?

The county will allow a property owner to pay the four percent rate on land up to five acres.  Additional land (over five acres) will be assessed at the six percent rate.  Property owners could also have the land classified as Agricultural Property and get the six percent rate lowered to the four percent rate.  To qualify for Agricultural Property, one must have a minimum of five acres of marketable timber or a minimum of ten acres for all other types of agriculture.

What are Roll Back Taxes?

Once a property is classified as Agricultural Property, the property cannot be used for any other purpose.  If the Agricultural Property is ever used for any other purpose, you will be liable for roll back taxes.  To determine the roll back tax, the county will go back for five years and determine the difference in taxes from the four percent assessment rate