Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Why did the Treasurer send my bill to the wrong address? A.
The Treasurer does not maintain property or owner records. The Assessor maintains
Land & Buildings records while the Auditor maintains Personal Property and Vehicle
records and these records are dependent on taxpayers to notify their offices of
changes in address.
Q: How do I apply for high mileage discount on my vehicle?
apply for a high mileage appeal, you must visit the Auditor's Office and bring a
signed statement with your vehicle mileage prior to the due date.
Q: Why am I being charged taxes for the vehicle I just purchased? The dealer
told me he would take care of tags and taxes. A. The dealership is
allowed to pick up your tags on a vehicle without paying local property taxes. When
the dealer states that they are taking care of your taxes, they are referring to
sales tax, which is paid at the local Department of Motor Vehicles.
Q: When are the taxes due on my motor vehicle? A. Taxes on motor
vehicles and recreational vehicles must be paid before your license plate tags can
be renewed. These taxes are due by the last day of the month in which your tag expires.
Q: Didn't I pay the taxes when I bought my vehicle? A. When you
purchase a vehicle from a dealership, their personnel are allowed to pick up your
registration and license tags without paying the local property taxes. The tax you
paid to the dealership at the time of purchase was the South Carolina state sales
tax. This allows you a 120 day grace period to delay payment of personal property
taxes on your new vehicle.
Q: Why did the Treasurer raise my taxes? A: The Treasurer does
not determine property tax amounts. The amount of tax money needed is decided by
each of the area's taxing authorities. The Assessor's Office determines appraisal
values for real property while the Auditor calculates the tax.
Q: What is the Homestead Exemption program?
A: In 1972, the S.C. General Assembly passed the Homestead Exemption Law which provides real estate property tax relief for South Carolinians who are age 65 and over, totally and permanently disabled, or legally blind. The exemption excludes the first $50,000 from the fair market value of your legal residence.
Q: How do I qualify for the Homestead Exemption?
A: You may qualify for the Homestead Exemption if you
ARE at least 65 years of age on or before December 31, preceding the tax year in which you wish to claim the exemption; OR
ARE certified totally and permanently disabled by a state or federal agency; OR
ARE legally blind; OR
ARE a legal resident of South Carolina for at least one year on or before December 31 of the year prior to the exemption; AND
HOLD fee simple title or partial title to your house, mobile home, or life estate on or before December 31 of the year prior to the exemption, and have been approved to receive the 4% legal residence tax assessment ratio, AND
WERE a legal residence of South Carolina for one year
For Your Information
In South Carolina, vehicle taxes are paid a year in advance.
If you are renewing your vehicle license tag, you can pay your taxes and renewal
fee to the Treasurer's Office and eliminate having to go to the Highway Department.
We are now issuing decals on renewals of vehicle license tags. You should receive
your decal from our office when taxes are paid unless a discrepancy occurs when we
transmit data to the DMV.
If you receive a tax notice for a boat or motor that you no longer own, you must
notify the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources at Post Office Box 167,
Columbia, SC 29202.
When paying your taxes, please make reference on your check to the receipt number.
This reduces the possibility of errors in posting your payment.
If you receive a tax notice for a vehicle you no longer own, you will need to contact
the Auditor's Office.