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Change Your Taxes Before It Cost You!

Brad Allen

After becoming a Realtor®, I quickly teamed up with my now partner, Mary Lane Sloan, to form The ART of Real Estate with the idea that one agent cann...

After becoming a Realtor®, I quickly teamed up with my now partner, Mary Lane Sloan, to form The ART of Real Estate with the idea that one agent cann...

Feb 12 4 minutes read

When you buy a home in South Carolina, you are guilty until proven innocent when it comes to your property taxes. So in this post we are going to advise you on how to "prove your innocence". Ok, all puns aside, there are two different property tax brackets in South Carolina: 4% owner occupied and the 6% investment rate. If you are buying your home to live in, then you are going to want to make sure the county knows that because it could save you thousands. I know what you're thinking, "4% and 6% is only a 2% difference, so it's not that much". Wrong. When you follow the crazy math equation that includes mileage rates for your area, city taxes, assessments etc, you could be talking about quadrupling your property taxes. Yeah, you heard right, if you don't apply for the 4% tax credit, it could cost you 4x the correct amount.

How Do You Get the 4% Rate?

You will need the deed to your home before you can apply for the lower rate. Often times, it can take 2-3 months after closing to get a copy of your deed from your closing attorney. So you can't just march down there right away, you'll most likely have to wait a few months. But not to worry, as long as you apply at any point during the calendar year you bought your home, you are good. So lets assume you have your deed, now follow the directions below...

  1. Get your deed
  2. Change your drivers license to your current address. If you are a resident of SC already click here to go to the DMV site and you can get a new ID mailed to you for like $10. Yep, no DMV blues.
  3. Choose your county from out list below. Click on the link to get directions to Tax Assessors building.
  4. Go down to the Tax Assessor with all your documents, and fill out the Owner Occupied Application, and get it changed.
  5. You're Done.

FAQ's / Warnings

  • Often times the county will send you an application for the owner occupants in the mail to your new home once your deed has been recorded. It says to just fill it out and mail it back. However, I strongly encourage you to go down there in person. If that application gets lost in the mail, you could be a world of stink. Take the time and knock it out, you'll thank me later.
  • 65 And Older? You could have the ability to apply for the "homestead exemption". If you qualify, the county will reduce their assessment of your home by $50k, which would equate to less property taxes owed. It doesn't make them go away, but any little bit helps. 
  • Veteran? We in the great state of South Carolina love our Veterans. So much so you could be eligible to receive an exemption on your total property tax bill. Are you a Veteran that is 100%/permanently disabled due to service related injuries? A medal of honor recipient? Prisoner of War? Click here to see all the details at the Department of Revenue.

Pick Your County

Choose from the counties below to find out more about your specific county requirements. 

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