Homebuyers moving to South Carolina will find a rather favorable environment for property taxes, particularly for owner occupants.
While the property tax rate set by the state is at 6%, for real property this applies only to investments and second homes – which can offset tax burden through income tax deductions.
An owner occupant however will enjoy a number of advantageous discounts at the property tax level.
There are a number of factors determine the tax assessment of particular real property in South Carolina, including the appraised value, the millage rate in the tax district, and the assessment ratio determined by the status of the home – as either a full time residence or investment/second home.
Assessing Property Tax
6%: all other real estate This is the standard property tax ratio for investment and commercial properties as well as second homes – while there is no property tax relief from SC, most of these property owners are declaring the property as a Schedule C asset on income taxes. For more details on property tax assessments, see the Assessor’s Office for the respective county:
There are a few dozen tax districts in the Lowcountry, each having its own millage rate determined the county auditor for the provision of services in those districts.
For example, the City of North Charleston has a millage rate of 0.302, while a nearby unincorporated district with fewer services has a millage rate of 0.220.
The median millage rate in Charleston County in 2021 is 0.253, so for a quick estimation multiply your assessed rate by ¼.
(The highest millage for 2021 is 0.313 in Lincolnville; the lowest is 0.202 on Dewees Island).
Buying a home in Charleston?
Property taxes are boring but let’s talk about them:
x 4.0% x
= $5,670 – $3,112
= $2,558 per year
Investment / Second Home
x 6.0% x
= $7,765 per year
An additional tax reduction is available for South Carolina homeowners who qualify with any:
- over the age of 65
- permanently disabled
- legally blind
The SC Homestead Exemption allows these homeowners to reduce the appraised value of their primary residence by up to $50,000.