Homestead Exemptions

The Homestead Exemption Program is a State funded program authorized under Section 12-37-250 of the South Carolina Code of Laws. The program exempts the first $50,000 fair market value of primary residence from all property taxes. If the primary residence is valued at $50,000 or less, it is exempt from all property taxes. This program is often confused with the Application for Special Assessment as Legal Residence (4%) which is done by the Tax Assessor's Office.

How do I qualify?

  1. I hold complete fee simple title or life estate to my primary residence.
  2. As of December 31, preceding the tax year of the exemption, was a legal resident of South Carolina for one year.
  3. As of December 31, preceding the tax year of the exemption, I 
  • was 65 years of age, or 
  • was declared totally and permanently disabled by a state or federal agency having the authority to make such a declaration, or
  • was legally blind as certified by a licensed opthamologist.

If statements 1, 2, and 3 are true, you are qualified to receive the Homestead Exemption. If you are the surviving spouse of a person who was qualified, you may also be qualified to receive the benefit. Please contact the Auditor's Office for further information.

Where do I apply?

You may apply for the Homestead Exemption at the County Auditor's Office. If you are unable to come in, you may authorize someone to come and apply for you.

What documents do I need?

You must provide the following documentation to prove eligibility:

  • If you are eligible by age, we need a driver's license, birth certificate, Medicaid card, or Medicare card and social security number. If there is more than one person on the deed, we need the date of birth and social security number of the other homeowner.
  • If you are eligible by disability, we need your disability Award Letter from Social Security. If you were declared disabled by any other state or federal agency, you will need to supply documentation from that agency.
  • If you are eligible because you are blind, we need a letter from the Commission for the Blind or from a licensed opthamologist.

Do I need to re-apply annually?

The only time you would need to reapply would be upon the death of the eligible owner or if you moved to a new home.

Any changes that may affect your eligibility must be reported to the Auditor's Office immediately. Those changes would be:

  • Change in disability status.
  • Any change of ownership.
  • Rental of your home.
  • Remarriage of the surviving spouse.

Other Important Information

If your deed is in your name and your spouse's name, you will receive the full $50,000 exemption as long as one of you meets the eligibility requirements. If your deed is in your name and someone other than your spouse's name, you will only get a portion of the exemption equal to the amount of interest you have in the property as listed on your deed.

FAQs

How do I know if my vehicle qualifies for a high mileage discount?
We have a chart provided to us by the Department of Revenue for mileage adjustments.  You can call or e-mail our office and give us your mileage and year of your vehicle to find out if you are eligible.
How do I figure out how much my taxes will be on a new vehicle I am purchasing?
We have a manual provided to us by the Department of Revenue that shows the value of all vehicles.  We can give you an estimate from our manual by phone, fax, or e-mail. If you want to figure an estimated amount yourself, take the market value (before any rebates, allowances, or trade ins) and multiply that by 7.50% if the vehicle will be in your personal name or by 10.50% if the vehicle will be in a business name.  After you have done that, you will multiply your answer by the tax rate of the district you live in.  We can give you the tax rate if you tell us what your address is or you can find it on any of your tax bills for the current year. If you need an exact amount, you will need to fax, e-mail, or come in and bring a title or bill of sale.