Property Tax on Watercraft
Under South Carolina law, you are required to pay personal property taxes on watercraft. As of January 1, 2020, the way watercraft are taxed will change.
In the past, we received a list annually from the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources of all watercraft registered in York County on December 31 of the previous year. That list was used to generate tax bills for the current year (50-23-260). The bills were mailed in October along with the real estate tax bills and were due January 15th of the following year. Beginning in 2020, taxes will be paid a year in advance like vehicles. When a watercraft is purchased, property taxes will need to be paid before registering the watercraft with DNR. Whatever month you register the watercraft in will be the month taxes will be due in again the following year. DNR will provide a billing list monthly to our office.
The Application for Certificate of Title to register a watercraft can be found on the DNR website. Watercraft registrations will be renewable every year. Late renewal is subject to penalties through DNR (50-23-370). Renewal cannot be completed if taxes are owed (50-23-425). Personal property taxes are due every year.
Collections on delinquent watercraft taxes under the old law will still be enforced.
If you move from the address on your watercraft registration, you must submit a change of address in writing to DNR within thirty days of moving (50-23-400). You can download a Change of Address for Watercraft or Outboard Motor form on the DNR website. Keep in mind that our tax bill is sent to the address on file with DNR. If you don't change your address, you will not receive your tax bill.
If your watercraft has been junked, abandoned, or destroyed, you must submit the original title to DNR in order to have the property removed from the tax billing list. If you still receive a tax bill, you need to submit proof from DNR that you surrendered the title.
Selling Your Watercraft
If you sell your watercraft, you must submit documentation to be removed from the tax billing list. .