The Most Important Facts About Property Taxes in South Carolina

The moving process is always rife with uncertainty, and moving across state lines presents a whole new list of questions to consider. Among them are inquiries about state-specific tax laws and assessments. Luckily, people planning a move to the Palmetto State can look forward to one of the lowest median property tax rates in the U.S. In fact, property taxes in South Carolina are ranked at 45th out of the country’s 50 states. Specific rates vary by county. Overall, most people can plan to save some money on taxes when they make a move to South Carolina.

Pam Harrington Exclusives can help you find the right property in South Carolina’s Lowcountry. Our experienced real estate agents will walk you through the specifics of your property taxes in South Carolina, as well as any county or local fees that may apply. If you are considering a move to South Carolina, contact us to get all the information you’ll need when purchasing your new home.

Understanding Property Taxes in South Carolina: The Basics

Taxes on Home and Land

Property taxes in South Carolina are collected by individual counties. Each county has its own means of assessing and collecting monies due. For specific rates, due dates, and payment methods, you’ll want to get familiar with the rules of the county in which you purchase a property.

Charleston County Property Taxes

Charleston County is at the top of the list for many people moving to South Carolina. Charleston County property taxes for primary residences are currently 4 percent of the appraised value x millage.

The rate for other real estate is marginally higher at 6 percent of the appraised value x millage.

Charleston County also assesses several types of exemptions from property taxes in South Carolina. Among them are the Legal Residence Exemption, for those who can prove that their only legal residence is in Charleston County. The Homestead Exemption provides relief for people who are 65 or over, disabled, or legally blind. There is a Military Exemption for those who are serving and on active duty.

Taxes and Fees for Vehicles

There are also annual property taxes in South Carolina for vehicles. Cars, trucks, motorcycles, recreational vehicles, boats, and airplanes are all subject to these customary dues. Personal cars, light trucks (gross weight 9,000 pounds or less and net weight 7,000 pounds or less), and motorcycles are taxed at a rate of 6 percent of the current market value. Other types of personal vehicles and property are taxed at a rate of 10.5 percent. In Charleston County, high-mileage discounts are available for those who drive significant distances.

Additionally, there is a registration fee for passenger cars, which is common in many states. However, South Carolina’s registration fees are relatively low. The standard fee is $24 every two years. Residents age 65 and older pay $20, and 64-year-olds pay $22. This fee may be paid when you pay your county property tax.

Buying a Home in South Carolina

Get answers to all of your questions about property taxes in South Carolina and more when you work with Pam Harrington Exclusives. Browse our available homes on Kiawah, Seabrook & Charleston, and find the perfect home to establish as your South Carolina residence. Contact us to inquire about listings, and we will work with you to make your transition to the South Carolina Lowcountry as seamless as possible. We look forward to helping you find the home of your dreams!


Photo Credit: Brennan Wesley