Reassessment FAQ's

Q. What is reassessment?

A. A reassessment or equalization program is an effort to value all real property at its fair market value in an equitable and uniform manner. Real property is land and any improvements on it, such as a house, outbuilding, swimming pool, dock, etc. Mobile homes are considered real property for ad valorem purposes, even though the mobile home owner may not own the land under it. Only real property is appraised during reassessment. Values of personal property, such as automobiles, boats and airplanes, are kept current through the Department of Revenue & Taxation.

Q. Why reassess?

A. Reassessment is required by law.

South Carolina Code of Laws Section 12-43-217. Quadrennial reassessment; postponement ordinance:

(A) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, once every fifth year each county or the State shall appraise and equalize those properties under its jurisdiction. Property valuation must be complete at the end of December of the fourth year and the county or State shall notify every taxpayer of any change in value or classification if the change is one thousand dollars or more. In the fifth year, the county or State shall implement the program and assess all property on the newly appraised values.

(B) A county by ordinance may postpone for not more than one property tax year the implementation of revised values resulting from the equalization program provided pursuant to subsection (A). The postponement ordinance applies to all revised values, including values for state-appraised property. The postponement allowed pursuant to this subsection does not affect the schedule of the appraisal and equalization program required pursuant to subsection (A) of this section.

All properties in this county were last reassessed in 2009. But these values changed over time, and properties in areas that are developing quickly appreciate more rapidly than properties in established areas where little change has taken place.


Q. What County Official is responsible
for reassessment?

A. The Beaufort County Assessor who's duties includes:

South Carolina Code of Laws Section 12-37-90:

The assessor is responsible for the operations of his office and shall:

  • maintain a continuous record of recorded deed sales transactions, building permits, tax maps, and other records necessary for a continuing reassessment program;
  • diligently search for and discover all real property not previously returned by the owners or their agents or not listed for taxation by the county auditor, and list such property for taxation in the name of the owner or person to whom it is taxable;
  • when values change, reappraise and reassess real property so as to reflect its proper valuation in light of changed conditions, except for exempt property and real property required by law to be appraised and assessed by the department, and furnish a list of these assessments to the county auditor;
  • determine assessments and reassessments of real property in a manner that the ratio of assessed value to fair market value is uniform throughout the county;
  • appear as necessary before an appellate board to give testimony and present evidence as to the justification of an appraisal;
  • have the right of appeal from a disapproval of or modification of an appraisal made by him;
  • perform duties relating to the office of tax assessor required by the laws of this State;
  • be the sole person responsible for the valuation of real property, except that required by law to be appraised and assessed by the department, and the values set by the assessor may be altered only by the assessor or by legally constituted appellate boards, the department, or the courts;
  • have the right to enter and examine all new nonresidential buildings and structures and those portions of an existing nonresidential building or structure covered by a building permit for renovations or additions.

Q. How is property reassessed?

A. Real property is reassessed at fair market value using a  "Mass Appraisal" process which may described as:

  • "The process of valuing a universe of properties as of a given date using standard methodology, employing common data, and allowing for statistical testing."
  • It may also be described as the "appraisal of multiple properties", as of a given date, by a systematic and uniform application of appraisal methods and techniques that allow for statistical review and analysis of results. A mass appraisal establishes an individual property value (result) for each property in a group of properties as of a certain date"(date of value) .

How does reassessment affect my tax bill?

In the year of reassessment the millage rate for all real and personal property must not exceed the rollback millage, except that the rollback millage may be increased by the percentage increase in the consumer price index for the year immediately preceding the year of reassessment. The Beaufort County Auditor is responsible for setting rollback millage rates.


Q. What if I do not agree with the value put on my property?

A. The Reassessment notices contains information on appeal procedures if you disagree with the value.  

Q. When will I get my tax bill?

A. Tax bills are usually mailed in October. They are payable without penalty by the following January 15.


Q. How does the appraised value affect taxes?

A. Residential property that is the owner's primary residence is assessed at 4 percent of its appraised value, providing proper application has been made. All other residential and commercial property is assessed at 6 percent. Industrial property, which is appraised by the Department of Revenue, is assessed at 10.5 percent.

To figure taxes on a property, the appraised value is multiplied by the assessment ratio to arrive at the assessed value. The assessed value is then multiplied by the millage rate to arrive at the amount of taxes. One mill equals 1/1000 of a dollar or 1/10 of a cent.

EXAMPLES OF PROPERTY TAX CALCULATIONS AT 4% AND 6%:

Example of taxes on property assessed at the 4% residential assessment ratio

200,000 4% 8,000
(appraised value)   (assessment ratio)   (assessed value)
         
8,000 X .2358  $1,886.40
(assessed value)   (millage rate)   (taxes)


***Gross Tax less School Operations Exemption (801.60)

Example of taxes on property assessed at the 6% assessment ratio

200,000

6%

12,000

(appraised value)

 

(assessment ratio)

 

(assessed value)

         

12,000

X

.2358 

$2,829.60

(assessed value)

 

(millage rate)

 

(taxes)