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Assessor

Location: 129 Screven Street, Georgetown, S.C. 29440
Phone: (843) 545-3014
Fax: (843) 545-3156

Hours: 8:30 a.m.- 5 p.m., Monday through Friday (except for legal holidays)
Mailing Address: P.O. Drawer 421270, Georgetown, SC 29442-4200
Point of Contact: Susan Edwards, Assessor

 

Most Requested Links

Assessment Appeals Information

 

Department Functions:

The Assessor´s Office is responsible for the assignment of values to all real estate properties and mobile homes; NOT the tax amounts.

What This Office Does

  • Appraise real property & manufactured (mobile) homes for tax purposes
  • Conduct countywide reassessment every five years as required by the Department of Revenue
  • Accept and process appeals of values generated by this office
  • Transfer ownership of real property through recorded deeds
  • Process and validate applications for legal residence and agriculture
  • Provide property record cards (shows sketch of buildings and other related information)
  • Measure and appraise new construction for tax purposes
  • Maintain and process multiple lot discount applications for developers owning 10 or more lots in a homogenous neighborhood
  • Provide actual and potential rollback tax information
  • Change mailing addresses for real property and mobile home owners as requested
  • Issue new decals for mobile homes
  • Represents the county in real property and mobile home value appeals to the Board of Assessment Appeals

This Office Does NOT

  • Give legal advice
  • Research real property for legal claim
  • Have tax or other information on vehicles, boats, motors, or other personal property (see auditor)
  • Accept payments for county property taxes (see treasurer)
  • Assign site addresses
  • Give information on delinquent taxes
  • Set or change fees (i.e. stormwater waste fee (see stormwater)
  • Assess manufacturing or utility properties

Assessable Transfer of Interest (ATI)

Some properties have been reappraised pursuant to Section 12-37-3140 of the South Carolina Code of Laws.
Section 12-37-3140 states, "For property tax years beginning after 2006 the fair market value of real property is its fair market value applicable for December thirty-first of the year in which an assessable transfer of interest (ATI) has occurred."

"An assessable transfer of interest (ATI) means a transfer of an existing interest in real property that subjects the real property to appraisal. For purposes of this definition, an existing interest in real property includes life estate interests."

For further information regarding when a transfer of interest is considered an assessable transfer of interest (ATI), go to SC State House and scroll down and select "Title 12" then select "Chapter 37".

Reassessment

South Carolina state law requires that each county within the state conduct a countywide reassessment every five years. A one-year extension is allowed by county ordinance. During a countywide reassessment, all real property within the county is reappraised at its current market value as of its reassessment date. New legislation requires that in the year in which a reassessment is implemented each parcel of real property, be adjusted for improvements and losses, and does not increase more than 15 percent every five years unless an assessable transfer of interest occurs. Georgetown County is currently scheduled to implement its next reassessment in tax year 2015. Only real property values are affected by reassessment. Values of personal property such as cars, boats and motorcycles are kept current through annual updates by the Department of Revenue.

Special Assessments

  • Legal residence (4 percent) .... Owner occupied dwellings
  • Agriculture (4 percent) .... Agriculture properties with bonafide agriculture use
  • Agriculture (6 percent) .... Agriculture properties with bonafide agriculture use owned by a corporation with 10 or more stockholders.

Multi-lot discount — If you are the original developer of a subdivision, you may be eligible for a discount on the values of unsold lots. You may apply each year for this discount. Application period is Jan. 1 to May 1 of each tax year.

Builders/Developers Exemption — The South Carolina General Assembly passed legislation in 2009 to give builders/developers an exemption on property tax for newly constructed, unoccupied, detached, single-family homes that received their Certificate of Occupancy (CO) after 2006 (in those jurisdictions that require COs). Application period is from Jan. 1 through Jan. 31 of each tax year.

Rollback taxes — When real property which is in agriculture use and is being valued, assessed and taxed under the provisions of this article, is applied to another use other than agriculture, it shall be subject to additional taxes, hereafter referred to as rollback taxes, in the amount equal to the difference, if any, between taxes payable or the basis of the agricultural use valuation and assessment and the taxes that would have been paid had the property been taxed at the market value appraisal and 6 percent assessment ratio. The rollback can be applied to the five years proceeding the first year the property is taxed at 6 percent due to the change in use.

 

Appealing Property Values
Information you should know

The values established by the county were arrived at by certain criteria such as property type, property’s income potential, location, condition, size, etc. If you believe that your property is improperly assessed you must submit required evidence to substantiate your claim.

If your property is income producing commercial property, you are requested to provide income/expense statements covering the past three years, indication sources of income and itemized expenses.

If your property is a condominium, provide unit size, number of bedrooms, location such as ocean front, etc. and values of other comparable units in the complex.

If your property is residential property, provide size of residence and size and location of properties that you are comparing your property with.

If you have disagreed with your market values before a re-valuation of your property can be made, you must state the value you believe to be correct and submit evidence to support your claim.

Please complete the request for conference with contact information and return with your supporting evidence. The appeal must be received within 90 days of date shown on the assessment notice or in years when there is no notice of property tax assessment, the property taxpayer may appeal the fair market value, the special use value, the assessment ratio, and the property tax assessment of a parcel of property at any time. The appeal must be submitted in writing to the assessor. An appeal submitted before the first penalty date applies for the property tax year for which that penalty would apply. An appeal submitted on or after the first penalty date applies for the succeeding property tax year. SECTION (12-60-2510) (3) and (4)

Taxpayers may fax, mail or hand deliver their appeals to the address or fax number at the top of this page.

Who may represent taxpayers during the administrative tax process?
South Carolina Code Section 12-60-90

  • Attorneys and certified public accountants.
  • Enrolled agents – an "enrolled agent" has demonstrated special competence in federal taxation by passing a written examination administered by the Internal Revenue Service or through employment with the Internal Revenue Service.
  • Partners may represent their partnership.
  • Corporate officers may represent their corporation.
  • Fiduciaries and their full-time employees may represent the entity for which they are a fiduciary.
  • Full-time employees may represent their employer.
  • Individuals may represent themselves or a member of their immediate family if the individual is not compensated.
  • Real estate appraiser who is registered, or certified in the state.

Common Terms

  • Real Property - All land and the buildings, structures or improvements on that land.
  • Assessment - An appraised or determined value of real property multiplied by the appropriate corresponding ratio equals the assessment or assessed value.
  • Fair Market Value - The amount for which property can reasonably be expected to sell on the open market with a willing buyer and willing seller.
  • Reassessment - Process required by law to determine changes in market value of property over a certain period of time in order to provide equity among taxpayers.
  • Millage Rate - The amount of mills levied in order to meet the budget of a school district, county, city or other political subdivision. One mill equals 1/1000 of a dollar (.001).
  • Tax Map Number - This is a unique number that is the basis for property identification and location.
  • GIS/Geographic Information System - This is the linking of tabular data to maps residing in a computer as graphics files. Either maps or data can be called interactively.
  • Assessable Transfer of Interest - A transfer of an existing interest in real property that subjects the real property to appraisal. For purposes of this definition, an existing interest in real property includes life estate interest.
  • Capped Value - Each political subdivision shall value real property by a method in which the value of each parcel of real property, adjusted for improvements and losses, does not increase more than 15 percent every five years unless an assessable transfer of interest occurs.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: If my primary residential property contains rental or business structures, do I receive the 4 percent legal residence special assessment?
A: The 4 percent assessment would only apply to the portion of the property used as your residence. The 6 percent ratio would apply to the remainder of the property.

Q: How do I apply to receive the 4 percent legal Residence special assessment or the agricultural use assessment?
A: Applications are available in the Assessor’s Office. Applications must be completed by Jan. 15 in the year following the purchase.

Q: How do I appeal the Assessor’s appraisal of my property?
A: To appeal an appraisal, the property owner must write the Assessor’s Office. In an appeal, the Assessor’s Office schedules a hearing between the property owner and the Assessor or staff appraiser to discuss reasons for the appeal. After the hearing, the Assessor’s Office sends the property owner a letter describing decisions and appraisal changes. If the property owner has any further objections, they must write their objections and send them to the Board of Assessment Appeals within 30 days. The Board then schedules a hearing and notifies the property owner in writing of the results. If still aggrieved, the property owner may file an appeal with the Administrative Law Judge Division in Columbia. To appeal a "Notice of Change of Classification Appraisal and Assessment,"the property owner must do so within 90 days of the date of the notice to appeal.