Owners of second homes, investment properties, vacant lots, and commercial properties should all review their current property tax bills to determine whether they may be eligible for a property tax exemption generally known as 6% Point of Sale Exemption.
South Carolina Code Ann. § 12-37-3135 provides for a property tax exemption where:
(1) a property is taxed at a 6% assessment ratio before a transfer (which generally means used as a second home, rental or commercial property);
(2) where the property remains taxed at 6% ratio after the transfer; and
(3) the purchase price exceeds the value at which the property was taxed prior to the transfer.
If all criteria are met, then an exemption of up to 25% of the new valuation may be applied in the year after the sale. This means that the exemption reduces the increase in taxes, otherwise applicable due to your purchase of the property. In order to qualify for prior tax year, an application must be completed and submitted to Beaufort County on or before January 31st. Recent case law has determined that a taxpayer can apply for the 6% Point of Sale Exemption for subsequent tax years even if they have initially missed the opportunity.
Owners may apply for this exemption directly with Beaufort County via the instructions below. We can also coordinate the submittal on behalf of owners seeking our assistance. Instructions for both options are below:
How to file for Exemption
Beaufort County has an application for this exemption available on its website www.beaufortcountysc.gov. From their homepage, you should proceed as follows:
- Click on “Offices” along the top menu bar;
- Click on “Assessor”
- Click on “Forms” on the right hand side of the page
- Select “Assessable Transfer of Interest Exemption (Point of Sale)” near the bottom of the page
- Complete and submit the form to Beaufort County.
The exemption is applicable for as long as you own the property and it is taxed at the 6% assessment ratio. You must apply for it before January 31st. It is well worth your effort to review and recognize this savings if it applies to your circumstance.
Information courtesy of Zwerner Law | www.zwernerlaw.legal | For questions, or to have Zwerner Law file for the exemption on your behalf, you can contact them at: Tel.:(843) 686-3700