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Mr. Booth has provided legal advice and representation to many clients on a variety of issues when dealing with property taxation. He followed closely the enactment of Act No. 388 in 2006 which made substantial changes to the way counties value and tax real estate.
He follows all proposed changes to the law and has studied carefully the amendments passed since 2006 including the amendment passed in 2011 providing for a 25% discount notwithstanding the impact of ATI for the year after the sale and future years as long as the owner files for the discount by January 31 of the year after the sale.
Act No. 388 – How South Carolina has Taxed Real Property Since 2006
Act No. 388, the South Carolina Real Property Valuation Reform Act, passed by the SC Legislature in 2006, has a provision which mandates a property’s reassessment to fair market value, upon an assessable transfer interest (ATI) of the property. The reassessment to fair market value occurs the year following the sale date.
In most cases, if there is an increase to the fair market value of $1,000 or more due to the ATI, a “Notice of Classification, Appraisal and Assessment of Real Estate” will be sent to the new owner in July of the next year. This notice will allow the new owner 90 days from the date the notice was sent to file an appeal with the assessor’s office for the tax year the notice indicates.
The 2011 Amendment (Act No. 57) Discount Allowed after an ATI Event Subject to Filing Requirement
The key provisions of Act No. 57 are as follows:
“(B)(1) When a parcel of real property and any improvements thereon subject to the six percent assessment ratio provided pursuant to Section 12-43-220(e) and which is currently subject to property tax undergoes an assessable transfer of interest after 2010, there is allowed an exemption from property tax of an amount of the ATI fair market value of the parcel as determined in the manner provided in item (2) of this subsection. Calculation of property tax value for such parcels is based on exemption value. The exemption allowed by this section applies at the time the ATI fair market value first applies.
(2)(a) The exemption allowed by this section is an amount equal to twenty-five percent of ATI fair market value of the parcel. However, no exemption value calculated pursuant to this section may be less than current fair market value of the parcel.
(b) If the ATI fair market value of the parcel is less than the current fair market value, the exemption otherwise allowed pursuant to this section does not apply and the ATI fair market value applies as provided pursuant to Section 12-37-3140(A)(1)(b).
(C) The exemption allowed in this section does not apply unless the owner of the property, or the owner’s agent, notifies the county assessor that the property will be subject to the six percent assessment ratio provided pursuant to Section 12-43-220(e) before January thirty-first for the tax year for which the owner first claims eligibility for the exemption. No further notifications are necessary from the current owner while the property remains subject to the six percent assessment ratio.”
How to Appeal the Assessed Value of Your Home
The property owner may challenge his appraisal/assessment during a county-wide re-assessment using the following procedure:
- Within ninety (90) days after dated notice of reassessment, the property owner or his agent must file a written objection with the assessor.
- The assessor will conduct a field review and notify the property owner of the results of review.
- Within thirty (30) days of further objection, a conference will be scheduled. The assessor, in turn, will request that you provide, within thirty (30) days, additional data to help determine the value of your property.
- After the field review has been completed, the Assessor will notify you in writing of his finding. If you still disagree with the assessment, you have thirty (30) days to file written notice of your request to appeal your assessment to the County Board of Assessment Appeals, a member panel of County citizens who shall serve as the final local authority in such appeals.
CAUTION: Recent case law says an appeal after the last re-assessment will not be allowed for a decrease in value since the last re-assessment.