Property Taxes – Myrtle Beach Horry County SC
South Carolina ranks in the top 10 states in the country with the lowest residential property taxes. People relocating from the New England states are always pleasantly surprised to discover that they will be pay significantly less property tax when they move to the Myrtle Beach area.
Property taxes in the Myrtle Beach area (Horry County) can vary quite a bit form one municipality to another but overall thy are relatively low. Primary resident homeowners pay the lowest taxes due to state law and to rebates from special sales taxes. State law mandates that primary homeowners are assessed at a ratio of 4% of the homes value and that commercial property owners, vacation home owners, 2nd home owners, and landlords are assessed at a 6% ratio of the property’s appraised value.
Each year the county and municipalities prepare their budgets and determine what millage rate they should charge to cover the costs of city/county government and public services. The property’s assessed value is multiplied by the millage rate and by the assessment ratio (either 4% or 6%) to determine the total tax. The formula for calculating property taxes is Tax= Property Value X Assessment Ratio X Millage Rate.
There are also several “special tax districts” throughout the county where the residents have voted to pay additional tax for local infrastructure improvements, road maintenance, or recreation facilities.
A special county wide 1% sales tax that goes to the school board, eliminates the school board portion of the property tax for resident homeowners. The city of Myrtle Beach also has a special 1% “Tourism Sales Tax”. Eighty percent of the money generated by this tax is given to the local chamber of commerce to advertise and promote tourism. The remaining 20% is used to roll back the property taxes for resident homeowners in the city. The state sales tax is 6%, the county sales is 8% (an additional 1% for schools and 1% for roads) and the sales tax in Myrtle Beach is 9% (an additional 1% for the chamber of commerce).
Homeowners over the age of 65, as well as certain veteran and handicap homeowners may also apply for a Homestead exemption. The Homestead Exemption “exempts” $50,000 of your property value from taxation. It reduces your property’s value, for tax purposes only, by $50,000.
Property values in south Carolina are automatically reassessed at the time of purchase. Your assessed property value will be automatically increased to the purchase price if the purchase price is higher than the current assessed value. The assessed value does not change if the purchase price is lower. You must file an appeal with the County Assessors Office if you feel the current assessment is too high.
To pay the lowest property taxes you should take advantage of these options.
- File for a primary residence. This is not automatic. Sometimes the closing attorney will do this for you but it is your responsibility to insure it’s done. You will be billed the higher non-residence tax rate until you file the primary residence affidavit with the county.
- Apply for the Homestead Exemption if you ar over 65, blind, or a totally and permanently disabled.
- Appeal your tax value assessment if it is demonstrably higher than similar homes in your area.
Visit the Horry County website at www.horrycounty.org for documents, contacts, and additional information regarding property taxes, and property assessments.
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