If you bought real estate in 2011, you could be eligible for a property tax reduction

Did you buy property in 2011 that is assessed at the 6 percent assessment ratio?  You may be eligible for a property tax discount.

The General Assembly enacted the Point of Sale Bill (H.3713) that among other things provides for a 25 percent reduction in the fair market value of property bought in 2011 and assessed at the 6 percent assessment ratio (commercial, rental, second homes).

In order to receive the reduction, the property owner must apply to the local tax assessor’s office by January 30, 2012.

Governor Haley Signs Point of Sale Bill

One of the last bills to pass the General Assembly this year was the “point of sale” bill (H. 3713). Last month Governor Haley signed the bill into law.

The point of sale legislation is applicable only to non-primary residential properties, which are assessed at a six percent (6 percent) property tax rate. This includes commercial properties, investment properties and second homes. It does not include manufacturing properties assessed at 10.5 percent. It was drafted similar to proposed legislation that was rejected last year.

Under the new law, commercial properties will receive a 25 percent exemption (discount) from the sales value (point of sale) for taxation purposes. The bill also provides for a minimum level of valuation established as the Fair Market Value by the county tax assessor, but does allow for lower valuations if the property sells below assessed value. After the initial setting of the value by the assessor at the point of sale, all properties will continue to be subject to each county’s reassessment program and will be subject to the 15 percent cap on tax increases for each five (5) year reassessment period going forward.

South Carolina House Passes Point of Sale Bill

The South Carolina House on Wednesday approved the “Point of Sale” bill. The vote was close, 64 to 51.

Current law, which was last changed in 2006, requires all homes that are sold to be reassessed immediately. The Point of Sale delays reassessment of existing homes to the next regular reassessment cycle. However, newly constructed homes will still be reassessed when they are sold.

The bill new heads to the Senate for consideration.