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Homeownership in South Carolina comes with the promise of serene landscapes and charming communities, but it also brings the responsibility of real estate taxes. For many, especially those on fixed incomes or planning for the future, these taxes are a considerable expense. However, luckily, South Carolina’s 4% primary residence discount and the Homestead Exemption can unlock significant savings, turning a financial burden into an opportunity for fiscal stability. This knowledge is particularly valuable for residents looking to maximize their savings and ensure their home remains a source of comfort, not financial strain.

4% Primary Residence Discount

The 4% Primary Residence Discount in South Carolina is a significant benefit for homeowners using their property as their primary residence. Under normal circumstances, properties in South Carolina are taxed at a 6% assessment rate. However, this rate drops to 4% for those who qualify for the primary residence discount, leading to a noticeable reduction in annual property taxes. Additionally, those that qualify have the school operating expenses portion of the millage rate removed, which is typically 40-50% of the millage rate

To be eligible for this discount, homeowners must meet specific criteria. They must legally declare the property as their primary residence, hold the title in their names or trust, and be a legal resident of South Carolina for income tax purposes. Additionally, they cannot claim a residence-based tax benefit on any other property. The application process typically involves completing a form from the county assessor’s office and providing proof of residency, such as a driver’s license or voter registration card from South Carolina.

Homestead Exemption

The Homestead Exemption offers another layer of tax relief, particularly targeting senior citizens, disabled individuals, and the legally blind. This exemption can reduce the taxable value of a property by up to $50,000, substantially lowering the tax liability for qualifying homeowners.

To qualify, the homeowner must be at least 65 years old, totally and permanently disabled, or legally blind, and must have been a legal resident of South Carolina for at least one year before December 31st of the year prior to applying. The title or partial title of the property must be in the applicant’s name for trust by December 31st of the previous year, and the property must be the primary residence. Application for the Homestead Exemption requires submitting documentation to the county tax assessor’s office, proving age, disability status, or blindness, along with residency.

Your Real Estate Legal Partner

Understanding and utilizing the 4% Primary Residence Discount and the Homestead Exemption can lead to substantial savings on real estate taxes for South Carolina homeowners. These discounts are designed to ease the tax load, allowing residents to enjoy more of their hard-earned money. Whether you are establishing your primary residence, reaching retirement age, or facing disabilities, these tax benefits are worth exploring.

For homeowners looking to leverage these tax benefits, Smith Law, LLC is ready to assist. Our knowledge of South Carolina real estate laws can help ensure you receive the maximum benefits available to you. Don’t miss out on potential savings and a home to call your own; contact us at (843) 427-3595 to schedule a consultation and learn more about how we can help you help yourself.