Exemptions and Discounts

South Carolina law allows for several real estate tax exemptions and discounts.  Find out if you are eligible, and how to claim them.

Please be aware of the following items that are required for eligibility of the Special Assessment Ratio (4%), both items are needed from you and your spouse.

•Copy of your South Carolina vehicle(s) registration                                                  

•Copy of your South Carolina driver's license or identification card

•Copy of owner-occupant's most recently filed South Carolina Income tax return*

•Copy of your trust agreement if property is held in a trust

•If MILITARY provide:

        1. Copy of PCS Orders and Military/ Spouse ID

        2. Copy of current Leave and Earnings Statement (LES)

        3. Copy of Military ID for members AND their spouses

If you do not have a South Carolina tax return or if it is a part year nonresident South Carolina tax return, you may be approved for the exemption for one year and will need to provide our office with a copy of your South Carolina tax return the next year.

To submit your application online go to: Online Legal Residence Exemption Application.

If you submitted your application on or after June 1, 2021 you may check the status here: View Exemptions 

For applications submitted prior to June 1, 2021 please contact our office at 843-255-2400.

Qualifications - Requirements

Agricultural real property which is actually used for such purposes and meets certain size or income restrictions, not including, however, a corporation which is the owner or lessee except for certain corporations which do not:

  1. Have more than 10 shareholders
  2. Have as a shareholder a person (other than an estate) who is not an individual
  3. Have a nonresident alien as a shareholder, and
  4. Have more than one class of stock

Timberland tracts must be at least five acres.  Tracts of timberland must be devoted actively to growing trees for commercial use.  Tracts of timberland less than five acres may be eligible for agricultural classification if any of the following conditions are met.

  1. The tract is contiguous to another timberland tract of at least five acres.
  2. The tract is under the same management system as another qualifying timberland tract.
  3. The tract is owned in combination with non-timberland tracts that qualify as agricultural real property.

Non-timberland (cropland) tracts must be at least 10 acres.  Tracts of non-timberland less than 10 acres may be eligible for agricultural classification if any of the following conditions are met:

  1. Contiguous tracts with identical ownership meet the minimum acreage requirement when added
  2. The person making the application earned at least $1,000 gross farm income in at least three of the
    past five years or at least three of the first five years if this is an initial application.
  3. The property has been owned by current owner or immediate family member of the current owner
    for at least ten years ending January 1, 1994 and the property is classified as agricultural real property
    for tax year 1994.

Definition of Agricultural Real Property

Agricultural real property shall mean any tract of real property which is used to raise, harvest or store crops, feed, breed, or manage livestock, or to produce plants, trees, fowl, or animals useful to man, including the preparation of the products raised thereon for man's use and disposed of by marketing or other means.  It includes, but is not limited to, such real property used for agricultural, grazing, horticulture, forestry, dairying, and mariculture.  In the event at least 50% of real property tract shall qualify as "agricultural real property", the entire tract shall be so classified, provided no other business for profit is being operated thereon.  The term "agricultural real property" shall not include any property used as the residence of the owner or others in that the taxation of such property is specifically provided for in Section 2 (C) and (E) of Act 208.

Rollback Tax Estimation Formula

  1. Find the current Market Value of subject property
  2. Multiply the Market Value X  .06
  3. Find the current Assessed Value of subject property
  4. Compute the difference of Line 2 & Line 3
  5. Multiply this difference by the Millage Rate, for each tax year being rolled back on.

Note: Rollback tax estimates should be computed for three (3) years.  Start with year property was split, and work backward two (2) years.

Agricultural Special Assessment Ratio Application

Please contact the Beaufort County Auditor at (843) 255-2500 for details about the Homestead Exemption.