real property tax guide charleston

Real Property Taxes 

If you are a homeowner in Charleston County, you are probably quite familiar with real property taxes. Each year, homeowners in Charleston receive a tax bill for real property that must be paid. If you want to learn more about how property taxes are calculated, tax exemptions, and delinquent taxes…keep reading!

What Exactly is “Real Property”?

You may be wondering what is considered “real property”. Real property, or “real estate”, consists of residential and commercial buildings, mobile homes, and vacant land. So, your Real Property Taxes are the taxes you pay on your real estate (or “Real Property”).

Your Real Property Taxes

It’s helpful to know how and when you pay real property taxes. Here’s an overview of how Charleston County property taxes are calculated along with information on how to pay your taxes.

How are property taxes calculated?

Real Property taxes in Charleston County are calculated based on the use of the property. In South Carolina, the current assessment ratio for primary residences is 4%. Other real estate is subject to an assessment rate of 6%. This assessment ratio is applied to your property’s market value. If you’re interested in estimating your property taxes, the Charleston County Auditor has a free tax estimator tool you can use.

Paying Your Real Property Taxes

When it comes to paying property taxes, you have a few different options. You can pay your Charleston County property taxes in-person (at the Charleston , online, or by mail. Certain Charleston County property owners may even qualify for lower property taxes. If you prefer to pay using a credit or debit card, you will need to pay online. Keep in mind that you will be charged a processing fee when paying with a card.

Property Tax Cuts & Exemptions

In Charleston County, there are a few different reasons residents can qualify for tax cuts. You may be eligible for lower taxes and not even know! Here’s just a few reasons you could be qualified for lower taxes:

  • Legal Primary Residence. If your property is your primary residence, you can pay lower tax rates. If your property qualifies, contact the Charleston County  Assessor’s office to learn more. As long as you can prove that a property is your legal primary residence, you should qualify for this exemption.
  • Disabled Veterans, Police Officers, Firefighters. If you are considered disabled as a result of a service-related cause, you may qualify for tax cuts.
  • Homestead Exemption. If you are over 65 years old or are permanently disabled or blind, you could qualify for the homestead exemption program. With this program, the first $50,000 of your home’s market value is excluded from your property taxes.