Auditor

The duties and responsibilities of the Colleton County Auditor are prescribed primarily in Title 12 of the Code of Laws of South Carolina and within the regulations as established by the South Carolina Department of Revenue (DOR) and the Comptroller General.

High mileage may only be claimed when your vehicle is up for renewal and has to be appealed before the due date on your tax notice. Vehicles that classify as “350” or “3,500” series or higher are unable to qualify for high mileage.  (Section 56-3-630) Motorcycles, campers and motor homes cannot qualify for high mileage.

The high mileage discount for dealer notices comes from the Affidavit & Notification of Motor Vehicles.

Churches and other Non-Profit Organizations must file with the South Carolina Department of Revenue to be exempt.

Disabled Veterans that have a 100% service connected disability should file through the Office of Veteran Affairs.

Persons who are over 65 or are totally and permanently disabled should contact the County Auditor about exemptions.

Vehicle taxes are due the month your tag expires.  In order to obtain a valid decal for your license plate, vehicle taxes must be paid.  Your vehicle may qualify for a discount if  you have high mileage.  The mileage must be certified to the Auditor on or before the due date to qualify.

If your vehicle is over 15 years old, it does not qualify for the high mileage reduction.  The value is already at a minimum charge.

Take the registration for your previous vehicle along with the title to your replacement vehicle to the Division of Motor Vehicles and register your replacement vehicle. You will not need to pay property taxes on the replacement vehicle until the registration on your previous vehicle expires.

You pay taxes on what you “own”, not what you drive. As long as the vehicle is still registered in your name and has not been traded, junked or sold, you are responsible for paying the property taxes.
 

When a dealer sells you a vehicle, the taxes that are included are “sales” tax. The bill that you received is for county property taxes. You have a 120 day grace period from the date of purchase of your new vehicle in which to pay the county property tax due on your vehicle. If you do not pay the taxes due by the due date, a notice will be sent to the Department of Motor Vehicles to suspend your drivers license. If your drivers license is suspended for non-payment of property taxes and you also hold a Commercial Drivers License (CDL), it will also be affected by the suspension. 

Property taxes are governed by state law in South Carolina. Currently, state law does not allow discounts to senior citizens for vehicle property taxes.

No. State law provides that property tax exemptions and discounts apply only to the one legal residence of an eligible owner. (Note: married couples are eligible for only one legal residence.) 

If your home of record is not South Carolina, you do not have to pay personal property taxes on property which you own while permanently stationed in this state. This exemption does not include county taxes on real property. The exemption covers motor vehicles (including trucks), campers, motor homes, boats and outboard motors, personal recreational watercraft (like wave-runners and jet-skis), aircraft and mobile homes (occupied by the owner). The property must be singularly titled in the name of the military service member in order to qualify for a 100% exemption. If there is a non military co-owner, only 50% of the exemption will be applied. In order for your mobile home to be qualified, it must be the service member's primary residence. To obtain the exemption, the service member must submit their latest Leave & Earnings Statement and a copy of their Military ID to the County Auditor Office. The exemption is valid for only one year, so you will need to reapply every year. 

You may qualify for the Homestead Exemption if you:

  • ARE at least 65 years of age on or before December 31, preceding the tax year in which you wish to claim the exemption; OR 
  • ARE certified totally and permanently disabled by a state or federal agency; OR 
  • ARE legally blind; AND 
  • ARE a legal resident of South Carolina for at least one year on or before December 31 of the year prior to the exemption; AND 
  • HOLD fee simple title or partial title to your house, mobile home, or life estate on or before December 31 of the year prior to the exemption, and have been approved to receive the 4% legal residence tax assessment ratio, AND 
  • WERE a legal residence of South Carolina for one year 

In 1972, the S. C. General Assembly passed the Homestead Exemption law which provides property tax relief for South Carolinians who are over 65, or totally and permanently disabled . The exemption excludes the first $50,000 from the fair market value of your legal residence.

The current assessment ratios for the state of South Carolina are as follows based on fair market value: 
Primary Residences 4%   
Other Real Estate 6%   
Personal Property (Watercraft, Aircraft, Campers, Business Personal Property) 10.5%   
Commercial boats 5%   
Primary-residence Boats 4%  
Agricultural Property (privately owned) 4%   
Agricultural Property (corporate owned) 6%   
Manufacturing & Utility Property 10.5%   
Railroad, Airline, & Pipeline Property 9.5%   
Motor Vehicle 6.00% - 10.5%   
Motor Homes (See County Auditor for details on the 6% rate.) 6% - 10.5%

To calculate a tax bill, first deduct any exemptions that may apply from the assessed value; thus generating a net assessed (taxable) value. Next, the net assessed value is multiplied by the millage rate to get the tax dollar amount due.

Property tax is collected by local government to provide for the many services most of us take for granted. Schools, police and fire protection and public libraries are possible because of revenue from the property tax. We all pay our share of the cost of these services by paying tax in proportion to the value of our property.

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Jeffery Slocum, County Auditor auditor@colletoncounty.org
Office
Extension
1231
Stacey Murdaugh, Deputy Auditor smurdaugh@colletoncounty.org
Office
Extension
1232
Teresa Hoagland, Clerk thoagland@colletoncounty.org
Office
Extension
1234
Angela McFadden, Clerk amcfadden@colletoncounty.org
Office
Extension
1223