Assessor's Office Mandate
Lee County Assessor's Office's primary mandate is to establish mass property values, utilizing standard mass appraisal practices, for all real property and mobile homes in Lee County. We mass assign values and determine the eligibility for assessment ratios that are used in the calculation for property taxation; however, we do not calculate or determine the amount of actual taxes. Amount of actual taxes is based on the budgetary requirements to provide services deemed necessary by the governing body. Taxes are then calculated by the County Auditor's Office and collected by the County Treasures Office. We have on staff appraisers that are licensed by the South Carolina Real Estate Appraisers Board. We also handle various applications for special assessment such as: Legal Residence applications, Agricultural Use Value applications, and other discounts for developers and land owners. We are regulated by the South Carolina Department of Revenue, and are governed by South Carolina State Law. Property involving transportation, utilities, manufacturing, and personal property are appraised by the South Carolina Department of Revenue.
Special Assessment for Agricultural Use Value must be filed before the first penalty date of the first tax year for which the assessment is being claimed.
Applications for Multiple Lot Discounts must be filed annually by May the 1st of the year for which the discount is being claimed.
Date to Appeal in a Year when No Notice of Assessment has been Mailed is any time during the year up until the first penalty date for the tax year for which the appeal is being claimed; however, for administrative purposes the earlier in the year the appeal is filed the better, preferably before March 1st.
Final Date to Appeal in a Year when a Notice of Assessment has been Mailed is 90 days from the date of the notice.
Reassessment is required by state law every 5 year. We last reappraised for tax year 2010.
Agricultural Use Value Discount
Obtaining Agricultural Use Value refers to the special discounted appraised value assigned to those acreage tracts of land that qualified based on bona fide agricultural use of the property.
Legal Residence Classification Discount
Obtaining the status of Legal Residence entitles the owner to a discount on the real estate taxes by lowering the assessment ratio from 6% to 4% and removing the school operating portion of the tax bill.
Reassessment programs are implemented every five years. Due to the magnitude of a reassessment program we must begin work several years prior to implementation. Actual market sales data is used, and then formulas & cost of construction tables are established to match up with the sales data. We strive for values that are a mathematical expression of how supply and demand factors interact in a market, and that when applied to the total number of properties, are both fair and equitable to the majority.
Our reassessment program must have approval by the South Carolina Department of Revenue prior to implementation. The quality or success of a reassessment program is measured by its sales ratio study. Before implementation we must submit our new values and current sales information to the DOR for approval. Approval is based the ratio between our values we assign and actual sales values. The further away you get from the time of implementation the more often the values assigned will become inaccurate depending on the market.
The Assessor's Office is responsible for establishing mass property values, utilizing standard mass appraisal practices, for all the Manufactured Homes in the County. For tax purposes Manufactured Homes are considered and taxed as real property.
All appeals must be in writing directly to the Assessor's Office at Lee County Assessor's Office, PO Box 309, Bishopville, S.C. 29010. Appeals may be mailed in or hand delivered to our Office. When considering appeals, the Assessor's Office can only consider three things: Property Value (Actual fair market value), Property Classification (Legal Residence, Agricultural Use Value, Regular, etc.), and Inequitability (Not assessed constant with similar properties in accordance to the Law). The Assessor's Office cannot address issues dealing with the dollar amount of your taxes. Failure to appeal within the allotted time constitutes a waver in your right to appeal for the year.
Lee County GIS/Mapping's primary function is to provide geographical data for the entire county. One of its major uses is to establish and maintain a base map system which is used by county appraisers for assessment of property. GIS/Mapping's data is also used by many other county departments and state agencies. Some of the county departments that most frequently use its data are: Administration, Planning and Zoning, and Economic Development. The data provided is also used by many professionals and citizens.