Assessor’s Office
FAQ’s 1. Here is a list of department telephone numbers associated with the Assessor on a routine basis: Auditor  - Bills, Millage, Homestead, vehicle and Personal Property Tax Questions (864) 638 - 4158 Treasurer - Tax Amounts, Bills, Prior Year Tax Amounts, Copies of Bills/Receipts - (864) 638 - 4162 Building Codes/Zoning/Mobile Home Moving Permits - (864) 718 - 1005 Addressing - 911 Addressing - (864) 638 - 4250 GIS - Property Line Maintenance - (864) 638-4256   Legal Document/Deed Recordation - (864) 638 - 4285  2. Is there a tax break for agricultural property?  Yes, SC Law provides for a substantial tax break on agricultural real property which is actually used for a bona fide agricultural use. There are two parts to this benefit. First, if qualified, the property's taxable value is based on "Use Value", which is almost always considerably less than the property's "Market Value". The "Use Value" is based on the productive capability of the soil type or types in the property. Second, the assessed value is 4% of the "Use Value", unless the property is owned by a corporation with ten (10) or more stockholders, then the applicable ratio is 6%. 3. What must an agricultural real property owner do to get this tax benefit? The owner must file an application with the County Assessor. The filing period is January 1 through January 15 of the following year. Once the initial application is filed, it will automatically be renewed each year until there is a change in the property use/or a change in title. When reapplications are required, one will be mailed on each previously qualified property to the owner's last known address. It is the owner's responsibility to make sure applications are timely filed. 4. Is there a tax break for individuals 65 or older/100% disabled?  YES, see your County Auditor for details about the HOMESTEAD Exemption. 5. Is there a tax break available to full-time residents? Yes, SC Law provides for a 4% assessment ratio (the alternative is 6%) on residential properties. The owner must have title (deed or will) or have an equity interest (contract to purchase) and occupy the residence as his/her actual or primary place of residence, prior to making application. Applications are furnished by the County Assessor. 6. What must the owner do to qualify his home for this tax break?  The owner must file an application with the County Assessor. The filing period is January 1 through January 15 of the following tax year. This allows one year and fifteen days for filing. Once the initial application is filed, it will automatically be renewed every year, unless there's a change in ownership, address, or use of the property. In accordance with the law, you must notify the Assessor within six months if you change your residency. When reapplications are required, one will be mailed for each previously qualified residence to the owner's last known address. While the difference between 6% and 4% is only 2%, the impact on your tax bill is much more dramatic. Taxes on a residence qualified for the 4% ratio are one-third less than taxes on a similar residence assessed at 6%. The legal residence classification also entitles the resident homeowner to exemption from school operation taxes. It is the owner's responsibility to make sure the initial application and future reapplications are filed on time.The law allows County Council to extend the filing deadline if an owner can show good & reasonable cause for filing late. The late application must be filed with a petition stating "satisfactory" reason and "reasonable cause" for not filing by the January 15 deadline. Late applications are filed with the Assessor. 7. What is "THE MULTIPLE LOT DISCOUNT?"  There is a discount available for subdivided land, when certain qualifications are met. This discount is known as "The Multiple Lot Discount" or "The Developer Discount". To qualify, one must own ten (10) or more unsold and unimproved lots in the same development as of January 1st of the tax year and file an application with the assessor by May 1st of that year. New applications must be filed every year. 8. What is market value? SC State Law defines "Market Value" or "True Value in Money" as . . ."The price the property will bring following reasonable exposure to the market where both the seller and the buyer are willing, are not acting under compulsion, and are reasonably well informed as to the uses and purpose for which it is adapted and for which it is capable of being used..." 9. What is an assessment ratio? The assessment ratio is simply a percentage (usually 4% or 6%) which is multiplied by the appraised value or the use value of a property to determine the assessed value. 10. What is millage? Millage is a term used to describe the rate of taxes levied. A mill is one dollar per one thousand dollars of assessed value. $1 of Tax $1,000 Assessed Value = $.001 = 1 Mil County Council and the County Auditor determine the annual millage rate. The millage rate to be levied is determined by dividing the amount of revenue needed to fund the annual budget by the total assessed value. Budget = $10,000,000 Assessed Value $200,000,000 = .050 = 50 Mills 11. When is property reappraised? All property is reappraised every four (4) years with a one (1) year lag for implementation. That is unless there's a physical or legal change, or an assessable transfer of interest occurs. Otherwise, taxable value is normally capped at 15% between reassessment programs. 12. Who does what in the tax system? Assessor  Maintain real property records (land, buildings, mobile homes, docks, swimming pools & etc.). Appraises real property for ad valorem tax purposes. Responsible for the application process for the 4% legal residence and agricultural use classifications. POA and multiple lot discount applications are also made to the Assessor. Responsible for the application process for the 4% and the agricultural use exemption assessment ratio. Responsible for maintenance of tax maps. Initiates refunds as it relates to real property. Auditor  Assessment of personal property Keeps records of personal property (auto, trucks, airplanes, boats, etc.). Send out tax bills. Takes applications for Homestead Exemption (over age 65 or 100% disabled). Processes Refund Requests Estimates the Tax (millage) rate needed to fund the County Budget. Treasurer  Collects taxes. Safeguards all tax money. Distributes tax money to schools, fire departments, etc. Invests funds for the County.
© 2012 by The Oconee County Assessor's Office &
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Office Info Kevin B. Robinson Oconee County Assessor Address: 415 South Pine Street Walhalla, SC 29691 Hours:  Mon-Fri: 8:00am to 5:00pm Telephone: (864) 638-4150 (864) 638-4156 fax