Frequently Asked Questions
Is there a discount available for Agricultural Property?
Yes, a discount is available for property classified as agricultural use property. An application must be filed with the Assessor's office prior to the first penalty date on the tax notice. A copy of the application can be obtained from our office as well as the web site. To get the form from the web site go to Assessor's Online Data and Download Forms tabs. There you will also find the requirements page with further information regarding the minimum requirements to qualify for the agricultural use classification.
Is there a tax break for individuals 65 years or older or for the disabled?
Yes, the discount based on age and disability is referred to as the Homestead Exemption and is processed by the County Auditor. Please refer to the Auditor's webpage for more information.
Is there a tax break for full time residents?
This classification is commonly referred to as the Legal Residence 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.
Do I qualify for Legal Residence Discount?
You qualify for the discount if you own an interest in the real property which you are occupying. The interest may be owned totally or in part, in fee or by life estate. The owner-occupant must have actually owned and occupied the residence as his/her legal residence and been domiciled at that address for some period during the applicable tax year.
How do I apply for the Legal Residence Discount?
You may apply by submitting an application online, in person in the Assessor's office or you may download an application from our website to print and bring into the office. You must provide a valid South Carolina Drivers License or S.C. State identification card with photograph and a copy of all vehicle registrations for all vehicles owned. This information is required for both you and your spouse if married. The burden of proof for eligibility for the four percent assessment ratio is on the owner-occupant. The Assessor may request additional information including but not limited to: a copy of the owner-occupants most recently filed South Carolina individual income tax return, utility statements, marriage certificate, voters registration, legal separation agreement and utility statements.
What if I disagree with my property value?
During non-reassessment years you may appeal the value of your property at anytime during the year prior to the first penalty date listed on the tax bill unless you recieve an assessment notice. Assessment notices are sent to owners of property that increases in value greater than $1,000 from the previous year(ie. a room addition or remodel of existing space). If you receive an assessment notice you must file an appeal within 90 days if you disagree with the stated value. You may get a form from our office or simply send a letter with your name, contact information including phone number and e-mail if available, address of the property and tax map number. Please state your supporting facts and opinion of value. We will respond to you as soon as possible.
Is the appeals process different in a reassessment year?
Yes, In a reassessment year an assessment notice will be sent for every property in the county. If you disagree with the stated market value you must appeal within the 90 period stated on the notice. If you do not appeal within the 90 days you will not be able to appeal for that year. You will not be able to appeal the value once you receive the tax bill.
When is the next Reassessment year?
Lancaster County will implement a reassessment in 2020. We are required by state law to reassess the entire county every 5 years. The prior reassessment was implemented in 2016.