Tax Tips That Could Save You Money

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Assessable Transfers

According to the Property Tax Reform Act of 2006, most real estate transfers are considered Assessable Transfers of Interest or ATI’s.  Properties that are classified as ATI’s are required to be reappraised at current market value as of December 31st of the year in which the sale occurred.


Legal Residence

If you purchase or own a home or manufactured home and reside there, you may be entitled to a Legal Residence Classification for property taxes.  This 4% classification will result in substantial savings.  An application for this classification should be filed with the Assessor’s Office in St. George or Summerville.  A family can have only one Legal Residence Classification. Visit the 4% Legal Residence page on this site for more information and an application.

Note: If a change in ownership, mailing address or use occurs, the property owner must notify the Assessor’s Office within six months of the change.

Legal Residence for Active Duty Military Members

Active Duty Military that are not living in their home must apply every year by the tax penalty date for the current tax year in which you are applying. Visit the Active Military 4% Assessment page on this site for more information.


Agricultural Use Value

All Agricultural property owners must make application for the special agricultural assessment.  In order to qualify, the property must be used for bona fide agricultural practices.  A new application must be filed if the property transfers.  A rollback of property tax is due if the use of the property changes from agricultural.  Applications must be filed in the Dorchester County Assessor’s Office by the penalty date of the tax year being applied for.  An application is available on this site.

Note: The property owner shall notify the Assessor’s Office within six months of a change in use of the property.

Rollback Tax on Agricultural Property

Any property that has qualified for Agricultural Use Value that has a change in the use other than agricultural will be subject to a rollback of property tax for a period of up to five years.  Simply, the rollback is the money saved by qualifying for agricultural use.  The rollback is charged to the individual that changes the use.  This may not be the person who applied for the lower assessment.  If a property subject to agricultural use transfers and the new owner changes the use, the new owner is billed for the rollback tax.  A rollback request form is available on this site.


Multi-Lot Discount

Any property developer having 10 or more unimproved lots within a homogeneous area (subdivision) may make written application for a special Multiple Lot Discount on these lots.  Applications must be filed by May 1st of the applicable tax year. An application for the multi-lot discount is available on this site. 

Mobile Homes

The owner of any Mobile Home purchased in or relocated to Dorchester County has 15 days to register the mobile home with the Assessor’s Office.  A mobile home can be relocated (moved to another location), however, a moving permit must be obtained from the Assessor’s Office.   If there are back year taxes due on the mobile home, all back years taxes must be paid first before the permit can be issued.  A fine up to $200 can be assessed for failure to comply with the above.


Change of Address

According to US Postal Service regulations, the county’s address database should match what the USPS has on file.   If you request an address change, please check with your Post Office and make sure they have the same address in their system each time you request a change.   If not, the USPS may ignore the address change you requested and notices mailed from the county could be sent to an invalid address.   All address changes for real property or mobile homes must be requested in writing to the Assessor’s Office and should contain a TMS# or Decal# for verification.  Changes can be mailed to the Assessor's Office or emailed to AssessorAdmin@dorchestercountySC.gov.