Under the leadership of James “JJ” Messervy, the Auditor’s Office oversees homestead exemptions, appeals on personal property, the assessment of motor vehicles, watercraft (boats, motors, jet ski’s) aircraft and business personal property (assessment values provided by the SC Dept. of Revenue), administers all refunds for real and personal property and staffs the Forfeited Land Commission (FLC).

The Auditor’s Office also assists the County’s governing body with determining the appropriate tax rate needed to meet annual budget requirements for Dorchester County, School Districts, five municipalities (Summerville, North Charleston, Harleyville, Ridgeville and St. George) and other taxing entities.

 

The Auditor's Office Does Not:

Accept tax payments (unless for the FLC) (see Treasurer)

Assess the value of real estate or approve the 4% assessment ratio for owner-occupied residential real estate property (see Assessor)

Set tax rates or determine how taxes are used (see County Council)

Administer the waste disposal user fee (see Public Works)

Collect delinquent tax payments (see Delinquent Tax)

 

Important Forms and Documents

Appeal Motor Vehicle Property Tax for High Mileage

Report Out of State Tags 

Watercraft/Camper 6% Assessment Form

County Business Personal Property Return Form

PT 100 Form State Business Personal Property Return Form

Note: Businesses that provide a service will file the County Business Personal Property Form to Dorchester County; all other businesses will file the PT 100 Form to the S.C. Dept. Of Revenue.

 

History and Overview

The Constitution of 1868 gave members of the S.C. General Assembly the authority to create the first office of County Auditor. Pursuant to the state law, each county in South Carolina (there are 46 counties) has an auditor’s office. Dorchester County Auditors are elected for a four-year term in the General Election.

State law has created a system of checks and balances in the tax offices of County Government to protect both the taxpayer and the county. The County Assessor assigns a value to real property, the County Auditor calculates and creates the tax notices and the County Treasurer collects the revenue for the notices. These checks and balances guard against tax offices becoming too powerful and abusing their authority.