Q: What is considered Personal Property?
A: Personal Property includes motor vehicle, watercraft, aircraft, and business personal property furniture, fixtures, and equipment.
Q: How are personal property taxes calculated?
Step 1: Obtain fair market value of the property. Example $20,000
Step 2: Multiply the fair market value by tax ratio. The ratio as of January 2010 for a motor vehicle in a individuals name and a motorcycle is 6%. The tax ratio for business owned vehicles and watercraft is 10.5%, and the tax ratio for aircraft is 4%.
Example: $20,000 x .6= 1,200 (round up to the nearest tenth)
Step 3: The result of the calculation is the “assessed value.” In the example in step 2, the assessed value is 1,200. Multiply the assessed value by your millage rate. The millage rate is based on the area in the county in which you reside. Example: 1,500 x .2990(mills) = $448.50 Total Taxes Due
Q: How can I get an estimate on my property taxes?
A: Contact the Auditor’s Office and provide the year, make, Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) and address of your vehicle to the clerk. We will provide an ESTIMATE of the property taxes.
Q: How do I properly fill out a SC title?
A: On the back of the title one the first line, the buyer's name, street, city, state and zip code must go on this line. Signature of Buyer and Hand Print of Buyer must be completed. The seller must sign Signature of Seller and Hand Print of Seller. This is the only spot on the title that the seller signs. If any information on the back of the title has been marked through, or has white-out on it, it becomes void with the DMV. A separate form must be complete to correct the title.
Q: What if I do not agree with the fair market value of my vehicle?
A: If you feel the fair market value shown on your tax notice is not accurate, you may appeal the value to the county Auditor’s Office. Many times the fair market value may be adjusted if the vehicle has excessive mileage. Pursuant to SC Code of Law, the Auditor must use the value provided by the Department of Revenue on your initial tax notice as this is the value the Department of Revenue has established as Fair Market Value for your vehicle make, model etc.
Q: Do I have to apply for the high mileage adjustment or fair market value each year?
A: You must reapply each year. There is no way the auditors office to know how the mileage has changed from one year to the next, nor are we made aware of any additional damage etc…that may reduce the value of your vehicle.
Q: What if I am in the military?
A: If you are an active duty military member with a legal residence of a different state (not SC), and your name only appears on the tax notice,then you are exempt from personal property taxes. You need to bring a copy of your most current Leave and Earning Statement (LES).
Q: What do I need to bring to register a vehicle?
A: A new resident of SC needs to bring the vehicles title or registration card. If you have recently purchased a car, we need a bill of sale or title.
Q: I recently bought a car from a dealership and I have received a bill in the mail for taxes. Didn’t I pay the dealer for this?
A: No. You paid the dealership for the sales tax, not property tax. Your property tax is due about 120 days (4 months) after the date of purchase. If the value on the tax bill is higher than the amount you paid for the bill, you may be entitled to an adjustment on your tax bill. Please provide the bill of the sale from the purchase of the vehicle to be reviewed.
Q: I recently paid the taxes for a vehicle that I have now sold. How do I get a refund for my taxes?
A: In order to process a refund we need a copy of the Form 5051(tag turn-in receipt) and a copy of a bill of sale or title. You also have the option of transferring your plate to another vehicle. That must be done through the DMV. You would then pay taxes on the new vehicle when the decal is due to expire. If you receive a tax bill for the vehicle that the tag was transferred from, please provide our office with the registration of the new vehicle and a tax bill will be generated. The paid tax receipt will need to be presented to the DMV to obtain a new decal. DO NOT pay the bill on the vehicle you no longer own. If you receive the bill for the correct vehicle, you will pay the bill as normal and receive your new decal.
Q: I recently paid the taxes for a vehicle and now I am moving out of state. How do I get a refund for my taxes?
A: You can either mail your tag to the auditor's office or to the SC DMV. If you mail your tag to the auditor's office, you will need to include a copy of the new state's registration for the refund process. If the tag is mailed to the DMV, they should send a receipt to you acknowledging they received the tag. Mail a copy of the tag turn-in receipt from the DMV along with a copy of your new state’s registration card and we will process a refund for the unused portion of Property Taxes.
Q: How do I change my address on my vehicle registration card?
A: If you need to change your address on your vehicle registration you do it though the DMV. If you have already received a vehicle tax bill and you have moved to another location in Dorchester County, you will need to contact our office to change the address on your bill and send you a corrected bill. If you have moved out of the county and your have a Green vehicle tax bill, you will need to register in your new county. If you tax bill is Yellow, please contact our office for further assistance.
Q: How do I obtain a Temporary Tag?
A: Temporary Tags are only good for 45 days from the date of PURCHASE. If the 45 days have passed, the customer cannot receive a temporary tag. In order to receive a Temporary tag, the customer must provide a bill of sale or title that has been signed over on the back, but not in their name through the DMV. There is a $5.00 fee when purchasing the tag. A letter is also given at the time you receive the tag that must be kept in your vehicle at all times. This letter is to be presented to law enforcement if stopped. At the end of the 45 day period or before, you must come back to the auditor's office and obtain a vehicle tax bill to pay at the treasurer's office and receive your new plate and decal for the year from the DMV.