Ad Valorem Tax
(Latin for according to value) A tax imposed on properties in proportion to each property’s value. The most common are the ad valorem taxes imposed on real and personal property, which are based on either the assessed or the appraised values.
Agricultural Real Property
Real property that is actually used for agricultural purposes (and meets the other requirements for agricultural real property) is classified as agricultural real property and taxed on an assessment equal to:
A. 4% of the fair market value for agricultural purposes for owners or lessees who are individuals or partnerships, and for corporations that do nothave one or more of the following: (1) more than 10 shareholders; (2) a shareholder (other than an estate) that is not an individual; (3) a nonresident alien as a shareholder; and (4) more than 1 class of stock.
B. 6% of the fair market value for agricultural purposes for corporate owners or lessees, except for certain closely held corporations specified in (a) above. SC Code §12-43-220(d) (1). 10 SC Regs. 117-1780.2.
In addition, SC Code §12-43-220(d) grants a special valuation, known as fair market value for agricultural purposes, for real property that is "actually used for agricultural purposes."
Appeal of Tax Assessment
The South Carolina Revenue Procedures Act, Chapter 60, Title 12 of the SC Code, provides the appeal procedures for all tax matters, including property tax. It provides for an appeal from the Department or the county to the independent administrative law judges in the South Carolina Administrative Law Court (ALC), created by SC Code §1-23-500 (formerly the Administrative Law Judge Division (ALJD). The procedure for challenging a property tax assessment depends on which taxing authority made the assessment, i.e.,
the county assessor, the county auditor, or the Department. The following discussion will therefore be divided into three parts.
The county assessor is responsible for appraising and assessing all real property in the county not appraised and assessed by the Department. See SC Code §12-37-90. The assessor also determines eligibility for the 4% assessment ratio applicable to owner-occupied real property set forth in SC Code §12-43-220 (c).
A. The initial steps necessary to appeal an assessment made by a county assessor are set forth in SC Code §§12-60-2510 and 12-60-2520:
1. When the county assessor records an increase in a property’s fair market value by $1,000 or more, the assessor must give written notice to the taxpayer by July 1st or as soon thereafter as practical. If the increase is subject to the 15% cap imposed by Article 25, Chapter 37, Title 12 of the SC Code, the assessment notice must include both the fair market value and the value as limited by the 15% cap.
2. If the taxpayer objects to the assessment, he must give written notice of objection to the assessor within 90 days of the mailing of the assessment notice.
3. In tax years in which a property’s recorded fair market value has not been increased by $1,000 or more, no assessment notice is required. In these years (generally, years for which there is no county wide reassessment and no assessable transfer of interest has occurred), the taxpayer may object in writing to the fair market value, special use value, assessment ratio and property tax assessment at any time. An appeal will apply to the previous tax year only if it is submitted before the first penalty date, i.e., January 15th following the end of the previous property tax year on December 31st. An appeal submitted on or after the first penalty date applies for the succeeding property tax year.
4. After receiving the property owner's objection, the assessor must correct the error if the assessor agrees with the property owner. If the assessor does not agree with the property owner, the assessor must schedule a conference with the property owner within 30 days of the date of a request for a meeting or as soon thereafter as practical. Note that for a legal residence, the assessor shall consider the appeal and make adjustments, if warranted, based on the market values of real property as they existed in the year that the most recent reassessment was conducted and on which the assessment is based. SC Code §12-43-215.
5. If the matter is not resolved at the conference, the property owner must file a written protest with the assessor within 30 days of the conference.
6. The assessor must respond to the protest in writing within 30 days of the date of receipt of the written protest or as soon thereafter as practical.
B. The assessor’s decision may be appealed to the County Board of Assessment Appeals, as follows:
1. The property owner may appeal the assessor’s decision by giving a written notice of intent to appeal to the assessor within 30 days of the date of the assessor’s response. See SC Code §12-60-2530(A).
2. The conference on appeal must be conducted by the County Board of Assessment Appeals.
3. Third parties may intervene under certain circumstances.
4. At least 15 days before the conference, the property owner and assessor must exchange lists of documents, witnesses and other evidence that they anticipate presenting to the County Board, and they must provide copies to the County Board.
5. Responses to the exchanged information must be filed with the County Board at least seven days before the conference. These responses must also be mailed to the other party.
6. The procedures of the conference are specified in SC Code §12-60-2530. Each party may present evidence and arguments, and each side has the right of rebuttal. Any member of the County Board may ask questions.
7. The County Board must mail a written decision to the taxpayer and the assessor.
Conferences of the County Board are subject to any rules that may be prescribed by the Administrative Law Court (ALC).
C. Either the property owner or the assessor may appeal the County Board’s decision by requesting a contested case hearing before the ALC within 30 days after the date of the County Board’s written decision, in accordance with ALC Rules. SC Code §12-60-2540.
Appraised Property Value or Market Value
Also known as Actual or Market Value or Fair Market Value, it is the true market value of a property. This is the price a property would bring after adequate exposure to the open market, in an arms length, negotiated transaction with both parties being knowledgeable and informed, and neither under undue pressure.
Appraisers who are registered, licensed, or certified by the South Carolina Real Estate Appraisers Board may represent a property owner in matters limited to the valuation of real property. Alternatively, the property owner's appraiser may be a witness as to the value of the property in question. See Chapter 60 of Title 40 of the SC Code for appraiser licensing requirements.
Assessment Ratio by Classification
The assessment ratios are established for each class of property in the State Constitution to ensure stability. All manufacturing and utility property is assessed at 10.5%. Commercial personal property is also assessed at 10.5%. A person’s primary residence is assessed at 4%, if qualified for the legal residence rate; other real property is assessed at 6%. Personal motor vehicles are assessed at 6%.
The fair market value is multiplied by the assessment ratio to produce the "assessed value" of a particular piece of property. Taxes are levied based on this assessed value.
Change in Use - Rollback Taxes
When agricultural real property is applied to a use other than agricultural, it is subject to additional taxes, referred to as rollback taxes. The amount of the rollback taxes is equal to the sum of the differences, if any, between the taxes paid or payable on the basis of the fair market value for agricultural purposes and the taxes that would have been paid or payable if the real property had been valued, assessed, and taxed as other real property in the taxing district for the current tax year (the year of change in use) and each of the immediately preceding 5 tax years. SC Code §12-43-220(d) and 10 SC Regs. 117-1780.3.
Any property that becomes exempt from property taxes under SC Code §12-37-220(A)(1) (property owned by the state or a local taxing authority and used exclusively for public purposes) or SC Code §12-37-220(B)(41) (economic development property during the exemption period as provided in Chapter 44, Title 12 of the SC Code) is not subject to rollback taxes. See SC Code §12-43-220(d)(6).
Disabled Persons and Certain Veterans
Except as otherwise provided below, application for the following exemptions for disabled persons and certain veterans must be filed with the Department within the period provided in SC Code §12-54-85(F) for claims for refund. SC Code §12-4-720(A)(1).
A. SC Code §12-37-220(B)(1) provides an exemption for the house owned in fee or for life, or jointly with a spouse, by one of the following persons:
1. Aveteran of the United States armed forces who is permanently and totally disabled as a result of a service related disability and who files with the Department a certificate signed by the county service officer certifying this disability.
2. A former law enforcement officer who is permanently and totally disabled as a result of a law enforcement service connected disability. A "law enforcement officer," as defined in SC Code §23-6-400(D)(1), is an appointed officer or employee hired by and regularly employed on the payroll of the State or any of its political subdivisions, who is granted statutory authority to enforce all or some of the criminal, traffic, and penal laws of the State and who possesses, with respect to those laws, the power to effect arrest for offenses committed or alleged to have been committed.
3. A former firefighter, including a volunteer firefighter, who is permanently and totally disabled as a result of a firefighting service disability. A "firefighter," as defined in Chapter 80, Title 40 of the SC Code, is any person, male or female, paid or unpaid, who engages in rescue, fire suppression, or related activities under the supervision of a fire chief or fire department.
4. A "qualified surviving spouse." A qualified surviving spouse is a surviving spouse of (a) the disabled service person, law enforcement officer or firefighter described above; or (b) a member of the United States Armed Forces who was killed in action, or (c) a law enforcement officer or firefighter who died in the line of duty, if at the time of death, the deceased eligible person owned the house in fee simple, or jointly with the surviving spouse. To receive the exemption, the qualified surviving spouse must not remarry, must reside in the house, and must acquire ownership of the house in fee simple or for life. A house subsequently acquired by a qualified surviving spouse may also qualify for the exemption; however, the Department must be notified of the address of the new house.
For purposes of this exemption, "house" means a dwelling and a lot on which it is situated that qualifies as the legal residence of the taxpayer under SC Code §12-43-220(c). A house may be held in trust for a qualifying beneficiary if the house is his domicile.
"Permanently and totally disabled" means "the inability to perform substantial gainful employment by reason of a medically determinable impairment, either physical or mental, that has lasted or is expected to last for a continuous period of twelve months or more or to result in death." SC Code §12-37-220(B)(1)(e)(ii).
B. The dwelling house and a lot (not to exceed one acre of land) owned in fee simple or for life, or jointly with a spouse, by a paraplegicor hemiplegicperson is exempt from property taxes. The qualifying person must provide proof of his disability to the Department. The exemption is allowed to the surviving spouse of a qualifying person so long as the spouse does not remarry, resides in the dwelling, and obtains a fee simple interest or a life estate in the dwelling. The house may be held in trust for a qualifying beneficiary. The house must be the domicile of the qualifying person. A qualifying person includes certain persons with Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). SC Code §12-37-220(B)(2).
C. Two private passenger vehicles owned or leased by any totally and permanently disabled veteran for which special license tags have been issued are exempt. In lieu of the license tag, a veteran may have a certificate of such disability signed by the county service officer or the Veterans Administration filed with the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles. SC Code §12-37-220 (B) (3).
D. Two personal motor vehicles owned or leased by persons required to use wheelchairs, and who qualify for special license tags, are exempt. SC Code §12-37-220 (B) (27).
E. One personal motor vehicle owned or leased by a legal guardian of a minor who is blind or is required to use a wheelchairis exempt provided the vehicle is used to transport the minor. SC Code §12-37-220 (B) (37).
F. Two private passenger vehicles owned or leased by recipients of the Medal of Honorare exempt. SC Code §12-37-220(B) (26).
G. Two personal motor vehicles (or trucks, not exceeding three quarter ton), owned or leased by and licensed and registered in the name of any member or former member of the armed forces who was a prisoner of war (POW)in certain wars or conflicts are exempt. This exemption also extends to the surviving spouse of a qualified former POW until the remarriage of the surviving spouse. SC Code §12-37-220(B) (29). Page 46
H. The dwelling home and a lot totaling one acre or less, owned by a resident of this State who is a recipient of the Medal of Honor or who was a prisoner of war (POW) in World War I, World War II, the Korean Conflict, or the Vietnam Conflict, is exempt from property taxes if certain requirements are met. This exemption is allowed to a surviving spouse of a qualifying person under the same terms and conditions governing the exemption of a surviving spouse under SC Code §12-37-220 (B) (1). SC Code §12-37-220 (B) (43).
Homestead Exemption for the Elderly, Disabled or Blind
An exemption from all property taxes applies to the first $50,000 of the fair market value of the dwelling place of a person who as of December 31st of the year preceding the application (a) has been a resident of South Carolina for at least 1 year and has reached the age of 65, or (b) has been classified as totally and permanently disabled as defined by the statute, or (c) is legally blind as defined by the statute. SC Code §§12-37-220 (A) (9) and 12-37-250; S.C. CONST. art. X, §3.
The term dwelling place means the permanent home and legal residence of the applicant. The exemption is applicable to county, municipal, school, and special assessment real estate property taxes.
With respect to qualifying interests, title in fee simple or by life estate held exclusively by the applicant qualifies to the full extent allowed (up to $50,000). The dwelling place is also exempt to the full extent allowed (up to $50,000) when jointly owned by husband and wife, if either spouse meets the criteria for the exemption. Otherwise, if the property owner's interest, whether a life estate or fee simple interest, is held in common with others, the exemption is calculated on a pro rata basis. An individual is considered the owner of the property if he or she has an interest pursuant to an installment contract for sale with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. SC Code §12-43-221; cf. SC Code § 12-43-220 (c) (5).
If a qualifying person owns a mobile home only and not the real property on which it is located, the mobile home will be exempt from personal property taxes to the extent and in accordance with the same procedures as is provided for in SC Code §12-37-250 for real property.
When a dwelling house owned and occupied by a qualifying person is located on leased property, the homestead exemption is allowed for the house in the same manner as though the qualifying person owned a fee simple or life estate interest in the leased property on which his dwelling house is located. This occurs even if, at the end of the lease period, the landowner becomes the owner of the residence.
The dwelling place of the surviving spouse of one who qualified for the homestead exemption at the time of death will qualify for the exemption to the same extent as before the death, provided (a) the surviving spouse acquires complete fee simple title to, or a life estate in, the dwelling place within 9 months after the death, and (b) the surviving spouse remains unmarried, and (c) the property is used as the permanent home and legal residence of the surviving spouse. The exemption for the surviving spouse is obtained in accordance with the procedures provided in SC Code §12-37-250. A surviving spouse who disposes of the dwelling place and acquires another residence in South Carolina for use as a dwelling place may apply for and receive the exemption on the newly acquired dwelling place.
The homestead exemption is also available for dwellings held in trust. When a trustee holds legal title to a dwelling that is the legal residence of a qualifying beneficiary, the dwelling qualifies for the homestead exemption. The trustee must make application to the county auditor for the exemption in person or by mail. No further application is necessary, but the trustee is subject to penalty if he does not notify the county auditor of any change in classification of the property within 6 months. SC Code §12-37-266.
The Homestead Exemption
The homestead exemption for taxpayers who are 65 and over, totally and permanently disabled, or legally blind is discussed above. This exemption is administered at the local level, as follows.
Application for Exemption. The application for the homestead exemption for taxpayers who are 65 and over, totally and permanently disabled or legally blind must be made to the county auditor.
When the homestead exemption is granted, it continues to be effective for successive years in which the ownership of the homestead or the other qualifications for the exemption remains unchanged. Notification of any change affecting eligibility must be given immediately to the county auditor. SC Code §12-37-255.
The legal residence and not more than 5 contiguous acres, when owned totally or in part in fee simple or by life estate and occupied by the owner of the interest, is taxed based on an assessment ratio of 4%. The residence must be the domicile of the owner at some time during the tax year. Additional dwellings located on the same property (not more than 5 acres) and occupied by immediate family members of the owner will also qualify for the 4% ratio. An individual is considered the owner of the property if he has an interest in it pursuant to an installment contract for sale with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs or other qualifying contract for sale or bond for title. If residential real property is held in trust and the income beneficiary of the trust occupies the property as his legal residence, the 4% ratio applies if the trustee certifies to the assessor that the income beneficiary occupies the property as a residence. When the legal residence, including a mobile home, is located on leased or rented property, and the residence is owned and occupied by the owner, the 4% assessment ratio applies for the residence (the assessment ratio for the land is 6%). If the lessee of property upon which he has located his legal residence is liable, by law, for taxes on the leased property, then the property upon which he is liable for taxes, not to exceed 5 acres contiguous to his legal residence, will be assessed at the 4% ratio. See SC Code §12-37-620. The 4% assessment ratio does not apply to any mobile home or residence that is rented. However, if the owner–occupant resides in the home, but also rents a portion of the mobile home or residence to an individual as a residence, then the 4% assessment ratio applies to the entire mobile home or residence. The 4% assessment ratio does not apply to any business for profit located on the residential property. See SC Code §§12-43-220(c) and 12-43-221.
Real property owned by a single-member limited liability company (LLC) may qualify for the 4% assessment ratio under the following circumstances. The single-member LLC must not be taxed as a corporation. SC Code §12-2-25(B)(1). Further, it must be established that the real property serves as the residence of the LLC’s sole member and all other requirements for the 4% assessment ratio under South Carolina Code §12-43-220(c) are satisfied. See CFRE, LLC v. Greenville County Assessor, 395 S.C. 67, 716 S.E.2d 877 (2011).
A motor home, boat or watercraft, or trailer used for camping and recreational travel that is pulled by a motor vehicle may qualify as a legal residence if it meets the requirements set forth in SC Code §12-37-224.
A purchaser who purchases residential property with the intent that it will become his primary residence, but the property is subject to vacation rentals as provided in SC Code Title 27, Chapter 50, Article 2, for no more than 90 days, may apply for the 4% assessment ratio once the purchaser occupies the property. If the owner actually occupies the property within 90 days of acquiring ownership and otherwise qualifies, the 4% ratio will apply retroactively to the date of ownership. Otherwise, a residence rented for more than 72 days during the calendar year is disqualified from the 4% assessment ratio. SC Code §12-43-220(c)(6) and (7); see Ford v. Beaufort County Assessor, 398 S.C. 508, 730 S.E.2d 335 (Ct. App. 2012) decided prior to amendment of the statute. For purposes of determining eligibility for the 4% assessment ratio, as well as rental income, and residency, the assessor may require a copy of the applicable portions of an owner’s federal and state returns as well as a Schedule E from the federal return.
In the case of certain shared interests in real property other than between spouses, application of the 4% assessment ratio will be limited to the percentage of value equal to the percentage of the occupant’s ownership interest. However, these rules may not apply when the property is owned by certain trusts, family limited partnerships or an LLC where the members are related family members. SC Code §12-43-220 (c) (8).
Generally, the residential classification is not available unless the owner of the property applies to the county assessor before the first penalty date for taxes due (January 16). The application may be extended by the local taxing authority for reasonable cause. As part of the application, the owner-occupant must certify:
1. The residence that is the subject of the application is the owner’s legal residence and where he is domiciled at the time of the application;
2. Neither he nor any other member of his household claims to be a legal resident of a jurisdiction other than South Carolina for any purpose; and
3. Neither he nor any member of his household claims the 4% assessment ratio on another residence.
For this purpose, a member of the owner-occupant’s household means the owner-occupant’s spouse, unless legally separated, and children under the age of 18 eligible to be claimed as a dependent on the owner-occupant’s federal income tax return.
No further applications are necessary from the current owner while the property for which the initial application was made continues to meet the eligibility requirements. A residence that is qualified as a legal residence for any part of a year is entitled to the 4% assessment ratio for the entire year.
A member of the armed forces on active duty who is a legal resident of and domiciled in another state is nevertheless deemed a legal resident and domiciled in South Carolina for purposes of the 4% assessment ratio if the member’s permanent duty station is in South Carolina. An active duty member of the Armed Forces receiving the 4% assessment ratio who receives orders for a permanent change of station or a temporary duty assignment of over a year retains the 4% assessment ratio and all applicable exemptions on the residence for as long as he remains on active duty regardless of his subsequent relocation or any rental income attributable to the property, so long as another member of his household is not claiming the 4% assessment ratio for any other residential property in South Carolina. Additionally, special rules are provided allowing for service members owning property in South Carolina who are attempting to sell a legal residence to receive the 4% assessment ratio and applicable exemptions, for up to two property tax years if certain requirements are met and the service member properly applies for the 4% assessment ratio as provided in the law. SC Code §12-43-220 (c) (2) (v).
A taxpayer may apply for a refund of property taxes overpaid because the property was eligible for the 4% assessment ratio. The taxpayer must establish that the property in question was in fact his legal residence and where he was domiciled. SC Code §12-43-220 (c) (3). The refund is made to the owner of record at the time the exemption is granted or the classification is made. SC Code §§12-37-252 and 12-45-78.
If a deceased taxpayer failed to claim the 4% assessment ratio before the date of the taxpayer’s death, the personal representative of a deceased taxpayer’s estate may apply for the 4% assessment ratio provided by SC Code §12-43-220 (c). SC Code §12-37-252 (C).
Legal Residence Special Assessment
Owners who occupy the property as their legal residence can apply to have the property assessed at 4% of the property's appraised value (as compared to 6%). To qualify, the owner must occupy the residence during the tax year as his or her sole legal residence, and submit an application before the first penalty date for taxes. Other restrictions apply. The application can be found under online forms.
Each taxing jurisdiction determines its tax rate annually by dividing the cost of its annual budget by the total assessed value within the taxing jurisdiction. This results in a fraction in thousandths (mills), known as the millage rate or millage.
The following is an example of the application of the property tax. If a manufacturer owned a piece of property with a value of $100 and an assessment ratio of 10.5% (the ratio for manufacturing property in the absence of a fee in lieu of property taxes agreement), the assessed value of that property equals $10.50 ($100 x 10.5%). If the taxing jurisdiction decided in a particular year to levy a tax of 275 mills, the property tax liability of the owner would be $2.89 ($10.50 x .275).
Real property means not only land, but also all structures and other things therein contained or annexed or attached to the land that pass to the grantee by the conveyance of the land. SC Code §12-37-10(1). For the purpose of determining the property’s assessment ratio, all mobile homes, some motor homes and boats, and all improvements to leased real property made by the lessee are considered real property. SC Code §§12-37-224 and 12-43-230(b).
Rollback Taxes-Change in Use
When agricultural real property is applied to a use other than agricultural, it is subject to additional taxes, referred to as rollback taxes. The amount of the rollback taxes is equal to the sum of the differences, if any, between the taxes paid or payable on the basis of the fair market value for agricultural purposes and the taxes that would have been paid or payable if the real property had been valued, assessed, and taxed as other real property in the taxing district (except the value of standing timber is excluded), for the current tax year (the year of change in use) and each of the immediately preceding 5 tax years. SC Code §12-43-220(d) and 10 SC Regs. 117-1780.3.
Real property (other than agricultural real property and most property subject to a negotiated fee in lieu of taxes) is appraised to determine fair market value.
Real property is reappraised on a countywide basis every five years and is usually subject to reassessment (i.e., assessment based on the reappraised value) in the next year. SC Code §12-43-217. For purposes of this reassessment, any increase in the fair market value of any parcel is limited to 15%. This cap on value remains in effect until an "assessable transfer of interest" or "ATI" occurs. An ATI will result in a valuation not limited by the 15% cap. A non-exclusive list of events that constitute an ATI is provided in SC Code §12-37-3150. Certain property that undergoes an ATI after 2010 may be eligible for a partial exemption/alternate valuation.
The fair market value of improvements and additions will be added to the fair market value of a parcel after completion. The 15% cap does not apply to the fair market value of improvements and additions in the year they are first subject to property tax. See SC Code §§12-43-217 and 12-37-3120 through 12-37-3170.
Valuation of Real Property
Real property, other than agricultural real property and most real property that is subject to a fee in lieu of property taxes, is appraised to determine fair market value. A countywide reappraisal takes place every five years. Usually, a countywide reassessment program is implemented the next year. For purposes of this reassessment, any increase in the fair market value of any parcel of real property will be limited to 15% within a five year period.
Apart from periodic countywide reappraisals, new appraisals are triggered by two other types of occurrences. The first type of occurrence is completion of most types of "improvements" or "additions," including new construction and remodeling. See SC Code §12-37-3130(1) for a comprehensive definition. The fair market value of improvements and additions will be added to the fair market value of a parcel after completion. SC Code §12-37-670. The 15% cap does not apply to the fair market value of improvements and additions in the year they are first subject to property tax. SC Code §12-37-3140.
The second type of triggering occurrence is an "assessable transfer of interest," or "ATI," which encompasses a broad range of changes as to ownership, or use, or the passage of time. An ATI will trigger an unrestricted appraisal of fair market value, and the adjusted value is known as the "transfer value." The 15% cap does not apply to the transfer value in the year the transfer value is first subject to property tax. SeeSC Code §§12-43-217 and 12-37-3120 through 12-37-3170. SC Code §12-37-3150(A) provides a non-exclusive list of specific transactions that constitute an assessable transfer (ATI transactions), with certain exceptions (ATI exceptions). SC Code §12-37-3150(B) provides a list of transactions that affirmatively do not constitute an assessable transfer (non-ATI transactions), some of which mirror transactions not subject to income tax under the provisions of the Internal Revenue Code.
Real property that undergoes an ATI after 2010 may be subject to a partial exemption/alternate valuation if the following eligibility requirements are met:
A. The property must be subject to property tax before the ATI;
B. The property must be subject to the 6% assessment ratio before the ATI and remain so thereafter; and
C. The owner must notify the assessor that the property will be subject to the 6% assessment ratio before January 31st of the property tax year for which the owner first claims eligibility for the partial exemption/alternate valuation.
SC Code §12-37-3135. The partial exemption will be applied to the fair market value of the property as follows.
If the "ATI fair market value" exceeds the "current fair market value" (see meaning of terms below), the partial exemption is allowed, reducing the ATI fair market value by an amount equal to 25% of the ATI fair market value. The resulting amount, referred to as the "exemption value," becomes the taxable value for the property. However, the exemption value cannot be less than the current fair market value of the property. If the exemption value exceeds the current fair market value of the property, then the current fair market value becomes the taxable value for the property.
If the ATI fair market value is less than the current fair market value of the property,the partial exemption is not allowed and the ATI fair market value becomes the taxable value for the property.
In determining if the partial exemption/alternate value is allowed, the following terms are relevant.
"Fair market value" is the fair market value of the real property as determined by the assessor by an initial appraisal, or as reappraised either after an ATI or periodically under SC Code §12-43-217 ("Full value without cap").
"Current fair market value" is the fair market value as reflected on the assessor’s records for the current year.
"Property Tax Value" is fair market value as limited by the 15% cap per SC Code §12-37-3140 ("Capped Value").
"ATI fair market value" is the fair market value of the property determined by appraisal at the time the parcel last underwent an assessable transfer of interest.