Show/Hide
Jasper County Government offices are closed to the public until further notice due to Covid-19. For any information,  please contact the appropriate department by their phone number posted on our website.

Frequently Asked Questions

Print
Press Enter to show all options, press Tab go to next option
  • Assessor's Office

    • How do I get the best tax rate for my home?

      If you own a residence, you want to be sure to obtain the 4% assessment rate if you live in the residence as your primary place of residency. All properties that are not owner-occupied will be assessed at a 6% assessment rate. To obtain the 4% assessment rate, you or your agent will need to complete a legal residence application and file with the county assessor. This should be done as soon as your deed or bond-for-title is recorded and you move into your home, but may be filed any time before the first penalty date, when taxes are due (January 15). If a person signs the legal residence certification, obtains the 4% assessment rate, and is thereafter found not eligible, or loses eligibility. The property will be re-taxed at the 6% rate.

      Application for the Special Assessment Ratio of 4% is available on our website under online forms. Applicant(s) must sign and certify to the following:

      “Under penalty of perjury, I certify that: (A) the residence which is the subject of this application is my legal residence and where I am domiciled at the time of this application and that neither I, nor any member of my household claim to be a legal resident of a jurisdiction other than South Carolina for any purpose; and (B) that neither I nor any member of my household claim the special assessment ratio allowed by this section on another residence. ‘A member of my household’ means: (a) the owner-occupant’s spouse, except when that spouse is legally separated from the owner-occupant; and (b) any child under the age of eighteen years of the owner-occupant claimed or eligible to be claimed as a dependent on the owner-occupant’s federal income tax return.”
      Please be aware of the following items that are required for eligibility of the Special Assessment Ratio (4%), both items are needed from you and your spouse.
      • Copy of your South Carolina Vehicle(s) registration
      • Copy of your South Carolina Voter(s) registration
      • Copy of your South Carolina driver’s license or identification card
      • Copy of owner-occupants most recently filed South Carolina Income tax return
      • Copy of your trust agreement if property is held in a trust
      • If military, provide copy of PCS orders and Military/Spouse ID

    • How often does a county wide reassessment occur?

      Once every fifth year, each county in South Carolina must reassess the properties under its jurisdiction. Property valuation must be complete at the end of the fourth year. Counties are on a staggered reassessment schedule. The Assessor must notify every person who is listed as the property owner as of December 31 of the prior year of any change in value or classification if the change is $1,000 dollars or more. In the fifth year, the County shall implement the reassessment program and assess all property on the newly appraised values.
    • I received a rollback tax notice(s). What is it for?

      When real property is valued, assessed and taxed as agricultural use and the use changes to other than agriculture, the property is subject to additional taxes. The rollback tax is the difference between the taxes paid on the valuation as agriculture property and the tax amount(s) based on the assessor's market value. A rollback tax is a current year tax based on prior year levies and payable as a current tax subject to specific due dates shown on the tax bill. Please read the tax notice for these important dates. Real property is subject to rollback taxes up to 5 years immediately preceding the year the property use changed.
    • Paying Your Bill on Time: If I have not gotten a response to my appeal or my application for a special assessment or exemption, do I have to pay my bill on the due date?

      Tax bills are due and payable by January 15th to avoid penalties, even if your property is under appeal.
    • What is "THE MULTIPLE LOT DISCOUNT?"

      (SC Code of Law Section 12-43-225)
      There is a discount available for subdivided land, when certain qualifications are met. This discount is known as "The Multiple Lot Discount" or "The Developer’s Discount".
      To qualify, the original plat must have contained at least 10 lots. Any lots applied for must be unsold or unimproved as of January 1st of the tax year in which the discount is sought. There are specific exceptions on sold lots that may result in a continuation of the discount.

      Legislation signed by Governor Haley on May 25, 2012 provides for an additional 3-year extension on lots that previously qualified on December 31, 2011; this is in addition to any remaining years left under the 5-year program. In addition, if 10 or more lots are sold to persons in the business of real estate development, the remaining tax years discount will transfer to them upon application to the assessor. Holders of South Carolina residential or commercial building license may also qualify for 3 years of lot discount eligibility, again on application to the assessor.

      Application must be received on or before May 1st of the tax year in which the discount is to apply. Late applications are accepted within 30-days of the mailing of tax notices and must include a $100.00 late penalty fee payable to the Jasper County Treasurer.
    • Who determines the amount of taxes I pay?

      While the County Assessor determines the value of the property for tax purposes, the local taxing authorities (County, City, School District, Fire District, Water and Sanitation Districts, etc.) decide how much money is required to provide services and establish the millage rate.   

      Three major phases of the real property taxation process:
      1. Real Property appraisal and assessment (County Assessor)
      2. Budget and tax levy (School Board, Commissioners, and other taxing authorities) 
      3. Tax billing and collection (Tax Collector)
      The County Assessor is involved in the first phase as described below:
      • The Budget divided by taxable portion of assessed value = Tax Rate
        (the budget is determined by the School Board, Commissioners, and other taxing authorities)
      • The County Assessor determines assessed value. 
      • Tax Rate multiplied by the taxable portion of assessed value = Tax Bill 

      The County Assessor is not the Tax Collector and the County Assessor has nothing to do with the total amount of taxes collected. However, as a property owner, you are not only interested in what value the County Assessor places on your property, but in the way the amount of taxes you pay is determined.  

    • Who is responsible for the taxes if a property is sold after December 31st?

      The tax bill will have the name of the assessed owner as of December 31. If you receive a tax bill for the sold property, please forward it to the new owner since the new or current owner is responsible for all taxes once the sale is finalized.
    • Deadlines for Application: What deadlines apply for applications for special assessments?

      Deadlines indicate postmark date, not the received date. The applications for various special assessments can be found under online forms. All the application forms clearly indicate the deadline that applies to that particular exemption or special assessment. For most applications the application must be filed no later than January 15th unless that date falls on a weekend or holiday. One application in particular does not have a due date tied to the penalty date. That is the application for Multiple Lot Ownership Discount. It is due on or Before May 1st. Please consult the specific application for each deadline.

      Appeal deadlines are covered in the section on appeals and vary by mailings. It is not one deadline.

      Similarly, if a notice of change is sent, appealing soon after the notice is received is better than waiting until the last day. Notices are sent out in large batches. Therefore many people have the same deadlines.

      It is not necessary to send applications or appeal letters “return receipt requested”, but it may provide peace of mind that the letter or application was received. If a letter or application is sent return receipt requested, hold onto the returned receipt until contacted by the Assessor’s office or until a response is received.

    • How do I change my mailing address?

      Send your request for address change to the Jasper County Assessor, PO Box 837, Ridgeland, SC 29936. E-mail requests will be accepted providing owner verification, current mailing address, new address, property location, and tax parcel number is included in the email. Email to swaite@jaspercountysc.gov. If you need additional information please call the Assessor's office at 843-717-3620.
    • How is property reassessed?

      Real property is reassessed at fair market value using a "Mass Appraisal" process which may be described as:
      • “The process of valuing a universe of properties as of a given date using standard methodology, employing common data, and allowing for statistical testing.”
      • It may also be described as the "appraisal of multiple properties", as of a given date, by a systematic and uniform application of appraisal methods and techniques that allow for statistical review and analysis of results. A mass appraisal establishes an individual property value (result) for each property in a group of properties as of a certain date"(date of value) .
    • I no longer own this property. What should I do with the tax notice?

      If ownership transferred in current year, forward tax notice to new owner or contact closing attorney for advice. If ownership transferred after January 1st, the new owner will be updated to the Assessor file for the following tax year. If ownership transferred last year, call the Jasper County Assessor's office at 843-717-3620.
    • If I disagree with the Assessor’s appraisal of my property, how can I appeal?

      A letter of objection must allow the Assessor’s office to identify the property in question, preferably by use of the Parcel ID Number. Street addresses may be used. The letter must contain an original signature. If the signature is not legible, writing the name or the signer below the signature is helpful. A daytime phone number should be provided. Please state the reason for appeal. There is a legal process to be followed after the letter is received, and subsequent deadlines apply to those steps. For your convenience an appeal application is available on the website. Please provide an application for each property you are appealing. Fill the application out in its entirety. Any incomplete applications will not be considered.

      It is not necessary to send a letter of objection “return receipt requested”, but it may provide peace of mind that the letter of objection was received. If a letter is sent “return receipt requested”, hold onto the returned receipt until contacted by the Assessor’s office or until a response is received.
    • If I never received my tax notice, what should I do?

      Call the Jasper County Assessor's office at 843-717-3620.
    • Is there a tax break available to full-time residents?

      Yes, State Law provides for a 4 percent property assessment ratio on primary residences.
      Effective for property tax years beginning after 2006 and to the extent not already exempt for Homestead purposes, one-hundred percent (100%) of the Fair Market Value of owner-occupied residential property eligible for and receiving the Special Assessment Ratio of 4% is EXEMPT from all property taxes imposed for school operating purposes but does not include millage imposed for debt purposes. This is an exemption granted to homeowners who have qualified for and received the special assessment ratio of 4%.

      Application for the Special Assessment Ratio of 4% is available on our website under online forms. Applicant(s) must sign and certify to the following:

      “Under penalty of perjury, I certify that: (A) the residence which is the subject of this application is my legal residence and where I am domiciled at the time of this application and that neither I, nor any member of my household claim to be a legal resident of a jurisdiction other than South Carolina for any purpose; and (B) that neither I nor any member of my household claim the special assessment ratio allowed by this section on another residence. ‘A member of my household’ means: (a) the owner-occupant’s spouse, except when that spouse is legally separated from the owner-occupant; and (b) any child under the age of eighteen years of the owner-occupant claimed or eligible to be claimed as a dependent on the owner-occupant’s federal income tax return.” 
      Please be aware of the following items that are required for eligibility of the Special Assessment Ratio (4%), both items are needed from you and your spouse.
      • Copy of your South Carolina Vehicle(s) registration
      • Copy of your South Carolina Voter(s) registration
      • Copy of your South Carolina driver’s license or identification card
      • Copy of owner-occupants most recently filed South Carolina Income tax return
      • Copy of your trust agreement if property is held in a trust
      • If military, provide copy of PCS orders and Military/Spouse ID
    • Is there a tax break for individuals 65 or older/100% disabled?

      Contact the Jasper County Auditor at 843-717-3605 for details about the HOMESTEAD Exemption.
    • My property is mortgaged. Do I pay the taxes?

      Your mortgage company usually pays your property taxes. Property owners whose mortgage company pays the property taxes may NOT receive a tax bill. If you receive a bill, it is your responsibility to forward it to your mortgage company for payment. The property owner is responsible to make sure that the mortgage company has paid the property taxes owed. 
    • Names are misspelled on tax notice, how do I correct this?

      Refer to your deed. If the names are correct on the deed, call the Jasper County Assessor's office at 843-717-3620. If the names are spelled incorrectly on the deed; contact the attorney to record a corrective deed at the Jasper County Register of Deeds office.
    • What County Office is responsible for reassessment?

      The Jasper County Assessor who’s duties include:
      South Carolina Code of Laws Section 12-37-90:
      The assessor is responsible for the operation of this office and shall:
      • maintain a continuous record of recorded deed transactions, building permits, tax maps, and other records necessary for a continuing reassessment program;
      • diligently search for and discover all real property not previously returned by the owners or their agents or not listed for taxation by the county auditor, and list such property for taxation in the name of the owner or person to whom it is taxable;
      • when values change, reappraise and reassess real property so as to reflect its proper valuation in light of changed conditions, except for exempt property and real property required by law to be appraised and assessed by the department, and furnish a list of these assessments to the county auditor;
      • determine assessments and reassessments of real property in a manner that the ratio of assessed value to fair market value is uniform throughout the county;
      • appear as necessary before an appellate board to give testimony and present evidence as to the justification of an appraisal;
      • have the right of appeal from a disapproval of or modification of an appraisal made by the Assessor;
      • perform duties relating to the office of tax assessor required by the laws of this State;
      • be the sole person responsible for the valuation of real property, except that required by law to be appraised and assessed by the department, and the values set by the assessor may be altered only by the assessor or by legally constituted appellate boards, the department, or the courts;
      • have the right to enter and examine all new nonresidential buildings and structures and those portions of an existing nonresidential building or structure covered by a building permit for renovations or additions.
    • What happens when property is transferred into trust?

      The 4% Special Assessment ratio will be removed from properties transferred into a trust. However, state law provides that if residential real property is held in a trust and the income beneficiary of the trust occupies the property as their primary residence, the property may qualify for the 4% special assessment ratio. A new application is required in order to be reconsidered for the 4% Special Assessment ratio. ADDITIONALLY, all applicant(s) must show proof they are the income beneficiaries to the trust by submitting the trust for review to our office.

      It is the owner's responsibility to make sure the initial application and future applications are filed on time. State law permits County Council to extend the filing deadline if an owner can show good and reasonable cause for filing late. The late application must be filed with a petition stating "satisfactory" reason and "reasonable cause" for not filing by the January 15th deadline.
    • What is an Assessable Transfer of Interest?

      An Assessable Transfer of Interest (ATI) means a transfer of an existing interest in real property that subjects the property to an appraisal. The date of the appraisal is December 31st of the year of transfer and represents the fair market value for property tax purposes following December 31st. Some examples are: Conveyance by deed, by land contract, conveyance to a trust, distribution from a trust or under a will. For additional information, contact the Jasper County Assessor.
    • What is an assessment ratio?

      The assessment ratio is simply a percentage (usually 4% or 6%) which is multiplied by the appraised value or the use value of a property to determine the assessed value.
    • What is Market Value?

      Market Value is the estimated amount for which a property should exchange on the date of valuation between a willing buyer and a willing seller in an arms-length transaction after proper marketing wherein the parties had each acted knowledgeably, prudently, and without compulsion.
    • What should I do if I recently sold my property, but I received a tax bill?

       The tax statement may either be forwarded on to the purchaser or returned to the Auditor’s Office. If you choose to return the statement please note the purchaser's name and address. 
    • When are real estate taxes due?

      January 15th to avoid penalties.
    • When is fair market value determined?

      For property tax years beginning after 2006, the fair market value of real property is its fair market value applicable for the later of:
      Appraised value applicable for property tax year 2007, or
      As determined on an Appeal, or
      As determined in a countywide reassessment program but limited to a 15%
      Increase within a five year period to the otherwise applicable fair market value, or
      December 31st of the year in which an assessable transfer of interest
      (Point of Sale) has occurred.
    • Why reassess?

      Reassessment is required by law.

      South Carolina Code of Laws Section 12-43-217. Quadrennial reassessment; postponement ordinance:
      (A) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, once every fifth year each county or the State shall appraise and equalize those properties under its jurisdiction.  Property valuation must be complete at the end of December of the fourth year and the county or State shall notify every taxpayer of any change in value or classification if the change is one thousand dollars or more.  In the fifth year, the county or State shall implement the program and assess all property on the newly appraised values.
      (B) A county by ordinance may postpone for not more than one property tax year the implementation of revised values resulting from the equalization program provided pursuant to subsection (A). The postponement ordinance applies to all revised values, including values for state-appraised properties.  The postponement allowed pursuant to this subsection does not affect the schedule of the appraisal and equalization program required pursuant to subsection (A) of this section.

      All properties in this county were last reassessed in 2015. But these values changed over time, and properties in areas that are developing quickly appreciate more rapidly than properties in established areas where little change has taken place.