South Carolina Agricultural Property Tax Exemption

Reducing Property Taxes South Carolina Agricultural Property Tax Exemption

Get the Scoop on the South Carolina Agricultural Property Tax Exemption

While South Carolina is one of the states with low property taxes, you may still need help paying them. One of the ways to lower property taxes is to apply for exemptions. We’ll explain what the South Carolina agricultural property tax exemption entails and help you along the application process.

SC Property Tax Rates

The property tax rates in South Carolina range from 0.40% to over 0.80% as counties impose their own tax rates. This means that two properties with the same assessed value will require different tax payments depending on the county they’re in.

Here’s an overview of tax rates in several South Carolina counties:

SC CountyProperty Tax Rate
Horry County0.37%
Florence County0.42%
Chesterfield County0.43%
Bamberg County0.73%
Richland County0.80%
Newberry County0.86%

Municipalities calculate tax rates based on the services that require funding, such as:

  • Schools
  • Museums
  • Road upkeep
  • Street cleaning
  • Protection services
  • Public recreation facilities

What Is Agricultural Property in South Carolina?

Agricultural property is a property used for agricultural purposes, such as to:

  • Raise and harvest crops
  • Breed or manage livestock
  • Keep other farm animals
  • Grow plants and trees

Agricultural property can’t be a residential property of the owner. If the property is used for recreation, is a fishing or hunting club, or is vacant land, it is not considered agricultural.

For a property to qualify as agricultural, at least 50% of its area must be used for agricultural purposes.

Requirements for the SC Agricultural Special Assessment

Besides owning land that is considered agricultural, there are more requirements you need to meet to have a special property tax assessment and pay less in taxes. Check the table below to find out whether your property meets all the criteria:

Factors for determining the qualifying agricultural acreage
  • Past land usage
  • Nature of the terrain
  • Agricultural product’s marketability
  • Density of the marketable product (e.g., timber)
  • Agricultural property purchased for investment
  • Cultivation or harvesting of the product (e.g., forestry management and planting of vineyards)
Agricultural use valueAgricultural use value is the appraised value assigned to the acreage tracts of land that is qualified to be of agricultural use
Requirements for agricultural real property
  • The tract must be at least five acres if it’s used to grow timber
  • Tracts of timberland with less than five acres can be considered agricultural real property if they're owned alongside the other tracts of non-timberland agricultural real property
  • The tract has to be at least ten acres if it’s not used to grow timber

Agricultural Special Assessment Explained

According to the SC Code §12-43-220(d)(3), a new owner of the agricultural property must apply for classification to the county assessor. The qualified agricultural property will be assessed differently than other properties. It will be taxed on an assessment equal to:

  1. 4% of the fair market value for owners or lessees who are individuals, partnerships, or corporations that don’t have one or more of the following:
    • More than ten shareholders
    • A shareholder that is not an individual
    • A shareholder that is a nonresident alien
    • More than one class of stock
  2. 6% of the market value for owners or lessees who are corporations, except for corporations such as those mentioned under a)

If you qualify for this agricultural property assessment, a portion of your taxes will be deferred.

What Are Rollback Taxes?

In case your agricultural property is used for other purposes or you purchased an agricultural property and use it in other ways, you’ll no longer benefit from the agricultural use special assessment ratio property tax exemption. This is where rollback taxes come in. When there’s a change in use, the property is subject to additional taxes that are called rollback taxes.

The rollback tax amount is the sum of the differences between the paid taxes and the taxes that would have been paid if the property had been taxed as other properties in the taxing district.

Other Property Tax Exemptions in SC

If you don’t qualify for the agricultural property tax exemption, you can check whether you are eligible for any other South Carolina exemptions if you are a:

  1. Senior citizen
  2. Person with disabilities
  3. Person who is legally blind
  4. Disabled veteran
  5. Homeowner living in your primary residence (homestead exemption)

Apply for the SC Agricultural Property Tax Exemption With DoNotPay

The application process for tax exemptions is typically convoluted. You will most likely have questions during the application and even before you apply as you need to check the laws and regulations and find out how and where to apply. Luckily, you don’t have to do it by yourself if you have an AI assistant by your side—!

Our app can generate a personalized property tax exemption guide for you! Whether you own agricultural property, you’re a senior citizen in SC, or you qualify for other exemptions, we’ll give you a detailed rundown and provide instructions.

Our guide consists of two sections that will help you lower your taxes:

  1. Application for property tax exemptions
  2. Property tax assessment appeal

Obtaining this guide is super easy! All you have to do is open DoNotPay in a and follow these instructions:

  1. Access our Property Tax feature
  2. Provide the necessary info, including your age, income, and location
  3. Answer a few questions regarding your property

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