2013 Reappraisal

2013 Reappraisal Newsletter

2013 Reappraisal Brochure Mailed with Notice

Sample Change of Assessment Notice

South Carolina Department of Revenue 2013 Reappraisal Approval

THE DEADLINE TO APPEAL IS DECEMBER 13, 2013

Filling an appeal does not extend the time to pay your tax notice. The 2013 Tax Notices are due by Wednesday, January 15, 2014; tax notices unpaid after this date will incur penalties for late payments.

The tax notice must be paid by the due date. Penalties will apply if the tax notice is not paid by the date indicated on the notice. Upon resolution of the appeal, an adjusted tax notice will be prepared and the difference if any, will be refunded or billed accordingly.

I. Why Do We Pay Property Tax?
Local governments collect property taxes to provide for the services most of us take for granted. Schools, police and fire protection, roads and bridges, EMS, water and sewer systems, the judicial system, and public libraries are financed through revenue from the property tax. A review of your most recent tax bill shows a detailed breakdown of how and where your tax dollars go. We are all asked to pay a share of the cost of these services by paying tax in proportion to the value of our property. Real property taxes are paid by owners of land, mobile homes, and buildings, including homeowners, landlords, business owners, and industries. Property taxes are based on the market value of the land and buildings as of December 31st of the preceding year. For example, the tax bill you receive every fall is based on property values and construction that existed on December 31, 2012.

II. Where Does The Property Tax Revenue Go?
The local school boards, county and city councils and special-purpose districts determine how much money must be collected to fund their budgets and the tax rate necessary to meet those budgets. For many governments, property taxes make up only a portion of the total amount of revenue needs to fund the budget. Fees and other sources of income make up the remainder. Just because collecting the tax is a county function does not mean that all the taxes collected are the responsibility of the county. In fact, only one fifth (1/5) of the typical tax bill in Spartanburg pays for county operation costs. The rest of the revenue is distributed to the 72 other local government entities whose budgets rely on property taxes.

III. Why Have Reappraisal?
The sole purpose of reappraisal is to ensure fairness in the property tax system. In a property tax system, a taxpayer's fair share is determined by the value of the property he or she owns as compared to the value of the property owned by the other taxpayers in the jurisdiction. The value of property changes over time and some properties change in value more than others. If the values used for taxation purposes are not in line with current market values, there is no assurance that any taxpayer is being charged his or her fair share. From the time your property is added to the tax rolls, the appraisal does not change unless there is a change to the property that will affect the market value (such as a new structure, an addition to an existing structure, the removal of a structure, a change in the use of land) or a reappraisal program. Fair and equitable taxes are not possible unless appraisals are made in light of current market conditions. Only real estate property values are affected by reappraisal. South Carolina law requires counties to implement reappraisal programs every five years. After implementing the 2013 program, work began on the 2018 program. Values of personal property such as cars, boats, and motorcycles are kept current through annual updates by the South Carolina Department of Revenue and Taxation.

IV. How Is Reappraisal Done?
For the 2013 reappraisal, appraisers in the County Assessor's office examined properties to determine current market value as of December 31, 2012. Determining the market value on all these properties is a massive undertaking, requiring the Assessor to maintain information on each property located in the county, including size, age, location and certain other features. To find the fair market value of any piece of property, the Assessor researches what similar properties have sold for, current replacement cost, how much it takes to operate and repair, how much rent the property may earn, and other factors affecting its value.

Values are now limited to 15% during reappraisals unless there have been additions or improvement to the property, if the property has sold or if there is an assessable transfer of interest. All county appraisers receive extensive training and must be licensed by the SC Real Estate Appraisal Board. It is important to remember that the Assessor does not create value; only the market place can do that. The basic principles of value such as supply and demand, competition and contribution are major factors in determining a property's fair market value.
V. How Will I Be Advised Of My 2013 Reappraisal Change?
More than 157,300 reappraisal notices showing the market value and the limited value as of December 31, 2012, will be mailed by September 2013. This notice is not a tax bill nor is it the amount of taxes to be paid. It simply notifies taxpayers of a change in their property's value. The notice includes your new (2013) market value, the limited value, the assessed value, the assessment ratio, the number of acres or lots, the location of the property, and the map reference number. It also includes the appeal procedure you must follow if you disagree with the taxable value placed on your property.

VI. How Can I Be Sure My Reappraisal Is Fair And Correct?
If you disagree or have questions concerning the new value assigned to your property, you have 90 days from the date on the reappraisal notice to file an objection. You must file a written notice of your appeal to the Spartanburg County Assessor, P.0. Box 5762, Spartanburg, SC 29304, and state why you believe the new appraisal is incorrect.Please provide any supporting documents or facts that substantiate your opinion of value. The appeal is based on the value of the property, not the potential amount of taxes. The Assessor will schedule an informal conference with you to discuss your concerns. The appraiser conducting the conference will review your property record with you and give you information about the values of comparable properties in your neighborhood. To be sure your reappraisal is fair and correct; you should verify that any items that affect market value such as land size, age and size of the structure, etc. are correct and that your property is not appraised for more than recent sales of comparable properties have indicated your property to be worth. Property Data is available at 366 North Church St. Spartanburg, SC 29303, from 8:00 AM until 5:00 PM Monday through Friday. Data is also available on the Internet at www.spartanburgcounty.org. After the property review, a second assessment notice will be issued. If you still disagree, you may appeal to the Spartanburg County Board of Assessment Appeals. If you disagree with the Board's decision, you may request a contested case hearing before the South Carolina Administrative Law Court.

VII. Will My Taxes Increase Because Of Reappraisal?
Some property owners will notice a decrease in their taxes, some will stay the same and some will pay more taxes. Reappraisal is not implemented to raise taxes; it is intended to distribute the tax burden fairly among all property owners. Also, changes in the total assessed values of other components of the property tax base, such as manufacturing and automobiles, could also result in shifts in tax burden. In addition, the property tax relief credits, which are controlled by the South Carolina General Assembly, may also change affecting the bottom line on the tax bill.

VIII. How Is Property Taxed?
All property is appraised at fair market value. (Bona-fide agricultural property is appraised at use value, which is based on the soil's capability to produce certain agricultural commodities.) Real property within the same classification has a uniform assessment ratio throughout the state. Those classifications and ratios are:
  • Industrial and Utility Companies 10.5%
  • Transportation Companies 9.5%
  • Owner Occupied Residential Property 4.0%
  • Agricultural Properties of Individuals 4.0%
  • Agricultural Properties of Certain Corporations 6.0%
  • Other Properties 6.0%
The assessed value is a result of the appraised value or use value multiplied by the assessment ratio. Industrial, utility and transportation company property is appraised by the SC Department of Revenue and Taxation. The County Assessor appraises all other real estate.

Once the appraisals and assessments are complete, they are certified to the County Auditor, who adds the assessed value to that of personal property and calculates the tax millage or levy for each district. Fee in lieu of tax payments are not part of millage rate calculations but are included in the budget process. The millage rates are based on the total assessed value within the district and their revenue requirements. The amount of property tax owed is then calculated on each parcel as shown in the chart below:

Taxable Value X Millage Rate (Tax Levy) = Property Tax
Property Tax - State Property Tax Relief = Net Tax Due

The examples listed below are for an owner-occupied and non owner-occupied residence appraised at $100,000 located in School District 6, North Spartanburg Fire District.

Taxable Value
X Ratio = Assessment X Levy = Total Tax
$100,000 X 4% = $4,000 X 0.3383 = $1,353.20

Total Tax Less Property Tax Relief = Net Tax Due
$1,353.20 - $713.60 = $639.60

Property tax if assessed at 6%. (Non Owner Occupied Residential Property)

Taxable Value X Non Owner Occupied Assessment = Assessed Value X Tax Rate = Total Tax
$100,000 X 6% = $6,000 X 0.3383 = $2,029.80

A landfill fee is also charged to all residential units within the County. In certain cases other fees may be charged by the County as well as some municipalities.

Municipality Contact Information Applicable Fee
City of Greer 864-848-2175 Storm Water and Public Service Fee
City of Spartanburg 864-562-4510  Storm Water and Residential Garbage Fee
Town of Duncan   864-439-4875 Public Works Fee
Town of Pacolet  864-474-9504  Sanitation Fee
Town of Wellford 864-439-4875 Public Works Fee