ABOUT OUR OFFICE
The primary function of the Assessor’s Office is to identify, map, classify and assess residential, commercial, agricultural and vacant real property within Laurens County for ad valorem tax purposes within the guidelines of South Carolina Code of Laws, South Carolina Department of Revenue regulations and Laurens County ordinances. While the Assessor’s Office determines the value of property, the local taxing authority which consists of the County, City, individual school districts, the Water and Sewer Commission, as well as other entities, ultimately decides how much money is required to provide services.
Additional functions of our office include:
- Accepting and processing appeals of values generated by our office
- Transferring ownership of real property through recorded deeds
- Reviewing and qualifying properties for Legal Residence and Agricultural Use
- Processing rollback taxes for changes in use from Agricultural to alternate use and providing rollback estimates
- Accepting and processing applications for Multiple Lot Developer Discounts, Homeowner’s Associations, Commercial ATI Exemptions and Active Military Residential Exemptions
- Changing mailing addresses for real property and mobile homes as requested
Our office is prohibited from providing legal advice of any kind.
CARS, BOATS, & BUSINESS PERSONAL PROPERTY QUESTIONS:
- Call the Auditor’s Office at (864) 984-2535.
MOBILE HOME REGISTRATION, SET-UP, RELOCATION OR DETITLING:
- Call Building Codes at (864) 984-6659.
PAYMENT OPTIONS, DEADLINES & ESCROW QUESTIONS:
- Call the Treasurer’s Office at (864) 984-4742.
APPEAL PROCESS FOR REAL PROPERTY AND MOBILE HOMES
Assessment notices are mailed when the Fair Market Value of a property is increased by more than $1000. If you received a reassessment notice in the mail, you must submit a written objection to the Assessor within ninety (90) days from the date of the assessment notice. If you did not receive a reassessment notice, your appeal must be received prior to the first penalty date for that tax year. Written objections must be postmarked or submitted in person to the Assessor prior to the deadline.
Please note: a missed deadline can lead to the dismissal of your appeal.
Written objections must include the following:
- Name, address and telephone number of the taxpayer;
- Property Tax Map Number;
- Property location;
- Taxpayer’s reason for protest and facts to support your objection;
- If appealing a mobile home value, please also include the year, make, model and size of the mobile home;
- Appeal forms and/or letters of appeal must be signed by the property owner or owner’s agent. To act as an owner’s agent, you must have a signed Declaration of Representative Form on file with the Assessor’s office.
- You may also attach any appraisal or other documentation you wish the Assessor to consider.
For your convenience, you may also use the “Appeal of Real Property Assessment” form: Appeal Form for Real Property and Mobile Homes.
Upon receipt of your written objection, the Assessor’s office will review the property under appeal, and if necessary, will schedule a conference with you to discuss the matter further. You will be notified in writing of the results of your appeal. Please note: appeals may result in a decrease in assessment, an increase in assessment, or no change at all.
Should you disagree with the Assessor’s findings, you may appeal within thirty (30) days to the Laurens County Board of Assessment Appeals by providing written notice to the Assessor. The board consists of private citizens who reside within Laurens County, and who serve as the final local authority when determining the validity of the Assessor’s findings.
Within thirty (30) days of the receipt of the board’s decision, you may appeal its findings by requesting a contested case hearing before the South Carolina Administrative Law Judge Division.
Rollback Taxes: A Brief Explanation
The Rollback tax is a requirement codified in South Carolina state law. Anytime a property changes its use from agricultural use to any other use, it causes rollback taxes to be assessed and billed to that portion of the property. Changes that can trigger the rollback provision may be the addition of a new house or mobile home, an additional commercial building or activities, new subdivision lots, new parcels below certain sizes, etc. (vacant land lying dormant is not agricultural use). It is calculated by determining the difference between what taxes had been paid at the agricultural use rate and what would have been paid if the property had been taxed at the 6% other property tax rate, for five years prior to the change in use. It does not matter if the current owner of the property is not the same as the owner that received the agricultural classification for the previous five years, the tax is still due for the year it is levied as a current year tax for that year. Often times when a property sells, the rollback taxes are allocated between the buyer and seller by the sales contract or during the closing, by the closing attorney. The county does not prorate rollback taxes between buyers and sellers as that is a function of an agreement, or lack of an agreement, between the buyer and seller and/or the closing attorney. Because failure to pay the tax can result in sale of the property, the new owner of the property (if any) is the notified party since the new owner’s interest would be the most affected by the tax sale.
Policy Regarding Rollback Tax Estimates
Our office does not provide estimates for rollback taxes over the phone. All requests for rollback tax estimates must be submitted in writing. Requests will be accepted via USPS or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, and must include the following information:
- Tax Map Number
- Number of acres
- Requestor’s name and company name
- Requestor’s email address (if submitted via USPS)
- Requestor’s telephone number
Please allow 24 hours to process your request.
SC Statute on Rollback Taxes
SC Code of Law Section 12-43-220
(4) When real property which is in agricultural use and is being valued, assessed, and taxed under the provisions of this article, is applied to a use other than agricultural, it is subject to additional taxes, hereinafter referred to as roll-back taxes, in an amount equal to the difference, if any, between the taxes paid or payable on the basis of the valuation and the assessment authorized hereunder and the taxes that would have been paid or payable had the real property been valued, assessed, and taxed as other real property in the taxing district, in the current tax year (the year of change in use) and each of the five tax years immediately
preceding in which the real property was valued, assessed, and taxed as herein provided. If in the tax year in which a change in use of the real property occurs the real property was not valued, assessed, and taxed under this article, then the real property is subject to roll-back taxes for each of the five tax years immediately preceding in which the real property was valued, assessed, and taxed hereunder. In determining the amounts of the roll-back taxes chargeable on real property which has undergone a change in use, the assessor shall for each of the roll-back tax years involved ascertain:
(A) the fair market value without consideration of the standing timber of such real property under the valuation standard applicable to other real property in the same classification;
(B) the amount of the real property assessment for the particular tax year by multiplying such fair market value by the appropriate assessment ratio provided in this article;
(C) the amount of the additional assessment on the real property for the particular tax year by deducting the amount of the actual assessment on the real property for that year from the amount of the real property assessment determined under (B) of this section;
(D) the amount of the rollback for that tax year by multiplying the amount of the additional assessment determined under (C) of this section by the property tax rate of the taxing district applicable for that tax year.
Revision 1 – 24 Oct 2017
The next reassessment year
Previous reassessment years
2006 (Implemented in 2008)