Charleston County set to begin Legal Residence Exemption audit

  • Thursday, July 31, 2014

Charleston County Government and the Charleston County Assessor's Office will be conducting a comprehensive check to ensure only those eligible are receiving the Legal Residence Exemption. Property owners receiving the exemption are taxed on their homes at a 4 percent assessment rate and it only applies if the person's Charleston County home is their primary residence. Property owners not eligible for the Legal Residence Exemption are taxed at a 6 percent rate.

“This is all about assessment equity and uniformity for Charleston County,” said Charleston County Assessor Toy Glennon. “It's our goal to get as many property owners as possible in line with South Carolina state law. Our office is ready to assist citizens who may have questions moving forward.”

Charleston County will oversee an extensive search of public information to help identify specific cases where a subject may be in violation. In those cases, a questionnaire will be mailed to the owner to be completed and returned in 15 days. The questionnaire is designed to determine if an owner and property still qualify for the exemption. Many taxpayers who receive a questionnaire will be able to resolve discrepancies and show that they do qualify by providing the information required and returning the questionnaire. Where it appears the owner does not qualify, the Charleston County Assessor's Office will make the final decision, notify taxpayers in writing and taxpayers will have the right to an appeal.

“Taking advantage of newly available technologies has proven to be effective in several counties in South Carolina,” said Deputy Administrator of Finance Keith Bustraan. “If everyone is paying their fair share, then revenues and the budget will be more in line with the needs of Charleston County.”

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