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Learn if you qualify for reduced property taxes

  • Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Janet Brown Jurosko, Berkeley County auditor, wants to be sure that Berkeley County property owners are receiving all the property tax exemptions that may be available to them. The following information will help you determine if you qualify for an exemption.

The Homestead Exemption Act applies to the primary residence of homeowners who qualify in one of three ways: are 65 years of age or over, are totally and permanently disabled, or are legally blind. This act exempts the first $50,000 off the value of the qualified applicant’s home. The Homestead Exemption Act requires the taxpayer to come in to the county auditor’s office and apply. The exemption continues in effect unless there is a change in the title of the residence, change in disability or marital status, change of primary residence, the property is disposed of, or the dwelling is rented.

This act may apply to living trusts and other trusts if the trustee holds legal title to the home and the beneficiary of the trust is qualified by age or disability.

A taxpayer may be eligible for exemption of taxes on the qualified residence by the South Carolina Department of Revenue if a homeowner has a 100 percent total and permanent service-connected disability. This disability exemption may be from the Veterans Administration, law enforcement, or firefighter services. It also applies if the homeowner is a paraplegic or hemiplegic.

For the purposes of this exemption, paraplegic or hemiplegic includes a person with Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, which has caused the same ambulatory difficulties as a person with paraparesis or hemiparesis. The auditor’s office would be happy to assist in the completion of this application form.

The auditor’s office encourages any homeowner who may qualify for these programs to contact the Berkeley County Auditor’s Office for assistance. Please come by the office located at 1003 Highway 52 in Moncks Corner or call 723-3800 (Charleston), 567-3136 (Saint Stephen) or 719-4727 (Moncks Corner) for more information.

Visit their website at www.berkeleycountysc.gov for more information.

If you are already receiving one of these exemptions, you do not have to reapply unless your circumstances have changed as noted above. You will see the exemption breakdown on your yearly tax bill.

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