South Carolina property tax laws

4 Replies

seem to stink for real estate investors! I live in Georgia, grew up in SC and have been exploring the possibility of buying MF rentals near USC. However the property taxes seem to be outrageous for a "non owner occupied" home versus "owner occupied". I'm talking 4 times as much in some cases. If I understand it correctly the rate applied against total millage initially appears to be mildy different (4% vs. 6%). However owner occupants do not pay the additional school tax. Only non-owner occupants pay it. Additionally owner occupants get an exemption on the first 50k or 100k of value. So if you live there with kids your property taxes do not pay for schools? If you do not live there you pay for their chidren to go to school? This seems crazy.

Is this a SC thing or do other states discourage investors like this? I don't see how investors can make any money in SC.

@Brent Rogers

I agree, at least for Richland County. I've been looking for a property around USC myself and the taxes do kill any possible deals. If you find a cheap enough house where the taxes aren't $500 bucks a month then the rent for that area is probably not good enough to cover everything. 

If you are interested in getting in the USC student market though I would recommend looking right across the bridge in Cayce or West Columbia. It's Lexington county and while the taxes still aren't great by any means, they're a good chunk less than Richland County's. 

Here's a tool to get an estimate on property tax in Lexington County...
http://www.lex-co.com/scripts/cgiip.exe/WService=w...

I think it's last year's millage rates but it should be close enough for estimating expenses.

Hope this helps!

I agree with @Chris Duzan taxes in Columbia/Richland can be painful.  I try to stay in Cayce/West Columbia or Lexington.  Anyplace that is unincorporated is better for taxes.  I have looked at too many deals in the Columbia area that would be good until I take a look at the taxes.

Keep in mind taxes vary by county. Come to Greenwood County and you will feel much better about Richland County.  I invest in Columbia, but was looking at renting out a house in the city of Greenwood, but  a house with $110k value with $3k in annual property taxes kills most deals. The same house in Richland County would have about $2k. I understand Myrtle Beach has outrageous property taxes too.

I know this is an old post but im curious if this applies to homes with over 5 units in Richland near USC. Does anyone know?

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