labor-day  Labor day might not be the time when you think about taxes.  Usually we think about the IRS around March and April and our property taxes at the end of the year, but Labor Day is a good time to review your primary home’s tax rate.  You might not know this, but  when you make a real estate purchase in South Carolina the tax rate may be set at 6%.   But if your are living in your home the rate is 4%. It can be just a clerical error, or a change of address error, but there many folks out there paying 2% more than they have to.    Also, if you are over 65, or permanently disabled or legally blind you qualify for the homestead act.  The first $50,000 of value on your primary house is exempt from being taxed.   You must have been a legal resident of SC for one year prior to applying. You should also make sure your home or land is properly labeled.  Here is the breakdown for South Carolina:

Your home (legal residence) 4% Second home 6% (or any residential property where you do not live) Agricultural real property (privately owned) 4% Agricultural real property (corporate owned) 6% Commercial real property 6% Manufacturing real and personal property 10.5% Utility real and personal property 10.5% Personal property 10.5% Railroads, airlines, pipelines, 9.5% real and personal property Vehicles 8.25% (Vehicle ratios reduce each year until 6%)

Many peoples tax status’s change and unlike Facebook we fail to update them regularly.  This can be a costly mistake.  So when Labor Day rolls around, take out your real estate tax paperwork or go online on your county website and make sure you are paying the correct rate.

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You can also apply to have your house re-assessed if you feel the value of your house is much higher than market value. The latest drop in home values over the past few years  left many people upside down on a mortgage or a house assessed much higher than local sales.  The good news is right now we are seeing values on the rise  and fair market value of existing homes increasing.  New home construction is growing and slowly we are getting more houses on the market to choose from.

As your realtor, I am able to work up a fair market evaluation of homes similar to yours that have sold in the past 6-12 months.  This can help you with your tax bill and also let you know what your house could sell for in this active market.  This is absolutely free.  Please feel free to contact me and I will get busy making sure you are up to date with current market value status’   This is one Status update you can not afford to ignore.

Amy Hart Gantt

Realtor, ERA Kennedy Group, Seneca SC