The state of South Carolina has special provisions on property taxes for home owners who are 65 years of age or older and who have resided in the state for at least one year. These benefits are usually available for a surviving spouse if the deceased spouse was 65 or older. The surviving spouse must be 50 years of age or older. The benefit is known as homestead tax exemption and provides that the first $50,000 of the fair market value of the dwelling place, including mobile homes on leased land, shall be exempt from municipal, county, school and special assessment real property taxes.
To receive this exemption you must generally apply at your county auditor's office by July 15 of the year in which it is to be initially claimed. If you are unable to go there yourself, you may authorize someone to make the application for you. You must have proof of your age, such as from a birth certificate, Medicare card, Medicaid card or driver's license.
State property taxes which are actually paid may be fully deductible for federal income tax purposes if you itemize your deductions on your federal return. If you have any specific questions about the homestead tax exemption contact your county auditor, or your lawyer.
This information was prepared to give you some general information on the law. It is not intended as legal advice about any particular problem. If you have questions about the law you should consult a lawyer. If you do not know a lawyer, you can call the South Carolina Bar Lawyer Referral Service weekdays between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. The number is 799-7100 in Richland or Lexington Counties, and 1-800-868-2284 from other parts of the state.