Property Tax May Increase at Point of Sale

The question of property taxes increase at the point of sale came up this week with a closing for a client. Did you know that in 2011, the Point of Sale Statute was put into position, which changed the manner in which real estate property was revalued for property tax purposes?

When you purchase a home, it now triggers the county to reassess your property at the new purchase price, (which, in this current real estate market where houses are selling for top dollar, often resulting in multiple offers), can make a big difference in what your property taxes are going to be vs what they currently are.

The way that the law reads is that it is revalued anytime there is a "transfer of interest."

Examples of Assessable Transfer of Interest: 1) sale of property; 2) rent-to-own; 3) transfer to/from trusts; 4) transfer by wlll; 5) long-term lease (20 years); 6) corporate transfers; 7) changes in zoning/rollback taxes 
 
Exempt Transfers: 1) any IRS-exempt transfer; 2) transfer to spouse (divorce); 3) insurance rebuilds (fire, etc.); 4) life estates 5) foreclosure, forfeiture, deed in lieu; 6) tax sales; 7) security interests

South Carolina Property taxes are calculated by the following formula:

(MILLAGE RATE x ASSESSMENT RATIO x VALUE) - TAX CREDITS = PROPERTY TAX

POSSIBLE WAYS TO REDUCE YOUR TAX LIABILITY: 
 
• Apply for the legal residence tax ratio of 4% (meaning this is your primary residence)
• Appeal the tax assessor’s appraisal if it is too high 
• Apply for all eligible tax credits (school operations, disability, senior citizen)

When you are purchasing a home, it is wise to look up the tax assessed value listed in the Greenville County Tax Records. If that value is significantly below what you are going to be purchasing the house for, go ahead and call the Greenville County Tax Assessors Office and ask for an estimate on what your new taxes will be once you purchase the home (so that your lender can properly account for what your taxes will be for the year). Beyond that, the taxed assessed value is NOT the same as the appraised value/fair market value--which comes from getting an appraisal done during the purchase period.