The SC Realtors and the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce (SC Chamber) unveiled a first-of-its-kind analysis of South Carolina’s property tax system in a study completed by the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy (Lincoln Institute). The purpose of the analysis is to initiate conversations with stakeholders and policymakers and develop proposals that will ultimately change the state’s property tax system for the better. The report describes South Carolina’s property tax system as complex, inequitable and uncompetitive.
“It is critical for our state to consistently review and restructure our tax system to provide better opportunities for our citizens,” said Nick Kremydas, Attorney and CEO of SC Realtors. “This study gives an important glimpse into how we can develop a property tax structure that would offer a more than minimally adequate opportunity for all South Carolinians.”
“While we have known that South Carolina’s property tax system is burdensome on so many property owners, this study takes a deeper dive into a diverse group of counties to understand how it is flawed and gives options for reform,” said Swati Patel, Interim CEO of the SC Chamber. “It’s conclusion that our tax structure is uncompetitive, inequitable and complex amplifies the need for critical reforms to improve the business climate in South Carolina.”
As part of its analysis, the report explores South Carolina’s Act 388 and how it has affected the property tax system since it was first enacted in 2006. The law shifted property tax burdens from homeowners to business and renters. This increased the disparity in property tax rates, making South Carolina’s property tax system of extremes an anomaly in comparison to the rest of the U.S.
“It was a great pleasure to have the opportunity to gather a team of tax experts associated with the Lincoln Institute to analyze South Carolina’s unique property tax system,” said Daphne Kenyon, Resident Fellow in Tax Policy, Lincoln Institute of Land Policy.
The report also lays out three critical key findings within the South Carolina property tax system:
1) South Carolina’s property tax system is an outlier compared to the rest of the United States.
2) South Carolina’s disparate property tax rates are both unfair and inefficient.
3) South Carolina’s property tax system lacks transparency because of fragmented property tax administration, inconsistent language and varying land use codes.
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