Homestead Tax Exemption

General Information

In 1972, the General Assembly passed the Homestead Exemption Law, which provided property tax relief for South Carolinians age sixty-five, the blind, or disabled.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I Qualify?
If you are . . .

  • age 65 on or before December 31, preceding the tax year in which you wish to claim the exemption; OR
  • certified totally and permanently disabled by a State or Federal agency; OR
  • legally blind; OR
  • the surviving spouse of a person who was 65 years of age, legally blind, or permanently disabled at the time of his or her death; AND
  • a legal resident of South Carolina for at least one year on or before December 31 of the year prior to the exemption; AND
  • hold fee simple title or partial title to your house, mobile home, or life estate on or before December 31 of the year prior to the exemption
Where do I apply?
You must apply for the Homestead Exemption at the County Auditor's office. If you are unable to go to the Auditor's office, you may authorize someone to apply for you.
What documents do I need?
Proof of your eligibility is required.

If you are applying due to age, bring your birth certificate, Medicaid card, Medicare card, or driver's license.

If you are applying due to disability, you will need to present documentation from the state or federal agency certifying the disability.

If you are applying due to blindness,you will need to present documentation from a licensed ophthalmologist

If you are the income beneficiary of a trust you will need to present a copy of the trust agreement.
Do I need to re-apply annually?
No. Only in the case of a death of the eligible owner or if you move to a new home will re-application be necessary.

However, any changes which may affect your eligibility should be reported to your County Auditor immediately. They are:

  • change in disability status
  • Any change of ownership
  • Rental of your home
  • Remarriage of surviving spouse
What is the Benefit?
In 2007 the SC Legislature passed legislation that completely exempts from your tax bill all taxes levied for school operating purposes on the value of your legal residence. The Homestead Exemption credit continues to completely exempt the value of $50,000 for all purposes except for school operating purposes. (already exempted by the new 2007 legislation).

Examples of the tax bill with credits for school operations (school tax credit savings) and homestead exemption:

Value of Home   $62,500
Assessment ratio for legal residence (4%) X .04
Total assessed value   2,500
Total millage for all purposes (285 mills) X .285
Total taxes due before any credits   $712.50
New school tax credit savings:    
62,500 X .04 X 150 mills school operations = ($375)
Homestead exemption credit:    
50,000 X .04 X 135 mills    
(285 total - 150 school operating = ($270)
Total tax bill with both credits = $67.50