General

A: You may change your mailing address in-person at any one of our office locations or online.

A: All of the property taxes due are included in your property tax bill and collected by the Beaufort County Treasurer’s Office.


Property Tax Bills

A: The Property Identification Number (PIN) is the parcel number assigned to your property and an identifier by which Beaufort County Departments can look up your property's records. Every PIN will begin with an alpha character such as "R" for real property, "M" for mobile home, "MV" for motor vehicle, or "WC" for watercraft, followed by numeric characters. For real property (those PINs which begin with an "R"), the first three numeric characters will indicate the district in which that parcel lies. A Parcel District Map can assist you in identifying where a parcel is located.

A: You may obtain an original copy of your property tax bills through our online Tax Bill Lookup service. You may download, save or print a copy of your original tax bill by easily search using your name or other account information. You should note that these bills will not include any changes made after the bills have been printed. You may also obtain a copy of your tax bill by emailing us your request.

A: Real property and mobile homes are valued by the Beaufort County Assessor’s Office and the taxes are calculated by the Beaufort County Auditor’s Office. Personal property and motor vehicles are valued and the taxes calculated by the Beaufort County Auditor’s Office. All residential and commercial property in Beaufort County is taxed at a 6% assessment rate. An exception is an owner-occupied legal residence which may qualify for the 4% Special Assessment Ratio. Tax amounts are based on the value of the property being taxed and the millage being applied. If you have questions regarding your assessment ratio, real property or mobile home value, contact the Beaufort County Assessor’s Office at 843-255-2400. If you have questions about the value of your personal property or motor vehicle, or the taxes you are being charged, contact the Beaufort County Auditor’s Office at 843-255-2500.

A: Real and personal property tax bills are disseminated the beginning of November and are due by January 15th of the following calendar year. Motor vehicle tax bills are disseminated by the 15th of the month preceding the month of renewal.

A: Penalties and fees have been applied to your account because it is delinquent. Penalties are calculated and applied by the Beaufort County Auditor’s Office. Delinquent fees are applied by the Treasurer’s Office.

A: This generally occurs when a property transfer takes place just prior to or after the property tax bills have been disseminated. You may pay the outstanding taxes due and a receipt will be issued to you.

A: While real estate taxes are often pro-rated between a buyer and seller at closing, the Treasurer’s Office disseminates one tax notice to the primary owner of record at the time the property tax bills are created. You should contact your closing attorney to see how you should handle the notice for the year in which the property was purchased.

A: The tax bill will automatically be mailed to the primary owner of record, unless it is requested by a financial institution. If you received a green Courtesy Tax Notice, the financial institution indicated at the bottom of your notice requested your bill. You must contact that financial institution if you do not wish for them to pay your tax bill.

A: The accuracy of your mailing address is dependent upon our office receiving notification of any address changes. If you need to correct or update your mailing address you may do so in-person at any one of our office locations or online.


Making a Payment

A: Real and personal property taxes are due by January 15th. Motor vehicle taxes are due by the last day of your renewal month. Please see our Delinquent Taxes page for further information.

A: No, payment deadlines and any associated delinquent penalties and fees are implemented in accordance with South Carolina State Statute.

A:Taxes may be paid online by credit card, debit card, or electronic check. The Beaufort County Treasurer’s Office accepts all major credit cards. In addition to the taxes paid, a convenience fee is charged of 2.50% for credit cards and debit cards, and $2.50 for an electronic check.

A: Checks should be made payable to the Beaufort County Treasurer and contain your name, address, phone number and RevObjID found on your tax bill.

A:   Convenience fees of 2.50% for credit cards and debit cards, and $2.50 for an electronic check, are charged. Certain entities, such as a government or educational institution, are permitted to directly pass on to the customer the expense related to processing their payment. For other types of entities, such as a grocery store, the cost of processing credit and debit card payments are included in the cost of the items or services being sold. The alternative to directly passing on the processing expense is for the processing expense to be paid for through ad valorem taxes. This alternative would mean that all taxpayers are paying for this payment option whether they utilize it or not.

A: The Beaufort County Treasurer’s Office accepts all major credit cards including Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express.

A: Some payment forms considered to be guaranteed funds are: cash, cashier’s check, money order, credit card and debit card.

A: Unless you are an approved participant in the Installment Tax Program the Treasurer’s Office cannot accept partial payments as dictated by South Carolina State Statute 12-45-430.

A: The Treasurer’s Office cannot accept partial payments as dictated by South Carolina State Statute 12-45-430. One tax notice is mailed to the primary owner and it is at the discretion of the various owners as to how to pay the notice. Multiple checks will be accepted as long as the total amount paid satisfies the taxes due and are submitted with the tax bill remittance slip.

A: Identify the type of tax bill you would like to pay (real and personal property, motor vehicle, or installment property tax) and select the appropriate mailing address.

A: Yes, by calling 800-830-9996 you can access our automated phone payment system. Credit card, debit card, savings account and checking accounts are accepted methods of payment. For more information and other payment options, visit our Payment Options page.

A: In an effort to obtain the best banking services at the lowest cost, the Treasurer’s Office conducted a Request for Proposal in accordance with Beaufort County Purchasing policies. The winning proposal included the services of a high-speed processing center only available in Charlotte. This processing center reduces staff time and costs, reduces errors, and shortens the processing time of your payment.


Stormwater Fees

A: Stormwater is the runoff that occurs over land, roads, parking lots, and other surfaces during and after rain. If it rains hard enough, water cannot be absorbed into the ground and instead flows over the surface, where it picks up dirt and pollutants. Eventually, this water makes it into streams, rivers, and into the ocean with everything it picked up along the way. These materials can be harmful to the water quality in these sensitive water bodies. Stormwater drains and ditches along the roadside are meant to control the flow of stormwater and keep it from picking up too many harmful materials. More information can be found on Stormwater Management's website.

A: Beaufort County, the City of Beaufort, and the Towns of Bluffton, Port Royal, and Hilton Head Island each have an individual stormwater utility, which is a separate fund and a dedicated revenue source for funding activities and programs related to stormwater management. The utilities were implemented nearly 15 years ago as a means to ensure an adequate, sustainable revenue source to support the needs of the community. The jurisdictions coordinate on the utility administration element of their programs and share some services to achieve greater efficiencies, but the programs are separate and are managed within each jurisdiction’s local government. More information can be found on Stormwater Management's website.

A: Next year, Beaufort County’s municipal separate storm sewer system (MS4) will be permitted under the EPA’s NPDES program. Compliance with this permit will be expensive in the coming years, and on top of this the County will have mounting costs to maintain aging infrastructure.

Beginning in 2015, Beaufort County has shifted to an updated stormwater utility fee rate structure to achieve:

  • the most fair distribution of utility costs among ratepayers;
  • the best use of available data; and
  • a level of revenue sufficient to achieve program needs and requirements.

More information can be found on Stormwater Management's website.

A: Next year, Beaufort County’s municipal separate storm sewer system (MS4) will be permitted under the EPA’s NPDES program. The permit requires the County to begin or ramp up programs in the areas of:

  • Public education and outreach
  • Public participation/involvement
  • Illicit discharge detection and elimination
  • Construction site runoff control
  • Post-construction runoff control
  • Pollution prevent/good housekeeping

While the County endeavors to fulfill permit requirements as cost effectively as possible, these programs will require additional staffing, equipment, and materials, and represent a significant expansion of the current stormwater program. More information can be found on Stormwater Management's website.

A: There are three components to the new fee.

First, there is a fixed rate of $12 to cover utility administration and certain costs that do not vary by parcel size or impervious area, such as water quality monitoring and public education. Establishing a fixed component of the charge ensures that no one is charged more per unit area to cover these uniform costs.

Second, there is a rate based on the gross area (total acreage) of property. Though it leads to a lower volume of discharge than impervious area, even pervious land contributes to stormwater runoff and nutrient loading. This is reflected in the gross area charge, without being overly burdensome to large landowners. There are four blocks of gross area charges, which are described below.

Acreage

 Gross Area Charge

0 - 2 acres $ 10.00
2 - 10 acres $ 5.00 per acre
10 - 100 acres $ 4.00 per acre
Over 100 acres     $ 3.00 per acre


Third, there is a rate for a property’s impervious area (rooftops, driveways, parking lots, etc.) to cover costs linked to the amount and quality of runoff from properties. Runoff from impervious area is the most intense, creating high flows and also carrying high concentrations of nutrients and pollutants downstream, so many costs of stormwater management are tied to impervious area. The impervious area fee for residential properties is flat-rated depending on the type of property as described in the table below.

Residential Property Type Impervious Area Charge
Single Family Detached, Small $ 32.50
Single Family Detached, Medium       $ 65.00
Single Family Detached, Large $ 97.50
Condominium $ 17.55
Mobile Home $ 23.40
Apartment $ 25.35 per unit

Townhome

$ 39.00


Non-Single Family Detached properties will be charged $65 for each unit of impervious area or part thereof that is on the property. This unit measurement is based on the impervious area of a typical single family residential parcel for homes within the County: 4,906 square feet.

These three components are added together to create the total stormwater fee for an individual parcel. More information can be found on Stormwater Management's website.

A: Under the new rate structure, all area of the property is charged, even if it is undeveloped, under the gross area fee component. Gross area is included as a component of the stormwater fee to capture the costs not solely related to impervious area runoff. As opposed to impervious area, undeveloped land area contributes proportionately more to the nutrients and pollutants that stormwater runoff may pick up and less to the sheer volume of runoff to be managed. A pervious surface can absorb some of the water that falls on it, so it does not contribute as much to runoff. However, pervious land still contributes pesticides, fertilizers, leaves, and other undesirable materials to the runoff that does occur. As such, stormwater costs related to water quality and quantity (most O&M costs) are partially allocable to gross land area. More information can be found on Stormwater Management's website.

A:If you believe your stormwater fee to be founded on the incorrect amount of impervious or gross area, please contact the Beaufort County Stormwater Utility at 843-255-2801 or wstormwater@bcgov.net. You must be able to provide supporting information with your claim. More information can be found on the Stormwater Management's website.

A: Every property in Beaufort County benefits from the storm drainage system, even if its runoff doesn’t directly enter the system. For example, all County roads (which are used regularly by residents, customers of businesses, tourists, etc.) have associated drainage systems. The maintenance of these systems is one of many County-wide services supported by the fee. More information can be found on Stormwater Management's website.

A: Churches, schools, non-profits, and other select groups within each jurisdiction are exempt from taxes, but are still subject to the stormwater fee. As these groups receive the stormwater services provided, and own properties that contribute to runoff, the allocation of costs in this way is fairer to all. Keep in mind that these groups will remain tax exempt, so the stormwater fee may be the only charge on the tax bill.

A: Because many stormwater services are provided regardless of the amount of runoff, there is no variation in the fee due to weather.

A: Property owners that do not seek to receive stormwater credits for best management practices (BMPs) will not have any required inspections associated with the fee. Only property owners seeking to receive credit for stormwater BMPs (see question 13) may have their properties inspected. The credit application approval process may include an on-site review of the structure for which the property owner is seeking credit.

A: Owners of multiple properties will receive one stormwater fee per parcel as they do with County taxes.

A: In support of the stormwater management goals of the utility, owners of non-residential properties are eligible to receive credit on their stormwater bill by implementing various types of stormwater structural control measures or best management practices. Eligible measures must be reviewed and approved by the Stormwater Utility Manager.


Adjustments and Exemptions

A: Refunds are issued approximately 15 business dates after the payment or adjustment was made.

A: The refund will be processed within approximately 15 business days of your application being approved. If the adjustment occurred before your mortgage company made payment the refund will be sent to your mortgage company. Contact your mortgage company for further information. If the adjustment occurred after your mortgage company made payment the refund will be sent based on the Treasurer’s Office refund policies.

A: You may contact the Beaufort County Auditor’s Office at 843-255-2500 for information on potential exemptions or discounts.

A: For information on potential exemptions or discounts on personal property and motor vehicle taxes you may contact the Beaufort County Auditor’s Office at 843-255-2500. For potential exemptions or discounts on real property and mobile homes you may contact the Beaufort County Assessor’s Office at 843-255-2400.

A: If you occupy your property and it is your legal residence you may be eligible for the 4% Special Assessment Ratio. To apply you must complete the Special Assessment Ratio Application and submit it to the Beaufort County Assessor’s Office. If you have additional questions you may contact the Assessor’s Office at 843-255-2400.

A: If you have been a legal resident of South Carolina for at least one year and are over 65 years of age, or have been certified totally and permanently disabled by a State or Federal Agency, or legally blind, or hold fee simple title or partial title to your property, you may be eligible for the Homestead Exemption. To apply you may contact the Beaufort County Auditor’s Office at 843-255-2500.


Motor Vehicles

A: You may obtain an original copy of your property tax bills through our online Tax Bill Lookup service. You may download, save or print a copy of your original tax bill by easily search using your name or other account information. You should note that these bills will not include any changes made after the bills have been printed. You may also obtain a copy of your tax bill by emailing us your request.

A: Sales taxes are paid when a vehicle is purchased but not the property taxes. When any South Carolina resident purchases a new vehicle from a South Carolina dealership and the dealership registers the vehicle with the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles (SCDMV) the new vehicle owner will receive a license plate and decal prior to paying the property taxes. A 120 Day Vehicle Tax notice is for the property taxes due as a result of the vehicle purchase.

A: Motor vehicle taxes are due by the last day of your renewal month. Please see our Delinquent Taxes page for further information.

A: Contact the Beaufort County Auditor’s Office to get a bill created. Your bill will not be available to pay online for 48 hours so you may wait and pay online or come to the Treasurer’s Office immediately to pay your bill. With your paid tax receipt, go to any South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles (SCDMV) field office to register your vehicle.

A: If you have your paid tax receipt you may bring it to any South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles (SCDMV) field office and they will provide you with your decal and registration. Or SCDMV will send your decal and registration by postal mail within 3-10 business days to the address listed in their records.

A: Beaufort County does not charge late fees or penalties on vehicles. However, there may be a late registration fee charged by the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles (SCDMV). Once the vehicle taxes have been paid, SCDMV will send you a bill for any late fees and accepts payment at any of their local field offices or online.

A: You may take your paid property tax receipt to any South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles (SCDMV) field office or call 803-896-5000.

A: First bring proof of sale to the Beaufort County Auditor’s Office and then to any South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles (SCDMV) field office. You may apply with the Beaufort County Auditor’s Office for a pro-rated refund if you sell your vehicle or move outside of Beaufort County after paying your vehicle taxes.

A: If you are 64 years of age or older and not already receiving the discount, you may be eligible for a registration fee discount. You can apply for the discount by completing South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicle Form 4027-A (Affidavit for Person 64 Years of Age or Older) and bringing it to any South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles (SCDMV) field office.

A: If Beaufort County is not your home of record you may be exempt. Contact the Beaufort County Auditor’s Office at 843-255-2500 for an adjustment.


Watercraft

A: Values of personal property are kept current through annual updates by the S.C. Department of Revenue and the S.C. Department of Natural Resources.

A: No, not for personal use in South Carolina.

A: Boats or outboard motors with a fair market value of $500 or less are not taxable.

A: The S.C. Department of Natural Resources uses the owner as of January 1st for purposes of taxation. The owners and their corresponding mailing address in DNR’s records is provided to the applicable county for taxation.

A: You may do so by clicking here.

A: You may do so by clicking here.

A: Yes, as long as the address is correct and the registration is paid with the S.C. Department of Natural Resources.

A: There are two main reasons to update your address with DNR. First, each year DNR provides the County with a listing of watercraft owners and their mailing addresses. The County uses the information provided by DNR for taxation of the watercraft, including an owner’s mailing address. Failing to update your mailing address may result in not receiving your tax bill or your watercraft registration. Second, DNR uses your address to determine the appropriate County in which your watercraft is subject to taxation. An out of date address could result in you being taxed incorrectly.

A: Taxes follow the property being taxed and in order to register your watercraft with the S.C. Department of Natural Resources, payment of all taxes is required. You may look up taxes due on a watercraft, by clicking here.

A: Yes, you have until the taxes are due to appeal in writing to the auditor’s office. The appeal of the value of the boat does not extend the due date of the taxes. The Auditor's office will then contact you to discuss your personal property appeal.

A: The value is taken into consideration for the tax amount not the age of the boat.

A: No, it does not.  The value may be appealed through the Auditor's office.       

A: You may do so by clicking here.

A: The seller is required to notify the S.C. Department of Natural Resources and also ensure that all necessary documentation is received. Their notification requirements may be found here.

A: A boat that is used as a primary or secondary residence: and is eligible for the mortgage interest deduction on a federal tax return: and has a bathroom, sleeping and cooking facilities, is eligible to be taxed as a residence. The property will be valued in the same manner as motor vehicles are for property tax purposes.

A: You may do so by clicking here.

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