The Office of the Tax Assessor is responible for determining what real and personal property is subject to taxation within Laurens County, and to provide an estimated market value. The staff compiles the tax records and also administers the various types of homestead and property tax exemptions.
The South Carolina State law establishes January 1st of each year as the assessment date in determining the taxable status of real property. The Assessor determines the current use and value of the property as of January 1st of each year. All buildings or improvments constructed, occupied or completed for the intended use as of midnight December 31st of each year will be taxed the following year. If an improvement existed on a parcel of land as of January 1st of the current tax year, it is taxable at full market value for the current tax year since real property taxes are paid in arrears. The only requirement for proration according to State Law is prior to the payment of the current year tax, the owner submits evidence of fire damage.
While the County Assessor determines the value of the property for tax purposes, the local taxing authority (County, City, School District, Water and Sewer Authority, etc.) decide how much money is required to privde services and establish the millage rate.
Three major phases of real property taxation process:
1.) Property appraisal and assessment (County Assessor).
2.) Budget and tax levy (School Boards, County Council and other taxing authorities).
3.) Tax billing and collections (County Auditor and Treasurer).
To search for property records, CLICK HERE.