Property Tax decreases for a second straight year

When tax notices arrive in the coming days, Richland County property owners will see lower property tax rates for the second year in a row.

County Council and staff coordinated with millage agencies to decrease the tax rate without cutting services. This was done in an effort to assist taxpayers during the COVID-19 pandemic, said County Auditor Paul Brawley.

“The fact that the tax rate will decrease for the second consecutive year is great news for our taxpayers,” Brawley said.

On Friday, the Auditor’s Office began mailing out tax notices to about 178,000 real estate owners, 31,000 business owners, 1,300 manufacturers and utility companies, and 140 personal property owners.

Tax bills will include information showing how tax dollars are spent. Each bill’s tax distribution chart outlines the percentage of the bill used to pay for a variety of services, such as garbage collection and fire service. The bill also lists the dollar amount that goes toward the library system, education, recreation and more to show how tax dollars are used in the community.

Residents can pay taxes in person, by mail or online. Visit www.richlandcountysc.gov and navigate to the Treasurer’s Office for secure payment options or more information. Tax bills must be paid by January 18 to avoid late penalties.

  • Three County offices play a pivotal role in the process of tax collection.The Assessor: Appraises and lists all property for taxation and maintains ownership information. The Assessor reviews legal residence and primary residence applications, agriculture assessments, and other ownership functions. The Assessor is a non-elected office. Contact the Assessor’s office at 803-576-2640 or [email protected] 
  • The Auditor: Creates and mails tax notices. The Auditor is an elected office, held by Brawley. Contact the Auditor’s Office at 803-576-2600 or [email protected]
  • The Treasurer: Collects tax payments. The Treasurer is an elected office, held by Treasurer David Adams. Contact the Treasurer’s Office at 803-576-2250 or [email protected] Following are tax bill-related tips for residents:
  • If the property is your legal residence, ensure “Yes” is noted in the legal residence box at the top right of the notice. If not, taxpayers must declare a legal residence. The Assessor’s Office has created a one-stop portal for declaring legal residence as well as making mailing address changes and applying for agriculture use exemptions, Assessable Transfer of Interest (ATI) exemptions and appeals. Access the portal at www6.richlandcountysc.gov/AssessorApps/.
  • Check to see whether you qualify for the Homestead Exemption program. Taxpayers who were 65 or older and residing in South Carolina on Dec. 31, 2020, or are legally blind or 100 percent disabled are exempt from paying taxes on the first $50,000 value of their homes. Visit the Auditor’s Office site at www.richlandcountysc.gov for more information.