The Orangeburg County Assessor’s Office began mailing 2014 assessment notices the property owners on Sept. 30.
An assessment notice is being mailed to the primary owner of record, as of Dec. 31, 2013, on each of the approximately 65,000 parcels in the county.
Reassessment is the process of reappraising all taxable real estate within the county at its estimated value on Dec. 31 of the year prior to reassessment. Only real property is appraised during a reassessment.
State law mandates that each county appraise and equalize those properties under its jurisdiction every five years. Orangeburg County implemented reassessment programs in tax years 1998, 2003 and 2008. Orangeburg County Council delayed the 2013 program one year, which is allowed by state law.
Property owners will see increases or decreases in their individual taxes depending on whether their assessed value changes at lower or higher than the average of the jurisdiction. If the total taxable value changes in a jurisdiction as a result of the reassessment, the county is required to roll back the millage. A roll-back is when overall assessed values change and the corresponding millage is adjusted so that tax revenues do not exceed those of the prior year. Millage adjustment is required by state law and applies to changes in the total assessment of a taxing jurisdiction.
The Assessor’s Office estimates market value using a mass appraisal process which involves the analysis of sales that have taken place in the county and the collection of the physical features of each property. The office also analyzes information on construction costs, rent earnings potential and other financial considerations affecting market value, such as the current rate of interest charged for borrowing money to buy or build properties in the county.
Other factors are also considered when determining the new taxable value of properties. State law established definitions of market value for ad valorem tax purposes. The 2014 reassessment taxable value will be either the fair-market value of the property as of Dec. 31, 2012 or the limited (capped) value of no greater than 15 percent above the 2013 taxable value (except for properties that transferred, or if physical changes were discovered).
The estimated market value does not change at the same rate on all properties. There are differences between individual properties and between neighborhoods. There are numerous factors to be considered in each property that will cause value changes to differ.
Tax information, payment histories, property descriptions, legal descriptions, sales and other data as it relates to the offices of the assessor, auditor, and treasurer can be found on the county’s website at www.orangeburgcounty.org.
All Assessment Notices will contain information on appeal procedures should you disagree with the new value assigned to your property. Appeals must be filed in accordance with South Carolina Code of Laws sections 12-60-2510 and 2520 and must be based on the market value of the property as of Dec. 31, 2012 and not the amount of taxes. Property owners wishing to file an appeal should file a written notice of appeal within 90 days of the assessment notice date with the Assessor’s Office.
For more information, call the Orangeburg County Assessor’s Office at 803-533-6220.