Protests and Appeals

South Carolina Code of Laws Section 12-60-2510 as amended


•  In years when there is a notice of property tax assessment, the property taxpayer, within ninety (90) days after the assessor mails the property tax assessment notice(date on notice), must give the assessor written notice of objection to one or more of the following: the fair market value, the special use value, the assessment ratio, and the property tax assessment.

•  In years when there is no notice of property tax assessment, the property taxpayer may appeal the fair market value, the special use value, the assessment ratio, and the property tax assessment of a parcel of property at any time. The appeal must be submitted in writing to the assessor. An appeal submitted before the first penalty date (January 15th) applies for the property tax year for which that penalty would apply. An appeal submitted on or after the first penalty date of January 15th applies for the succeeding property tax year.

 

Step #1

Request in writing to meet with the County Assessor ANYTIME between January 1st  of the current year and January 15st  of the following year, or within ninety (90) days of receiving an assessment notice.

The taxpayer cannot exercise both options within the same tax year.


Only certain authorized persons may represent property owners in the “administrative property tax process”.  Authorized representatives include the following: Attorneys, Certified Public Accountants, Corporate Officers, SC Registered/Licensed/Certified Appraisers, Full-Time Employees, Enrolled IRS Agents, Partners and Fiduciaries.  If anyone other than the property owner files a protest/appeal, the Assessor requires them to show proof of eligibility to represent the owner. In addition, written consent of the owner must be given to an agent and provided to the Assessor.

Within 30 days of the date of the request for a meeting or as soon thereafter as practical, the assessor shall schedule a conference with the property taxpayer. If the matter is resolved at the conference, no further action is necessary on the part of the taxpayer. If a property owner or agent fails to appear in person or by telephone at the scheduled conference, the right to further appeal is waved for that year and the appeal is closed.

Step #2

If the matter is not resolved at the conference the property owner will be advised of his/her right to file a protest. The property owner has thirty (30) days from the date of the conference and or the date on the written Notice of Action from the assessor to file a written protest with the Assessor.

The protest must contain:

  • the name, address, and telephone number of the property taxpayer;
  • a description of the property in issue;
  • a statement of facts supporting the taxpayers position;
  • a statement outlining the reasons for the appeal, including any law or other authority, upon which the taxpayer relies; and
  • the value and classification which the property taxpayer considers the fair market value, special use value, if applicable, and the proper classification

Departmental forms may be used to file a protest, but it is not mandatory.

Step #3

The Assessor will then respond in writing to the taxpayer within thirty (30) days of the date of receipt of the taxpayers protest or as soon thereafter as practical.

The Assessor's written response will include a statement of the initial assessment and the redetermined property tax assessment.

Step #4

If the taxpayer is not satisfied with the Assessor's reply, he/she may appeal within thirty (30) days after the date of the County Assessor's response to the Beaufort County Tax Equalization Board. The Assessor may extend the time period for filing a taxpayers appeal if the request for an extension is received by the Assessor within thirty (30) days of the date of the County Assessor's response. If no appeal is made by the taxpayer, the re determined value, if any, becomes final.

Step #5

A conference on the appeal must be conducted by the Board within thirty (30) days after the date of receiving the notice of appeal, or as soon thereafter as practical.

The Assessor and taxpayer will be notified of the place, date and time for the conference at least thirty (30) days in advance.

All evidence of the property taxpayer must be presented at the conference.The Board has the authority and jurisdiction to enter a default decision if either the property taxpayer or the Assessor fails to appear at the conference, if proper notice of the conference was given. The Board may grant a continuance and refrain from entering a default order upon good cause shown by any party.

Step #6

At least fifteen (15) days before the date of the conference, the Assessor and property taxpayer shall file with the Board, copies of documents, including appraisals, property sales and a brief description of other evidence to be presented. Documents etc. shall also at this time be exchanged between parties.

Step #7

At least seven (7) days before the date of the conference, the parties may file with the Board any response each may have to the information filed by the other. This material must be mailed or delivered to the other party at the same time.

Conferences are open to the public.

Step #8

At the conference, the Assessor and taxpayer may present their cases and provide the Board with any supporting evidence.

After the conclusion of the conference, the Board shall mail a written decision to the parties within fifteen (15) days after the date of the conference, or as soon thereafter as practical.

Step #9

Within thirty (30) days after the date of the Boards written decision, a property taxpayer or county assessor may appeal the Board's decision by requesting a contested case hearing before the Administrative Law Court.

Step #10

The decision of the Administrative Law Court may also be appealed by either party to Circuit Court, Appellate Court or finally the South Carolina Supreme Court.

 

APPEALS/PROTESTS - PROPERTY TAXPAYER REPRESENTATIVES

 The person who files the appeal must provide evidence they are qualified to represent the property owner in the administrative process as set forth in Section 12-60-90 of the S.C. Code of Laws and Treasury Department Circular No. 230; sections 10.3 (a)(b)(c), 10.7 (a)(1-4,7) and 10.7 (b) (c).

Only certain authorized persons may represent property owners in the administrative property tax process.  Authorized representatives include the following:  Attorneys, certified public accountants, corporate officers, South Carolina registered/licensed appraisers, full time employees of property owner, enrolled IRS agents, partners and fiduciaries.  If anyone other than the property owner files an appeal/protest, the assessor requires them to show proof of eligibility to represent the owner.  Written consent of the owner must be given to an agent and provided to the assessor.

Authorized and qualified individual must provide a letter of authorization or a properly executed Power of Attorney/Declaration of Representative.

Authorization must state the name of the qualified and authorized individual representing a property owner in the administrative tax appeal process. Authorization cannot be given to a company in general.

Only one authorization for each year is permitted.  If filing appeals for multiple years, a separate authorization must be signed by the property owner for each year.

Attorneys must provide either a copy of their engagement agreement with owner, a separate letter of authorization or a properly executed Power of Attorney/Declaration of Representative.

A legible signature is required on all appeal forms of the authorized, qualified individual.

If the proper authorizations are not received within 30 days of denial letter, the appeal is considered abandoned.