"Property Tax Breaks for SC Retirees"

Here is some general information and frequently asked questions about south Carolina’s Homestead Exemption Law, which provides a $50,000 property tax exemption to qualified residents over the age of 65. We found out about this thanks to one of our clients, who pointed out to us that many retirees are not even aware of this exemption, and have not taken advantage of the reduction in property taxes.  In order to do so, you must apply for this exemption at the Beaufort County auditors office. For additional information on this and other services provided by the County auditor, you can link to their website,

In 1972, the General Assembly passed the Homestead Exemption Law which provided property tax relief for South Carolinians age sixty-five, the blind, or disabled.

Since that time, the Comptroller General's Office has reimbursed over 545 million dollars for property tax relief through this worthy program.

Example without Homestead:










With Homestead:


Value of Home










Value of Home


Multiplied by 4% =










Less Homestead Exemption 

- 50,000

Multiplied by millage

x .100









"New" Value of Home


Total Taxes =










Multiplied by 4% =












Multiplied by millage

x .100











Total Taxes =


Please note: This guide is provided as a general information tool and does not attempt to cover the entire Homestead Exemption law. Your County Auditor and The Comptroller General's Office will be happy to assist you with further questions.

How do I Qualify?

If you are . . .

  • a legal resident of South Carolina for at least one calendar (January 1 to December 31) year based upon South Carolina drivers license issued date AND
  • age 65 on or before December 31, preceding the tax year in which you wish to claim the exemption; OR
  • certified totally and permanently disabled by a State or Federal agency; OR
  • legally blind; OR
  • at least 50 years of age when your spouse who was eligible for the Homestead Exemption died; AND
  • hold fee simple title or partial title to your house, mobile home, or life estate on or before December 31 of the year prior to the exemption.


Where do I apply?

You must apply for the Homestead Exemption at your County Auditor's office. If you are unable to go to the Auditor's office, you may authorize someone to apply for you. Contact the County Auditor's office for details.


What documents do I need?

You will need to provide proof of your eligibility. If you are applying due to age, bring your birth certificate, Medicaid card, Medicare card, or driver's license.

If you are applying because of disability or blindness, bring certification from a State or Federal agency. This agency must have the proper authority to make this certification.


Do I need to re-apply annually?

No. The only reason for re-application is in the event that you move to a new home. However, any changes which may affect your eligibility should be reported to your County Auditor immediately. You need to reapply for the following reasons:

  • change in disability status
  • rental of your home
  • remarriage of surviving spouse
  • death of the eligible owner (requires reapplication by the surviving spouse

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