1976 South Carolina Code of Laws
Updated through the end of the 2001 Session
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Title 12 - Taxation
ASSESSMENT OF PROPERTY TAXES
SECTION 12-37-10. Definitions.
As used in this chapter the following words and phrases shall have the following meanings:
(1) "Real property" shall mean not only land, city, town and village lots but also all structures and other things therein contained or annexed or attached thereto which pass to the vendee by the conveyance of the land or lot;
(2) "Personal property" shall mean all things, other than real estate, which have any pecuniary value, and moneys, credits, investments in bonds, stocks, joint-stock companies or otherwise;
(3) "Moneys" or "money" shall mean gold, silver and other coin, bank bills and other bills or notes authorized to be circulated as money, whether in possession or on deposit subject to the draft of the depositor or person having the beneficial interest therein on demand;
(4) "Credits" shall mean the remainder due, or to become due, to a person, after deducting from the amount of all legal debts, claims and demands in his favor the amount of all legal debts and demands against him, whether such demands be payable in money, labor or other valuable things, but, in ascertaining such remainder, no deduction shall be made for any (a) obligation to any mutual insurance company given for insurance, (b) subscription to the capital stock of any joint-stock company, (c) taxes assessed against the person, (d) subscription to any religious, scientific, literary or charitable purpose, (e) acknowledgment of a liability not founded on a legal and valuable consideration, (f) more of any joint liability with others than the person honestly believes he will be compelled to pay, (g) contingent liability or (h) acknowledgment of a debt or liability made for the purpose of diminishing the amount of credit to be returned for taxation;
(5) "Investment in bonds" shall be held to mean all investments of money or means in bonds of whatever kind, whether issued by the government of the United States, this or any other state or territory of the United States, any foreign government, any county, city, town or other municipality or any corporation or company of this or any other state or country;
(6) "Investment in stocks" shall mean all investments of money or means in evidences of indebtedness, other than bonds or bills designed to circulate as money, issued by any government or municipality, shares of the capital of any corporation, company or association and every interest in any such shares or portion thereof and all interests or shares in ships, boats or other vessels used or designed to be used exclusively or partially in navigating the waters within or bordering on this State, whether any such ship, boat or vessel be within the jurisdiction of this State or not and whether such vessel be registered or licensed at any collector's office in this State or not; and
(7) "Oath" shall mean and include an affirmation duly made.
SECTION 12-37-30. All taxes shall be levied on uniform assessment.
Taxes for township, school, municipal and all other purposes provided for or allowed by law shall be levied on the same assessment, which shall be that made for State taxes.
SECTION 12-37-40. Municipal authorities may copy assessments from county auditor's books.
All persons charged with the assessment or collection of taxes for municipal purposes may copy from the county auditor's books the assessment of valuation thereon found and may use it as the basis for the assessment of taxes for municipal purposes. But nothing contained in this section shall prevent municipal authorities from assessing and collecting taxes upon property not upon the auditor's books.
SECTION 12-37-90. Assessors to be full-time; responsibilities and duties.
All counties shall have a full-time assessor, whose responsibility is appraising and listing all real property, whether exempted or not, except real property required by law to be assessed by the department and property owned by the federal government, state government, county government, or any of its political subdivisions and which is exempt from property taxation. If the assessor discovers that any real property required by law to be assessed by the department has been omitted, he shall notify the department that the property has been omitted and the department is required to appraise and assess the omitted property.
The assessor is responsible for the operations of his office and shall:
(a) maintain a continuous record of recorded deed sales transactions, building permits, tax maps, and other records necessary for a continuing reassessment program;
(b) diligently search for and discover all real property not previously returned by the owners or their agents or not listed for taxation by the county auditor, and list such property for taxation in the name of the owner or person to whom it is taxable;
(c) when values change, reappraise and reassess real property so as to reflect its proper valuation in light of changed conditions, except for exempt property and real property required by law to be appraised and assessed by the department, and furnish a list of these assessments to the county auditor;
(d) determine assessments and reassessments of real property in a manner that the ratio of assessed value to fair market value is uniform throughout the county;
(e) appear as necessary before an appellate board to give testimony and present evidence as to the justification of an appraisal;
(f) have the right of appeal from a disapproval of or modification of an appraisal made by him;
(g) perform duties relating to the office of tax assessor required by the laws of this State;
(h) be the sole person responsible for the valuation of real property, except that required by law to be appraised and assessed by the department, and the values set by the assessor may be altered only by the assessor or by legally constituted appellate boards, the department, or the courts;
(i) have the right to enter and examine all new nonresidential buildings and structures and those portions of an existing nonresidential building or structure covered by a building permit for renovations or additions.
SECTION 12-37-100. Assessor shall endorse deeds.
When any deed is recorded it shall be presented to the county assessor's office and have the endorsement of such office showing that the property has been identified and located on the records of the assessor's office.
SECTION 12-37-110. Auditors, assessors, and appraisers shall attend educational courses.
All auditors, assessors and appointed appraisers from an assessor's office must attend educational courses required by the department.
SECTION 12-37-120. Rounding of assessed value of property.
In the calculation of the assessed value of property subject to property tax, the result must be rounded to the nearest ten dollars and this rounded amount is deemed the assessed value of the property.
PROPERTY TAX; EXEMPTIONS
SECTION 12-37-210. Property which is taxable.
All real and personal property in this State, personal property of residents of this State which may be kept or used temporarily out of the State, with the intention of bringing it into the State, or which has been sent out of the State for sale and not yet sold, and all moneys, credits and investments in bonds, stocks, joint-stock companies or otherwise of persons resident in this State shall be subject to taxation.
SECTION 12-37-220. General exemption from taxes.
(A) Pursuant to the provisions of Section 3 of Article X of the State Constitution and subject to the provisions of Section 12-4-720, there is exempt from ad valorem taxation:
(1) all property of the State, counties, municipalities, school districts, Water and Sewer Authorities and other political subdivisions, if the property is used exclusively for public purposes, and it shall be the duty of the Department of Revenue and county assessor to determine whether such property is used exclusively for public purposes;
(2) all property of all schools, colleges, and other institutions of learning and all charitable institutions in the nature of hospitals and institutions caring for the infirmed, the handicapped, the aged, children and indigent persons, except where the profits of such institutions are applied to private use;
(3) all property of all public libraries, churches, parsonages, and burying grounds, but this exemption for real property does not extend beyond the buildings and premises actually occupied by the owners of the real property;
(4) all property of all charitable trusts and foundations used exclusively for charitable and public purposes, but this exemption for real property does not extend beyond the buildings and premises actually occupied by the owners of the real property;
(5) all household goods and furniture used in the home of the owner of such goods and furniture, such to include built-in equipment such as ranges, dishwashers and disposals, but this exemption shall not apply to household goods used in hotels, rooming houses, apartments, or other places of business;
(6) all inventories of manufacturers, except manufactured articles which have been offered for sale at retail or which have been available for sale at retail. Fuel, including but not limited to uranium, special nuclear material, nuclear fuel, fossil fuel, coal, cellulose, wood or solid, liquid or gaseous hydrocarbons, held by a public utility, an affiliated interest of such public utility as defined in Section 58-27-2090 or a subsidiary of such public utility, or held by a corporation, entity or trust for the use and benefit of such public utility under orders or regulations of the Public Service Commission, shall be deemed to be inventories of manufacturers;
(7) all new manufacturing establishments located in any of the counties of this State after July 1, 1977, for five years from the time of establishment and all additions to the existing manufacturing establishments located in any of the counties of this State for five years from the time each such addition is made if the cost of such addition is fifty thousand dollars or more. Such additions shall include additional machinery and equipment installed in the plant. Provided, however, that the exemptions authorized in this item for manufacturing establishments, and additions thereto, shall not include exemptions from school taxes or municipal taxes but shall include only county taxes. Provided, further, that all manufacturing establishments and all additions to existing manufacturing establishments exempt under statutes in effect February 28, 1978, shall be allowed their exemptions provided for by statute until such exemptions expire;
(8) all facilities or equipment of industrial plants which are designed for the elimination, mitigation, prevention, treatment, abatement, or control of water, air, or noise pollution, both internal and external, required by the state or federal government and used in the conduct of their business. At the request of the Department of Revenue, the Department of Health and Environmental Control shall investigate the property of any manufacturer or company, eligible for the exemption to determine the portion of the property that qualifies as pollution control property. Upon investigation of the property, the Department of Health and Environmental Control shall furnish the Department of Revenue with a detailed listing of the property that qualifies as pollution control property. For equipment that serves a dual purpose of production and pollution control, the value eligible for the ad valorem exemption is the difference in cost between this equipment and equipment of similar production capacity or capability without the ability to control pollution. For the purposes of this item, twenty percent of the cost of any piece of machinery and equipment placed in service in a greige mill qualifies as internal air and noise pollution control property and is exempt from property taxes. "Greige mill" means all textile processes from opening through fabric formation before dyeing and finishing;
(9) a homestead exemption for persons sixty-five years of age and older, for persons permanently and totally disabled and for blind persons in an amount to be determined by the General Assembly of the fair market value of the homestead under conditions prescribed by the General Assembly by general law;
(10) intangible personal property.
(B) In addition to the exemptions provided in subsection (A), the following classes of property are exempt from ad valorem taxation subject to the provisions of Section 12-4-720:
(1)(a) The dwelling house in which he resides and a lot not to exceed one acre of land owned in fee or for life, or jointly with a spouse, by a veteran who is one hundred percent permanently and totally disabled from a service-connected disability, if the veteran or qualifying surviving spouse files a certificate, signed by the county service officer, of the total and permanent disability with the Department of Revenue. The exemption is allowed the surviving spouse of the veteran and also is allowed to the surviving spouse of a serviceman or law enforcement officer as defined in Section 23-6-400(D)(1) killed in action in the line of duty who owned the lot and dwelling house in fee or for life, or jointly with his spouse, so long as the spouse does not remarry, resides in the dwelling, and obtains the fee or a life estate in the dwelling. A surviving spouse who disposes of the exempt dwelling and acquires another residence in this State for use as a dwelling house with a value no greater than one and one-half times the fair market value of the exempt dwelling may apply for and receive the exemption on the newly acquired dwelling, but a subsequent dwelling of a surviving spouse is not eligible for exemption pursuant to this item. The spouse shall inform the Department of Revenue of the change in address of the dwelling. To qualify for the exemption, the dwelling house must be the domicile of the person who qualifies for the exemption.
(b) When a trustee holds legal title to a dwelling for a beneficiary and the beneficiary is a person who qualifies otherwise for the exemption provided in subitem (a) and the beneficiary uses the dwelling as his domicile, the dwelling is exempt from property taxation in the same amount and manner as dwellings are exempt pursuant to subitem (a).
(2)(a) The dwelling house in which he resides and a lot not to exceed one acre of land owned in fee or for life, or jointly with a spouse, by a paraplegic or hemiplegic person, is exempt from all property taxation provided the person furnishes satisfactory proof of his disability to the Department of Revenue. The exemption is allowed to the surviving spouse of the person so long as the spouse does not remarry, resides in the dwelling, and obtains the fee or a life estate in the dwelling. To qualify for the exemption, the dwelling house must be the domicile of the person who qualifies for the exemption. For purposes of this item, a hemiplegic person is a person who has paralysis of one lateral half of the body resulting from injury to the motor centers of the brain.
(b) When a trustee holds legal title to a dwelling for a beneficiary and the beneficiary is a person who qualifies otherwise for the exemption provided in subitem (a) and the beneficiary uses the dwelling as his domicile, the dwelling is exempt from property taxation in the amount and manner as dwellings are exempt pursuant to subitem (a).
(3) Two private passenger vehicles owned or leased by any disabled veteran designated by the veteran for which special license tags have been issued by the Department of Public Safety under the provisions of Sections 56-3-1110 to 56-3-1130 or, in lieu of the license, if the veteran has a certificate signed by the county service officer or the Veterans Administration of the total and permanent disability which must be filed with the Department of Public Safety.
(4) All property of any kind of a nonprofit corporation created for the purpose of providing water supply or sewage disposal, or a combination of such services, organized pursuant to Chapter 36 of Title 33.
(5) All property of the American Legion, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the Spanish American War Veterans, the Disabled American Veterans, and Fleet Reserve Association or any similar Veterans Organization chartered by the Congress of the United States, whether belonging to the department or to any of the Posts in this State when used exclusively for the purpose of such organization and not used for any purpose other than club rooms, offices, meeting places or other activities directly in keeping with the policy stated in the National Constitution of such organization, and such property is devoted entirely to its own uses and not held for "pecuniary profit". For the purposes of this item "pecuniary profit" refers to income received from the sale of alcoholic beverages to persons other than bona fide members and their bona fide guests, or any income, any part of which inures to the benefit of any private individual. Where any structure or parcel of land is used partly for the purposes of such organization and partly for such pecuniary profits, the area for pecuniary profits shall be assessed separately and that portion shall be taxed.
(6) All property owned and used or occupied by any Young Women's Christian Association, Young Men's Christian Association or the Salvation Army in this State and used for the purpose of or in support of such organizations but the exemption herein provided shall not apply to such portions of any such property rented for purposes not related to the functions of the organization.
(7) All property owned and used or occupied by The Boy's or Girl's Scouts of America and used exclusively for the purposes of those organizations.
(8) Properties of whatever nature or kind owned within the State and used or occupied by the Palmetto Junior Homemakers Association, the New Homemakers of South Carolina, the South Carolina Association of Future Farmers of America and the New Farmers of South Carolina, so long as such properties are used exclusively to promote vocational education or agriculture, better business methods and more effective organization for farming or to encourage thrift or provide recreation for persons studying agriculture or home economics in the public schools.
(9) All wearing apparel of the person required to make a return and of the family of such person.
(10) Notwithstanding any other provisions of law, the property of telephone companies and rural telephone cooperatives operating in this State used in providing rural telephone service, which was exempt from property taxation as of December 31, 1973, shall be exempt from such property taxation; provided, however, that the amount of property subject to ad valorem taxation of any such company or cooperative in any tax district shall not be less than the net amount to which the tax millage was applied for the year ending December 31, 1973. Any property in any tax district added after December 31, 1973, shall likewise be exempt from property taxation in the proportion that the exempt property of such company or cooperative as of December 31, 1973, in that tax district was to the total property of such company or cooperative as of December 31, 1973, in that tax district.
(11)(a) All property of nonprofit housing corporations devoted exclusively to providing below-cost housing for the aged or for handicapped persons or for both aged and handicapped persons as authorized by Section 202 of the Housing Act of 1959 and regulated in part by 24 CFR Part 885.
(b) All property of nonprofit housing corporations devoted exclusively to providing below-cost supportive housing for elderly persons or households as authorized by Section 202 of the Housing Act of 1959 as amended under Section 801 of the National Affordable Housing Act of 1990 and regulated in part by 24 CFR Part 889.
(c) All property of nonprofit housing corporations devoted exclusively to providing below-cost supportive housing for persons with disabilities as authorized by Section 811 of the National Affordable Housing Act of 1990 and regulated in part by 24 CFR Part 890.
(d) all property of nonprofit housing corporations devoted exclusively to providing rental or cooperative housing and related facilities for elderly or handicapped persons or families of low or moderate income as authorized by Section 515 of Title V of the Housing Act of 1949.
(12) The property of any fraternal society, corporation or association, when the property is used primarily for the holding of its meetings and the conduct of its business and no profit or benefit therefrom shall inure to the benefit of any private stockholders or individuals.
(13) All agricultural products owned by the producer in this State.
(14) All farm machinery and equipment including self-propelled farm machinery and equipment except for motor vehicles licensed for use on the highways. For the purpose of this section "self-propelled farm machinery and equipment" means farm machinery or equipment which contains within itself the means for its own locomotion. For purposes of this item, farm equipment includes greenhouses.
(15) All livestock and live poultry.
(16)(a) The property of any religious, charitable, eleemosynary, educational, or literary society, corporation, or other association, when the property is used by it primarily for the holding of its meetings and the conduct of the business of the society, corporation, or association and no profit or benefit therefrom inures to the benefit of any private stockholder or individual.
(b) The property of any religious, charitable, or eleemosynary society, corporation, or other association when the property is acquired for the purpose of building or renovating residential structures on it for not-for-profit sale to economically disadvantaged persons. The total properties for which the religious, charitable, or eleemosynary society, corporation, or other association may claim this exemption in accordance with this paragraph may not exceed fifty acres per county within the State.
(17) Personal property in transit with "no situs" status as defined in Article 7 of Chapter 37 of Title 12 and subject to the record keeping requirements and penalties prescribed in that article shall not be subject to ad valorem taxation.
(18) Real property leased on a nonprofit basis, to a state agency, county, municipality or other political subdivision so long as it is used for a general public purpose; provided, however, this exemption shall not apply to property used for office space or warehousing.
(19) All property owned by Volunteer Fire Departments and Rescue Squads used exclusively for the purposes of such departments and squads.
(20) All property of nonprofit museums which is used exclusively for such purpose.
(21) All property leased to and operated by the South Carolina Public Service Authority for the generation or transmission of electric power shall be deemed for all tax purposes to be property of the Authority and exempt from ad valorem taxes.
(22) All community owned recreation facilities opened to the general public and operated on a nonprofit basis.
(23) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, property heretofore exempt from ad valorem taxation by reason of the imposition upon such property or the owner of such property of a tax other than an ad valorem tax pursuant to the provisions of Section 12-11-30, Section 12-13-50 or Section 12-21-1080 shall continue to be entitled to such exemption.
(24) All property of nonprofit or eleemosynary community theater companies, symphony orchestras, county and community arts councils and commissions and other such companies, which is used exclusively for the promotion of the arts.
(25) All personal property loaned or leased on a nonprofit basis to a state agency, county, municipality, or other political subdivision, or to an organization exempt from federal income tax under Internal Revenue Code Section 501 through 514 as defined in item (11) of Section 12-6-40(A), for at least thirty days during the tax year, so long as such personal property is used solely for the purpose of public display and not for the use of such state agency, county, municipality, or other political subdivision, or exempt organization.
(26) Two private passenger vehicles owned or leased by recipients of the Medal of Honor.
(27) Two personal motor vehicles, owned or leased either solely or jointly by persons required to use wheelchairs, who qualify for special license tags under the provisions of Section 56-3-1910.
(28) All carnival equipment owned, leased, or used by a foreign corporation or other nonresident of this State, not physically present within State for an aggregate of more than six months of the tax year, and having paid an ad valorem or like tax in at least one other state.
(29) Two private passenger vehicles or trucks, not exceeding three-quarter ton, owned or leased by and licensed and registered in the name of any member or former member of the armed forces who was a prisoner of war (POW) in World War I, World War II, the Korean Conflict, or the Vietnam Conflict and who is a legal resident of this State. This exemption also extends to the surviving spouse of a qualified former POW for the lifetime or until the remarriage of the surviving spouse.
(30) All inventories.
(31) All real property of churches which extends beyond the buildings and premises actually occupied by the churches which own the real property if no profit or benefit from any operation on the churches' real property inures to the benefit of any private stockholder or individual and no income producing ventures are located on the churches' real property. This exemption does not change any exemption provided for churches or other entities in item (3) of subsection A of this section and item (c), Section 3 of Article X of the Constitution of this State but is an additional exemption for churches as provided in this item.
(32) All new corporate headquarters, corporate office facilities, distribution facilities, and all additions to existing corporate headquarters, corporate office facilities, or distribution facilities located in South Carolina, established or constructed, or placed in service, after June 27, 1988, are exempt from nonschool county ad valorem taxes for a period of five years from the time of establishment, construction, or being placed in service if the cost of the new construction or additions is fifty thousand dollars or more and seventy-five or more new jobs which are full-time or one hundred fifty or more substantially equivalent jobs are created in South Carolina. For the purpose of this exemption, the term:
(1) "new job" means any job created by an employer in South Carolina at the time a new facility or an expansion is initially staffed, but does not include a job created when an employee is shifted from an existing South Carolina location to work in a new or expanded facility;
(2)(a) "full-time" means a job requiring a minimum of thirty-five hours of an employee's time a week for the entire normal year of company operations or a job requiring a minimum of thirty-five hours of an employee's time for a week for a year in which the employee was initially hired for or transferred to the South Carolina corporate headquarters, corporate office facility, or distribution facility and worked at a rented facility pending construction of a corporate headquarters, corporate office facility, or distribution facility;
(b) "substantially equivalent" means a job requiring a minimum of twenty hours of an employee's time a week for the entire normal year of company's operations or a job requiring a minimum of twenty hours of an employee's time for a week for a year in which the employee was initially hired for or transferred to the South Carolina corporate headquarters, corporate office facility, or distribution facility and worked at a rented facility pending construction of a corporate headquarters, corporate office facility, or distribution facility;
(3) "corporate headquarters" means the location where corporate staff members or employees are domiciled and employed, and where the majority of the company's financial, personnel, legal, planning, or other business functions are handled either on a regional or national basis and must be the sole such corporate headquarters within the region or nation;
(4) "staff employee" or "staff member" means executive, administrative, or professional worker. At least eighty percent of an executive employee's business functions must involve the management of the enterprise and directing the work of at least two employees. An executive employee has the authority to hire and fire or has the authority to make recommendations related to hiring, firing, advancement, and promotion decisions, and an executive employee must customarily exercise discretionary powers. An administrative employee is an employee who is not involved in manual work and whose work is directly related to management policies or general business operations. An administrative employee must customarily exercise discretion and independent judgment. A professional employee is an employee whose primary duty is work requiring knowledge of an advanced type in a field of science or learning. This knowledge is characterized by a prolonged course of specialized study. The work must be original and creative in nature, and the work cannot be standardized over a specific period of time. The work must require consistent exercise of discretion;
(5) "region" or "regional" means a geographic area comprised of either:
(a) at least five states, including South Carolina, or
(b) two or more states, including South Carolina, if the entire business operations of the corporation are performed within fewer than five states;
(6) "corporate office facility" means the location where corporate managerial, professional, technical, and administrative personnel are domiciled and employed, and where corporate financial, personnel, legal, technical, support services, and other business functions are handled. Support services include, but are not limited to, claims processing, data entry, word processing, sales order processing, and telemarketing;
(7) "distribution facility" means an establishment where shipments of tangible personal property are processed for delivery to customers, but the term "distribution facility" does not include an establishment which operates as a location where retail sales of tangible personal property are made to customers. A distribution facility includes establishments which process customer sales orders by mail, telephone, or electronic means, if the establishment also processes shipments of tangible personal property to customers. The terms "retail sale", and "tangible personal property", for purposes of this definition, have those meanings as contained in Chapter 36 of Title 12.
Certification of the required investment and the number of new jobs which are full-time or substantially equivalent and which are created must be provided by the South Carolina Department of Revenue to the appropriate local tax officials.
(33) All personal property including aircraft of an air carrier which operates an air carrier hub terminal facility in this State for a period of ten consecutive years from the date of qualification, if its qualifications are maintained. An air carrier hub terminal facility is defined in Section 55-11-500.
(34) The facilities of all new enterprises engaged in research and development activities located in any of the counties of this State, and all additions valued at fifty thousand dollars or more to existing facilities of enterprises engaged in research and development are exempt from ad valorem taxation in the same manner and to the same extent as the exemption allowed pursuant to item (7) of subsection (A) of Section 12-37-220. These additions include machinery and equipment installed in an existing manufacturing or research and development facility. For purposes of this section, facilities of enterprises engaged in research and development activities are facilities devoted directly and primarily to research and development, in the experimental or laboratory sense, of new products, new uses for existing products, or improvement of existing products. To be eligible for the exemption allowed by this section, the facility or its addition must be devoted primarily to research and development as defined in this section. The exemption does not include facilities used in connection with efficiency surveys, management studies, consumer surveys, economic surveys, advertising, promotion, or research in connection with literary, historical, or similar projects.
(35) Property exempt under subsection A(5) of this section when located in a time-share unit.
(36) After the easement is granted, land subject to a perpetual easement donated to this State under the South Carolina Scenic Rivers Act of Chapter 29 of Title 49.
(37) one personal motor vehicle owned or leased by a legal guardian of a minor who is blind or required to use a wheelchair when the vehicle is used to transport the minor.
(38) Watercraft and motors which have an assessment of not more than fifty dollars.
(39) the governing body of a municipality may by ordinance exempt from municipal ad valorem taxes for not more than five years property located in the municipality receiving the exemptions from county ad valorem taxes allowed pursuant to items (32) and (34) of this subsection.
(40) watercraft trailers.
(41) Economic development property during the exemption period as provided in Chapter 44 of Title 12.
(42) Property held in trust under the provisions of Chapter 18 of Title 51 and all real property of charitable trusts and foundations held for historic preservation of forts and battlegrounds which extends beyond the buildings and premises actually occupied by the charitable trusts and foundations which own the real property if no profit or benefit from any operation on the charitable trusts' and foundations' real property inures to the benefit of any private stockholder or individual and no income producing ventures are located on the charitable trusts' and foundations' real property. This exemption does not change any exemption provided for charitable trusts and foundations in item (4) of subsection (A) of this section and item (d), Section 3, Article X of the Constitution of this State but is an additional exemption for charitable trusts and foundations for historic preservation, as provided in this item.
(43) The dwelling home and a lot not to exceed one acre of land owned in fee or for life or jointly with a spouse by a resident of this State who is a recipient of the Medal of Honor or who was a prisoner of war in World War I, World War II, the Korean Conflict, or the Vietnam Conflict. The exemption is allowed to the surviving spouse under the same terms and conditions governing the exemption for surviving spouses pursuant to item (1) of this subsection. A person applying for this exemption must provide the evidence of eligibility the department requires.
(C) Upon approval by the governing body of the county, the five-year partial exemption allowed pursuant to subsections (A)(7), (B)(32), and (B)(34) is extended to an unrelated purchaser who acquires the facilities in an arms-length transaction and who preserves the existing facilities and existing number of jobs. The partial exemption applies for the purchaser for five years if the purchaser otherwise meets the exemption requirements.
(D) If a church acquires ownership of real property which will be exempt under this section when owned by the church, the transferor's liability for property taxes on the property ceases on the church acquiring the property, and any exemptions provided in this section then apply, subject to the requirements of Section 12-4-720. The property taxes accruing up to the date of the acquisition by the church, if any, must be paid to the county where the property is located within thirty days of the acquisition date. If the millage has not yet been set for the year when the acquisition occurs, the county auditor shall apply the previous year's millage in determining any taxes owed. If the millage has been determined, the auditor shall apply the current year's millage in determining any taxes owed. All taxes, assessments, penalties, and interest on the property acquired by a church are a first lien on the property taxed, the lien attaching December thirty-first of the year immediately preceding the calendar year during which the tax is levied.
SECTION 12-37-222. Leased equipment used by charitable, not-for-profit or governmental hospital deemed for tax purposes to be owned by hospital.
Equipment leased by and used in connection with the operation of charitable, not for profit, or governmental hospitals shall, for the purpose of ad valorem taxation, be deemed to be owned by the hospital.
SECTION 12-37-223. Repealed by 2000 Act No. 283, Section 4(C), eff May 19, 2000.
SECTION 12-37-223A. Counties authorized to limit property tax valuation increases; notice to buyers; qualification for exemption.
(A) As authorized by Section 3, Article X of the South Carolina Constitution, the General Assembly hereby authorizes the governing body of a county by ordinance to exempt an amount of fair market value of real property located in the county sufficient to limit to fifteen percent any valuation increase attributable to a countywide appraisal and equalization program conducted pursuant to Section 12-43-217. An exemption allowed by this section does not apply to:
(1) real property valued for property tax purposes by the unit valuation method;
(2) value attributable to property or improvements not previously taxed, such as new construction, and for renovation of existing structures;
(3) property transferred after the most recent countywide equalization program implemented pursuant to Section 12-43-217; provided, however, at the option of the governing body of a county which is in the process of first implementing a countywide equalization program under Section 12-43-217, property transferred on or after January first of the year of implementation of the most recent countywide equalization program.
(B) Under either option chosen by a county pursuant to subsection (A)(3), the fifteen percent limitation authorized in subsection (A) shall apply to property transfers that are not subject to income tax pursuant to Sections 102 (Gifts and Inheritances), 351 (Transfer to a Corporation Controlled by Transferor), 355 (Distribution by a Controlled Corporation), 368 (Corporate Reorganizations), 721 (Nonrecognition of Gain or Loss on a Contribution to a Partnership), 1031 (Like-Kind Exchanges), 1033 (Conversions--Fire and Insurance Proceeds to Rebuild), or 1041 (Transfers of Property Between Spouses or Incident to Divorce) of the Internal Revenue Code, as defined in Section 12-6-40; and to distributions of property out of corporations, partnerships, or limited liability companies to persons who initially contributed the property to the corporation, partnership, or limited liability company. The fifteen percent limitation shall also apply to property transfers between immediate family members which means spouse, parents, children, sisters, brothers, grandparents, and grandchildren.
(C) Assessed value exempted from ad valorem taxation by an ordinance enacted pursuant to this section is nevertheless considered taxable property for purposes of computing the bonded indebtedness limit for a political subdivision or school district.
(D) Once the taxable value of a property is reduced because of the exemption provided for in subsection (A), that reduced value shall continue and remain in effect, except as otherwise provided in subsection (A)(3), until the implementation of the next equalization and reassessment program, provided the ordinance authorizing such exemption remains in effect. The effect of this exemption is, that upon the implementation of each subsequent equalization and reassessment program, the value of the property as determined under Section 12-37-930, reduced by the amount of any exemption granted under this section, may increase no more than fifteen percent.
When a property is transferred such that the property is no longer eligible for the exemption provided for in subsection (A), the property is subject to being taxed in the tax year following the transfer at its value, as determined under Section 12-37-930, at market value based on the sale or transfer of ownership or at the appraised value determined by the county assessor.
Property transferred on or after January first of the year of implementation of an appraisal and equalization program conducted pursuant to Section 12-43-217 but prior to the effective date of the ordinance implementing the exemption authorized in subsection (A) shall be eligible for the exemption; such exemption shall remain in effect until a subsequent disqualifying transfer.
(E) For counties adopting an ordinance as authorized in subsection (A), the closing attorney involved in a real estate transfer occurring subsequent to such enactment shall provide the following notice to the buyer(s):
REAL PROPERTY TRANSFERRED AS A RESULT OF THIS TRANSACTION MAY BE SUBJECT TO PROPERTY TAXATION DURING THE NEXT TAX YEAR AT A VALUE THAT REFLECTS ITS FAIR MARKET VALUE.
(F) To qualify for the exemption authorized under subsection (A), the owner of the property for which the exemption is sought or the owner's agent must apply to the county assessor where the property is located and establish eligibility for the exemption. The time period for making application for the exemption provided for in subsection (A), or for seeking a refund of taxes paid as a result of a subsequent determination of eligibility for the exemption, shall be the same as provided for in Section 12-43-220(c) for administering the special legal residence assessment ratio, mutatis mutandis.
Under penalty of perjury, the taxpayer must certify that the property meets the qualifications established in subsection (A) for eligibility for the exemption and provide such other proof as may be required by the county assessor. The burden is on the taxpayer to establish eligibility for the exemption. The Department of Revenue shall assist the applicant and the assessor to the extent practicable in providing information necessary or helpful in determining eligibility. If the assessor determines the applicant ineligible, the value of the property shall be determined by the assessor.
No further application is necessary from the owner who qualified the property for the exemption while the property continues to meet the eligibility requirements. If a change in ownership occurs, the owner who had qualified for the exemption shall notify the assessor within six months of the transfer of title. Another application is required by the new owner if the new owner seeks to qualify for the exemption provided by this section.
If a person signs the certification, obtains the exemption, and is, thereafter, found not eligible, a penalty may be imposed equal to one hundred percent of the tax paid, plus interest on that amount at a rate of one-half of one percent a month, but in no case less than thirty dollars nor more than the current year's taxes assessed on the value of the property without regard to the exemption.
(G) An ordinance allowed by this section may be given retroactive effect but shall not affect taxes due prior to its enactment. A county governing body may repeal an ordinance adopted pursuant to this section but the repeal may only apply prospectively to tax years subsequent to the year of repeal.
SECTION 12-37-224. Motor homes; primary or secondary residence; real property.
A motor home on which the interest portion of indebtedness is deductible pursuant to the Internal Revenue Code as an interest expense on a qualified primary or second residence is also a primary or second residence for purposes of ad valorem property taxation in this State and is considered real property rather than personal property for property tax purposes.
SECTION 12-37-230. Payments of services rendered in lieu of taxes by nonprofit housing corporations exempt under Section 12-37-220.
When any nonprofit housing corporation owns property within a county or municipality which is exempted from ad valorem taxes under Section 12-37-220, the county or the municipality or both are authorized to contract with such corporation for payments of services rendered by the county or municipality.
SECTION 12-37-235. Fees for fire protection for property exempt under Section 12-37-220.
Each county and municipality in this State may charge the owners of all real property exempt from ad valorem taxation under the provisions of items (2), except property of the State, counties, municipalities, school districts and other political subdivisions where such property is used exclusively for public purposes, (3), except public libraries, and (4) of Section 12-37-220 of the 1976 Code, which is located within their respective boundaries, reasonable fees for fire protection; provided, that no fees may be charged by a county for protection or service provided to such owners by a municipality.
All such fees shall be based on the protection and services provided and which are maintained in whole or in part by funds from ad valorem taxes. No fees shall exceed the amount of taxes that would be levied on any of the subject property for any one service if the subject property were subject to ad valorem taxation.
SECTION 12-37-240. Payments in lieu of taxes by nonprofit housing corporations exempt under act of General Assembly.
When any nonprofit housing corporation owns property within a county or municipality which is exempted from ad valorem taxes under an act of the General Assembly, the county or municipality or both are authorized to contract with such corporation for payments in lieu of taxes for services rendered by the county or municipality.
SECTION 12-37-245. Homestead exemption allowance increased.
The exemption amount of the homestead exemption allowed pursuant to Section 12-37-250 of the 1976 Code is raised from twenty to fifty thousand dollars for property tax year 2000 and thereafter, to be funded as provided herein. The amount appropriated to the Trust Fund for Tax Relief must be used to reimburse counties, municipalities, school districts, and special purpose districts, as applicable, for this increased exemption amount in the manner provided in Section 12-37-270 of the 1976 Code.
SECTION 12-37-250. Homestead exemption for taxpayers sixty-five and over or those totally and permanently disabled or legally blind.
The first fifty thousand dollars of the fair market value of the dwelling place of a person is exempt from county, municipal, school, and special assessment real estate property taxes when the person has been a resident of this State for at least one year and has reached the age of sixty-five years on or before December thirty-first, the person has been classified as totally and permanently disabled by a state or federal agency having the function of classifying persons, or the person is legally blind as defined in Section 43-25-20, preceding the tax year in which the exemption is claimed and holds complete fee simple title or a life estate to the dwelling place. A person claiming to be totally and permanently disabled, but who has not been classified by one of the agencies, may apply to the State Agency of Vocational Rehabilitation. The agency shall make an evaluation of the person using its own standards. The exemption includes the dwelling place when jointly owned in complete fee simple or life estate by husband and wife, and either has reached sixty-five years of age, or is totally and permanently disabled, or legally blind under this section, before January first of the tax year in which the exemption is claimed, and either has been a resident of the State for one year. The exemption must not be granted for the tax year in which it is claimed unless the person or his agent makes written application for the exemption before July sixteenth of that tax year. If the person or his agent makes written application for the exemption after July fifteenth, the exemption must not be granted except for the succeeding tax year for a person qualifying under this section when the application is made. However, if application is made after July fifteenth of that tax year but before the first penalty date on property taxes for that tax year by a person qualifying under this section when the application is made, the taxes due for that tax year must be reduced to reflect the exemption provided in this section. The application for the exemption must be made to the auditor of the county and to the governing body of the municipality in which the dwelling place is located upon forms provided by the county and municipality and approved by the Comptroller General, and a failure to apply constitutes a waiver of the exemption for that year. The auditor, as directed by the Comptroller General, shall notify the municipality of all applications for a homestead exemption within the municipality and the information necessary to calculate the amount of the exemption. 'Dwelling place' means the permanent home and legal residence of the applicant.
When any person would be entitled to a homestead tax exemption under this section except that he does not own the real property on which his dwelling place is located and his dwelling place is a mobile home owned by him located on property leased from another, such mobile home shall be exempt from personal property taxes to the same extent and obtained in accordance with the same procedures as is provided for in this section for an exemption from real property taxes; provided, however, that no person shall receive such an exemption from both real and personal property taxes in the same year.
When a dwelling house and legal residence is located on leased or rented property and such dwelling house is owned and occupied by the owner even though at the end of the lease period the lessor becomes owner of the residence, the owner lessee shall qualify for and be entitled to a homestead exemption in the same manner as though he owned a fee simple or life estate interest in the leased property on which his dwelling house is located.
When any person who was entitled to a homestead tax exemption under this section dies or any person who was not sixty-five years of age or older, blind, or disabled on or before December thirty-first preceding the application period, but was at least sixty-five years of age, blind, or disabled at the time of his death and was otherwise entitled dies and the surviving spouse is at least fifty years of age and acquires complete fee simple title or a life estate to the dwelling place within nine months after the death of the spouse, the dwelling place is exempt from real property taxes to the same extent and obtained in accordance with the same procedures as are provided for in this section for an exemption from real property taxes so long as the spouse remains unmarried and the dwelling place is utilized as the permanent home and legal residence of the spouse. A surviving spouse who disposes of the dwelling place and acquires another residence in this State for use as a dwelling place may apply for and receive the exemption on the newly acquired dwelling place. The spouse shall inform the county auditor of the change in address of the dwelling place.
The term "permanently and totally disabled" as used herein shall mean the inability to perform substantial gainful employment by reason of a medically determinable impairment, either physical or mental, which has lasted or is expected to last for a continuous period of twelve months or more or result in death.
The Comptroller General shall reimburse the state agency of Vocational Rehabilitation for the actual expenses incurred in making decisions relative to disability from funds appropriated for homestead reimbursement.
The Comptroller General shall promulgate such rules and regulations as may be necessary to carry out the provisions herein.
Nothing herein shall be construed as an intent to cause the reassessment of any person's property.
The provisions of this section apply to life estates created by will and also to life estates otherwise created.
The homestead tax exemption must be granted in the amount in this paragraph to those persons who own a dwelling in part in fee or in part for life when the persons satisfy the other conditions of the exemption. The amount of the exemption must be determined by multiplying the percentage of the fee or life estate owned by the person by the full exemption. For purposes of the calculation required by this paragraph, a percentage of ownership less than five percent is considered to be five percent. The exemption may not exceed the value of the interest owned by the person.
SECTION 12-37-251. Homestead exemption from property taxes levied for school operations other than those levied for bonded indebtedness and lease purchase payments for capital construction.
(A)(1) The Trust Fund for Tax Relief must contain an amount equal to the revenue necessary to fund a property tax exemption of one hundred thousand dollars based on the fair market value of property classified pursuant to Section 12-43-220(c) calculated on the school operating millage imposed for tax year 1995 or the current school operating millage, whichever is lower, excluding taxes levied for bonded indebtedness and payments pursuant to lease purchase agreements for capital construction. The 1995 tax year school operating millage or the current school operating millage, whichever is lower, is the base year millage for purposes of calculating the amount necessary to fund the Trust Fund for Tax Relief in accordance with this section. However, in years in which the values resulting from a countywide reassessment and equalization program are implemented, the base year millage must be adjusted to an equivalent millage rate in the manner that the Department of Revenue shall prescribe. Funds distributed to a taxing district as provided in subsection (B) of this section must be used to provide a uniform property tax exemption for all property in the taxing district which is classified pursuant to Section 12-43-220(c), excluding taxes levied for bonded indebtedness and payments pursuant to lease purchase agreements for capital construction.
(2) Notwithstanding the provisions of this subsection, a school district whose operating millage falls below the 1995 school year operating millage may request to receive tax relief based on the 1995 operating millage, or equivalent millage rate, if one of the following conditions are met:
(a) the current operating millage per pupil plus the current debt service millage is equal to or less than the total millage per pupil for 1995;
(b) the operating millage per pupil for the 1995 tax year reduced by the amount by which the total millage per pupil for all purposes in the current year exceeds the total millage per pupil for the 1995 tax year but not below the actual operating millage per pupil for the current year.
The Department of Revenue is responsible for certifying that the conditions are met based on the latest completed fiscal year data of the requesting district.
Any funds received by an eligible school district in excess of its current millage under this subsection may be used by the district to pay bonded indebtedness.
(B)(1) School districts must be reimbursed from revenues credited to the Trust Fund for Tax Relief for a fiscal year, in the manner provided in Section 12-37-270, for the revenue lost as a result of the homestead exemption provided in this section. Ninety percent of the reimbursement must be paid in the last quarter of the calendar year on December first. From funds appropriated to the Office of the Comptroller General in the annual general appropriations act, the Comptroller shall make the calculations and distributions required pursuant to this subsection. If amounts received by a school district pursuant to this subsection are insufficient to reimburse fully for the base year operating millage, the local school board, within its authority, shall decide how to make up the shortfall, if necessary. Amounts received by a district in excess of the amount necessary to reimburse the district for the base year operating millage must first be used to reduce any operating millage imposed since the 1995 base year, must next be used for school debt service purposes, and any funds remaining may then be retained by the district.
(2) School districts must be reimbursed on a per capita basis, but a district may not receive as a reimbursement for a fiscal year an amount less than the actual reimbursement amount it received in fiscal year 1998-99. If amounts credited to the Trust Fund for Tax Relief for a fiscal year pursuant to item (1) of this subsection are insufficient to pay the full amount of the reimbursements provided by this item, then all amounts credited to the trust fund for a fiscal year for this reimbursement in excess of the amount of the reimbursements paid pursuant to this section in fiscal year 1998-99 must be allocated only to those districts receiving less than the full per capita reimbursement, and this allocation must be on a per capita basis among only those counties receiving some part of this allocation.
(C) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, property exempted from property taxation in the manner provided in this section is considered taxable property for purposes of bonded indebtedness pursuant to Sections 14 and 15 of Article X of the Constitution of this State, and for purposes of computing the "index of taxpaying ability" pursuant to Section 59-20-20(3).
(E) Rollback millage is calculated by dividing the prior year property tax revenues by the adjusted total assessed value applicable in the year the values derived from a countywide equalization and reassessment program are implemented. This amount of assessed value must be adjusted by deducting assessments added for property or improvements not previously taxed, for new construction, and for renovation of existing structures.
(F) The exemption allowed by this section is conditional on full funding of the Education Finance Act and on an appropriation by the General Assembly each year reimbursing school districts an amount equal to the Economic Research Section of the Budget and Control Board estimate of total school tax revenue loss resulting from the exemption in the next fiscal year.
SECTION 12-37-252. Classification and assessment of property qualifying for exemption under Section 12-37-250.
(A) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, property that qualifies for the homestead exemption pursuant to Section 12-37-250 is classified and taxed as residential on an assessment equal to four percent of the property's fair market value. Any agriculturally classified lands that are a part of the homestead must be taxed on an assessment equal to four percent of the lands' value for agricultural purposes. The county auditor shall notify the county assessor of the property so qualifying and no further application is required for such classification and taxation.
(B) When a person qualifies for a refund pursuant to Sections 12-60-2560 and 12-43-220(c) for prior years' eligibility for the four percent owner-occupied residential assessment ratio, the person also may be certified for a homestead tax exemption pursuant to Section 12-37-250. This refund does not extend beyond the immediate preceding tax year. The refund is an exception to the limitations imposed by Section 12-60-1750.
SECTION 12-37-255. Homestead exemption to continue; county auditor to be informed of change affecting eligibility.
(a) When the homestead exemption is initially granted pursuant to Section 12-37-250 of the 1976 Code it shall continue to be effective for successive years in which the ownership of the homestead or the other qualifications for the exemption remain unchanged. Notification of any change affecting eligibility shall be given immediately to the county auditor.
(b) The notification shall be given by the person liable for payment of the taxes on the homestead in the year of change and in each successive year that the exemption is improperly granted. The amount of any tax exemption granted by reason of the failure to give the notification and a penalty equal to twenty-five percent of the amount thereof shall be due and payable for each year in which the exemption is granted by reason of the failure to give notice. The penalty and the amount of tax shall be added to the current year's duplicate and shall be collected in the same manner as other taxes.
A lien is hereby created for the tax and penalty upon the property exempted by reason of the failure to give notification, which shall have priority over all other liens.
(c) The Comptroller General shall be notified by the county auditor of the amount of tax and penalty payable by reason of the failure to give the notification. The amount of such tax and penalty shall be withheld by the Comptroller General from the next disbursement of state funds to such county and, if a municipal tax, to the municipality.
SECTION 12-37-260. Exemption for holders of life estate; application of Section 12-37-250.
Exemption for holders of a life estate as provided for in Section 12-37-250 shall be effective for real property tax purposes for the 1972 tax year provided that such holders make application to the county auditor on or before May 1, 1972.
Nothing herein shall affect the exemptions otherwise granted.
The provisions of Section 12-37-250 shall apply to life estates created by will and also to life estates otherwise created which were in effect on or before December 31, 1971.
SECTION 12-37-265. Criteria for qualification of life estates for homestead tax exemption.
Notwithstanding any other provision of law, when a person is entitled to the homestead tax exemption provided by Section 12-37-250 of the 1976 Code and owns fee simple title to the homestead, and who thereafter creates a life estate for such person by conveyance of the remainder, the life estate so created shall satisfy the ownership requirements for the exemption. The term "person" shall include husband and wife when the homestead is jointly owned and either is entitled to the exemption.
SECTION 12-37-266. Homestead exemption for dwellings held in trust; application of Section 12-37-250.
(1) When a trustee holds legal title to a dwelling that is the legal residence of a beneficiary sixty-five years of age or older, or totally and permanently disabled, or blind, and the beneficiary uses the dwelling, the dwelling is exempt from property taxation in the amount and manner as dwellings are exempt under Section 12-37-250 if the beneficiary meets the other conditions required for the exemption. The trustee may apply in person or by mail to the county auditor for the exemption on a form approved by the Comptroller General. No further application is necessary while the property for which the initial application was made continues to meet the eligibility requirements. The trustee shall notify the county auditor of any change in classification within six months of the change. If the trustee fails to notify the county auditor within six months, a penalty must be imposed equal to one hundred percent of the tax paid, plus interest on that amount at the rate of one-half of one percent a month, but in no case may the penalty be less than thirty dollars nor more than the current year's taxes. This penalty and any interest are considered ad valorem taxes due on the property for purposes of collection and enforcement.
(2) The Comptroller General shall reimburse the taxing entity for the taxes not collected by reason of the exemption in the same manner and under the same conditions as reimbursement is provided for the exemption allowed pursuant to Section 12-37-250.
SECTION 12-37-270. Reimbursement for tax loss in counties allowing homestead exemption.
As provided in Section 11-11-150, there must be credited to the Trust Fund for Tax Relief in a fiscal year an amount sufficient to pay the reimbursement provided by this section. The Comptroller General, from the Trust Fund, annually shall pay to the county treasurer of the county in which the dwelling is situate for the account of each county, school district, or special district therein a sum equal to the amount of taxes that was not collected for such county, school district, or special district by reason of the exemption provided for in Section 12-37-250 and also annually shall pay to the governing body of the municipality in which the dwelling is situate a sum equal to the amount of taxes that was not collected for such municipality by reason of the exemption provided for in Section 12-37-250. The county treasurer and municipal governing body shall furnish the Comptroller General on or before April first following the tax year, or during an extension authorized by the Comptroller General not to exceed sixty days an accounting or statement as prescribed by the Comptroller General that reflects the amount of county, municipal, school district, or special district taxes that was not collected because of the exemption. Any funds paid by the Comptroller General as the result of an erroneous or improper application must be returned to the Comptroller General for deposit in the general fund of the State.
Notwithstanding any other provisions of law, the Comptroller General shall purchase and distribute the applications for the homestead exemption and the costs must be from the Trust Fund.
The Comptroller General shall promulgate regulations as necessary to carry out the provisions of this section.
SECTION 12-37-275. Date for submission for requests for reimbursement.
Notwithstanding any other provision of law, requests for reimbursement for taxes not collected the previous year must not be received by the Comptroller General before January first. These requests must be for the reimbursement of eligible accounts which accrue before the first penalty date each year. Those eligible accounts that accrue or are discovered on or after the first penalty date of the tax year must be submitted to the Comptroller General in the next year's reimbursement request. These requests do not extend beyond the immediate preceding tax year.
SECTION 12-37-280. Reimbursement of localities for tax loss due to homestead exemption.
Any county, municipality, school district, and special district in which a person who has reached the age of sixty-five years receives a homestead property tax exemption must be reimbursed for the exemption from the Trust Fund for Tax Relief. The reimbursement must be made by the Comptroller General on an annual basis on the terms and subject to the conditions as he may prescribe.
Nothing contained in this section may be construed as authority to grant property tax exemption other than as provided for by the laws and Constitution of this State.
SECTION 12-37-285. Incorporated municipalities may provide for homestead exemptions from municipal ad valorem taxes on real property.
Any incorporated municipality in this State may by ordinance provide for homestead exemptions from municipal ad valorem taxes on real property for persons eligible for such exemptions under Section 12-37-250 and in amounts not exceeding those provided in that section. Exemptions may be in a lesser amount if the ordinance shall so provide. Applications for exemptions and other procedures related thereto shall be as prescribed in the ordinance providing for the exemption. Municipalities establishing homestead exemptions shall not receive reimbursement therefor from the general fund of the State.
SECTION 12-37-290. General homestead exemption.
The first ten thousand dollars of the fair market value of the dwelling place of persons shall be exempt from county, school and special assessment real estate property taxes when such persons have been residents of this State for at least one year, have each reached the age of sixty-five years on or before December thirty-first or any person who has been classified as totally and permanently disabled by a State or Federal agency having the function of so classifying persons or any person who is legally blind as defined in Section 43-25-20, preceding the tax year in which the exemption herein is claimed and hold complete fee simple title or a life estate to the dwelling place. Any person claiming to be totally and permanently disabled, but who has not been so classified by one of such agencies, may apply to the State Agency of Vocational Rehabilitation. The agency shall make an evaluation of such person using its own standards. The exemption shall include the dwelling place when jointly owned in complete fee simple or life estate by husband and wife and either has reached sixty-five years of age, or is totally and permanently disabled, on or before December thirty-first preceding the tax year in which the exemption is claimed and either has been a resident of the State for one year. The exemption shall not, however, be granted unless such persons or their agents make written application therefor on or before May first of the tax year in which the exemption is claimed and shall also pay all real property taxes due by such persons before the date prescribed by statute for the imposition thereon of a late penalty or interest charge. The application for the exemption shall be made to the auditor of the county in which the dwelling place is located upon forms, provided by the county and approved by the Comptroller General, and a failure to so apply shall constitute a waiver of the exemption for that year. The term "dwelling place" as used herein shall mean the permanent home and legal residence of the applicant.
The term "permanently and totally disabled" as used herein shall mean the inability to perform substantial gainful employment by reason of a medically determinable impairment, either physical or mental, which has lasted or is expected to last for a continuous period of twelve months or more or result in death.
The Comptroller General shall reimburse the State Agency of Vocational Rehabilitation for the actual expenses incurred in making decisions relative to disability from funds appropriated for homestead reimbursement.
The Comptroller General shall promulgate such rules and regulations as may be necessary to carry out the provisions herein.
Nothing herein shall be construed as an intent to cause the reassessment of any person's property.
The provisions of this section shall apply to life estates created by will and also to life estates otherwise created which were in effect on or before December 31, 1971.
SECTION 12-37-295. Payment of taxes not condition to qualify for exemption.
Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the payment of real property taxes on or before March fifteenth following the year for which homestead tax exemption is claimed shall not be a condition to qualify for the exemption.
SECTION 12-37-450. Business inventory tax exemption; reimbursement of counties and municipalities.
Counties and municipalities must be reimbursed for the revenue lost as a result of the business inventory tax exemption based on the 1987 tax year millage and 1987 tax year assessed value of inventories in the counties and municipalities. If an amount of reimbursement to a political subdivision within a county is attributable to a separate millage for debt service for any purpose, when that debt is paid, the appropriate reimbursement amount must be redistributed proportionately to the other separate millages levied by the political subdivision within the county for the 1987 tax year. There is credited annually as provided in Section 11-11-150 to the Trust Fund for Tax Relief whatever amount is necessary to reimburse fully all counties and municipalities the required amount. The Comptroller General shall make remittances of this reimbursement to counties and municipalities in four equal payments.
Notwithstanding any other provision of law, business inventory exempted from property taxation in the manner provided in this section is considered taxable property in an amount equal to the 1987 tax year assessed valuation for purposes of bonded indebtedness pursuant to Sections 14 and 15 of Article X of the Constitution of this State and for purposes of computing the "index of taxpaying ability" pursuant to item (3) of Section 59-20-20.
Where a portion of a special purpose district is annexed to a municipality, and its service functions in the annexed area are assumed by the municipality, the total amount remitted to the county and municipality under this section shall not exceed the total amount which would be remitted to the two entities separately. However, the assessed valuation and special purpose district tax levy for tax year 1987 with respect to the annexed portion of the special purpose district must be taken into consideration in determining the proportionate share of the total allocation due to the county and the municipality.
LIABILITY FOR TAXES; RETURNS
SECTION 12-37-610. Persons liable for taxes and assessments on real property.
Each person is liable to pay taxes and assessments on the real property that, as of December thirty-first of the year preceding the tax year, he owns in fee, for life, or as trustee, as recorded in the public records for deeds of the county in which the property is located, or on the real property that, as of December thirty-first of the year preceding the tax year, he has care of as guardian, executor, or committee or may have the care of as guardian, executor, trustee, or committee.
SECTION 12-37-620. Certain leasehold estates taxed until end of term; lease or contract must be recorded and contain certain information; sale of property for taxes.
All leasehold estates hereafter established and held on a term of ninety-nine years or more or for a term certain renewable at the option of the lessee for an additional term of ninety-nine years or more shall be valued at the full value of the land and taxed to the lessee until the end of the term. Provided, however, that the lease or contract must be recorded with the clerk of court or register of mesne conveyance of the county where the property is located. The lease must contain the name and resident address of the lessee, the length of the lease and the real consideration therefor, and the derivation of title to the lessor and his resident address. Provided, further, if such property should be sold for taxes, only the leasehold interest can be sold and not the fee.
SECTION 12-37-670. New improvements shall be listed with auditor and assessed.
Each owner of land on which any new structures have been erected which shall not have been appraised for taxation shall list them for taxation with the county auditor of the county in which they may be situate on or before the first day of March next after they shall become subject to taxation. No new structure shall be listed or assessed until it is completed and fit for the use for which it is intended.
SECTION 12-37-710. Return and assessment of personal property.
Every person of full age and of sound mind shall annually list for taxation the following personal property, to wit:
(1) All the tangible personal property in the State owned or controlled by him;
(2) All the tangible property owned by him or by any other resident of this State and under his control which may be temporarily out of the State but is intended to be brought into the State;
(3) All tangible personal property owned or controlled by him which may have been sent out of the State for sale and not yet sold; and
(4) All the moneys, credits, investments in bonds, stocks, joint-stock companies or otherwise, owned or controlled by him, whether in or out of this State.
SECTION 12-37-715. Frequency of ad valorem taxation on personal property.
Notwithstanding any other provisions of law, no personal property may be taxed for ad valorem purposes more than once in any tax year.
SECTION 12-37-720. Persons who shall return property of ward, minor child having no guardian, wife, lessee, absent, unknown or deceased person, corporation, partnership or other firm, and property held in trust or by receiver or public officer.
The personal property of every ward shall be listed by his guardian; of every minor child, having no other guardian, by the father if living, if the father be dead by the mother if living and if the mother be dead or remarried by the person having it in charge; of every wife, by the husband, if living and sane and the parties are residing together and if the husband be dead, is insane or is not living with his wife, by the wife; of every person for whose benefit property is held in trust, by the trustee; of every deceased person, by the executor or administrator; of those whose property or assets are in the hands of receivers, by such receivers; of every firm, company, body politic or corporate, by the president or principal accounting officer, partner or agent thereof; of all persons in the hands or custody of any public officer or appointee of a court, by such officer or appointee; of those absent or unknown, by their agent or the person having such property in charge; of lessees of real property, by such lessees.
SECTION 12-37-730. Persons liable for taxes on personal property held in trust or charge.
All executors, administrators, guardians, trustees, receivers, officers, husbands, fathers, mothers, agents or factors shall be personally liable for the taxes on all personal property which they are required, respectively, to list for taxation by the provisions of this chapter and which was in their possession at the time when the return thereof for taxation shall have been made by themselves or the county auditors and may retain in their hands a sufficient amount of the property, or proceeds thereof, to pay such taxes for the entire year. And the county treasurer may collect such taxes by any and all the means provided by this chapter, either of the principal or beneficiary or of the person so acting as executor, administrator, guardian, trustee, husband, father, mother, agent or factor, receiver or officer.
SECTION 12-37-735. Transfer of personal property titled by state or federal agencies; proration of taxes; exceptions.
(A) When ownership of personal property required to be titled by a state or federal agency, not including motor vehicles taxed pursuant to Article 21 of this chapter or units of manufactured housing, is transferred, the transferor's property tax year for the property ends on the transfer date and a new property tax year begins for the transferee. When the actual transfer date is not the first day of the month, for purposes of this section, the transfer date is deemed to be the first day of the next month. The auditor shall prepare prorated tax bills for each partial tax year and the transferor and transferee are liable only for that tax attributable to their respective periods of ownership and the lien for payment of property taxes is enforceable only for the collection of the taxes due from the transferee.
(B) The provisions of this section apply only if the transferor files with the appropriate county auditor before the first penalty date for property taxes a form designed by the Department of Revenue, signed by the transferee in which the transferor assumes personal liability for his share of the taxes, and which provides that information necessary to prorate and bill the taxes. These prorated tax bills are due and payable as provided by law to the treasurer of the county where the tax would be due without regard to this section. The appropriate county auditor is the auditor of the county which is the situs of the property, or if the transferor is a resident individual, the auditor of the county of the transferor's domicile.
SECTION 12-37-740. Property of others shall be listed and assessed separately; responsibility for payment; retention of proceeds sufficient to pay taxes.
All persons required by law to list property for others shall list it separately from their own and in the name of the owner thereof but shall be personally responsible for the taxes thereon for the year in which they list it and may retain so much thereof, or the proceeds of the sale thereof, in their own hands as will be sufficient to pay such taxes; provided, that:
(1) All lands shall be listed and assessed as the property of the person having the legal title to, and the right of possession of, the land at the time of listing and assessment and, in case of persons having possession of lands for life, in the name of the life tenant;
(2) In the case of estates administered, the property shall be listed and assessed as the property of "the estate of" the person deceased;
(3) In case of a trust, the property shall be listed and assessed as the property of the trustee, styled as trustee, committee or guardian, as the case may be; and
(4) In case of bankruptcy, the property shall be listed and assessed as the property of the bankrupt.
SECTION 12-37-750. Omitted or false returns; notice to taxpayer; assessment and collection of omitted taxes.
When a taxpayer has omitted or neglected to make a return of his property for taxation or has made a false return for or in any year, including business personal returns filed with the Department of Revenue, and the county auditor of the county in which the return should have been made is informed of that fact within the period of time within which the State may bring suit for the collection of the taxes, the auditor shall notify the defaulting taxpayer, or, if he is dead, his personal or legal representative, to appear before him at his office at a time set in the notice and shall assess the property not returned as prescribed in Sections 12-37-760 to 12-37-780. If notice must be given to a nonresident, the notice must be served by publication in some newspaper and by mailing a copy of it to the nonresident as prescribed for service of nonresidents by Title 15, and taxes must be assessed and collected as provided by statute.
SECTION 12-37-760. Auditor shall make return of personal property when individual does not; examination under oath; investigation.
If any person shall refuse or neglect to make out and deliver to the auditor a statement of personal property, as provided in this chapter, or shall refuse or neglect to make and subscribe an oath as to the truth of such statement, or any part thereof, or in case of sickness or absence of such person the auditor shall proceed to ascertain, as near as may be, and make up and return a statement of the personal property, and the value thereof, with which such person shall be charged for taxation, according to the provisions of this chapter. To enable such auditor to make up such statement, he may examine any person under oath and ascertain, from general reputation and his own knowledge of facts, the character and value of the personal property of the person thus absent or sick or refusing or neglecting to list or swear. The auditor shall return the lists so made up by him endorsed "Refused to List," "Refused to Swear," "Absent" or "Sick," as the case may be, and in his return, in tabular form, shall write such words opposite the names of each of the persons so refusing or neglecting to list or swear or absent or sick.
SECTION 12-37-780. Procedure in case of suspected evasion or false return of personal property; notice to taxpayer; examination under oath.
If the county auditor shall suspect or be informed that any person has evaded making a return, has made a false return or has not made a full return of his personal property for taxation or that the valuation returned is less than it should have been, according to the rules prescribed by this chapter, he shall at any time before the settlement with the treasurer for the year, notify such person to appear before him at his office at a time fixed in such notice, together with such other person or persons as the auditor may desire to examine and such person, together with any witness called, shall be examined by the auditor under oath, touching the personal property and the value thereof of such person and everything which may tend to show the true amount such person should have returned for taxation.
SECTION 12-37-800. Penalty for failure to list real or personal property; penalty for making false return, understating tax liability, or disregarding rules.
(A) If a person fails to list the real or personal property required by law to be listed in any one year, the value of the property may be charged against the person for taxation with a ten percent penalty added, and the taxes and penalty collected as in other cases.
(B) In addition to any other penalty, a person who intentionally makes a false return, wilfully attempts to understate tax liability, or recklessly or intentionally disregards applicable rules or regulations must be assessed a penalty equal to twenty-five percent of the taxes due.
(C) Upon good cause shown, the department may waive or reduce the penalty imposed pursuant to this section.
SECTION 12-37-810. Penalty where taxpayer makes wilful false return; unintentional mistake.
The county auditor, when he shall deem it necessary, may adjourn the examination provided for in Section 12-37-780 from time to time, and if he shall find that the person examined has intentionally made a false return or returned his property for taxation at less than its fair cash value, he shall determine what amount should have been returned by such person and add ten per cent thereto as penalty and charge such property, with such penalty, against such person on the duplicate, with the taxes of the current year and the taxes of each preceding year it may have escaped taxation, with twenty per cent penalties upon such taxes of preceding years. But if he shall find the party committed merely an unintentional mistake in his return, he shall add such amount as he may deem just to such return and charge the person with the simple taxes thereon.
SECTION 12-37-820. Payment of expenses of examination.
If upon the examination provided for in Section 12-37-780 the return made to or by the auditor shall be found to be correct, the expenses of the examination shall be paid by the county auditor, out of the county treasury. But if it shall be found that the return, as made, was erroneous, whether intentionally so or not, or that no return was made, the auditor shall pay the expenses of the examination out of the county treasury and charge them to the person examined on the duplicate, in addition to any penalty charged in any such case. Any such amount shall be collected, with the taxes of such person, to reimburse the treasury of the county for the expenses paid as aforesaid.
SECTION 12-37-830. Allowable expenses.
The expenses to be allowed upon the examination provided for by Section 12-37-780 shall be for serving the notice or notices, the fees allowed to sheriffs and constables for serving a summons and, to witnesses, the fees allowed to witnesses in suits before a magistrate's court.
SECTION 12-37-840. Assessment as a part of collection; auditor may secure full return.
The assessment of property for taxation shall be deemed and held to be a step in the collection of taxes, and Section 12-37-780 shall be construed to give full and complete power to the county auditor, independent of any right conferred upon the county boards of assessors or other officers, to secure a full and complete return of property for taxation in all cases as expressed in said sections, whether a previous return shall have been fraudulently or otherwise improperly or incompletely made or not.
SECTION 12-37-850. Courts shall not interfere with action of auditor; payment under protest as sole remedy of taxpayer.
The action of an auditor under Sections 12-37-780 and 12-37-810 to 12-37-830 must not be interfered with by any court of this State by mandamus, summary process, or any other proceeding, but the taxpayer has the rights, and no others, than those provided by Chapter 60 of this title.
SECTION 12-37-890. Place where property shall be returned for taxation.
All horses, neat cattle, mules, asses, sheep, hogs, dogs, wagons, carts and other vehicles used in any business, furniture and supplies used in hotels, restaurants and other houses of public resort, personal property used in or in connection with storehouses, manufactories, warehouses or other places of business, all personal property on farms and merchants' and manufacturers' stock and capital shall be returned for taxation and taxed in the county, city and town in which it is situated. All bankers' capital and personal assets pertaining to their banking business shall be returned for taxation and taxed in the county, city or town in which the banking house is located. All shares of stock in incorporated banks located in this State shall be returned for taxation and taxed in the county, city or town in which the bank is located. All property of deceased persons shall be returned for taxation and taxed in the county where administration may be legally granted, until distribution thereof and payment may be made to the parties entitled thereto. All other personal property shall be returned for taxation and taxed at the place where the owner thereof shall reside at the time of listing the same, if the owner reside in this State; if not, at the residence of the person having it in charge. And all real estate shall be taxed in the county, city, ward or town where it is located. The owners of real property situate partly within and partly without any incorporated town or city shall list the part in the town or city separately from the part outside the incorporated limits thereof.
SECTION 12-37-900. Annual statement of real estate transferred and of real and personal property in possession or control of taxpayer; power to waive penalties or require statement to be made at other times.
Every person required by law to list property shall, annually, between the first day of January and the first day of March, make out and deliver to the auditor of the county in which the property is by law to be returned for taxation a statement, verified by his oath, of all the real estate which has been sold or transferred since the last listing of property for which he was responsible and to whom, and of all real and personal property possessed by him, or under his control, on the thirty-first day of December next preceding, either as owner, agent, parent, husband, guardian, executor, administrator, trustee, receiver, officer, partner, factor or holder with the value thereof, on such thirty-first day of December, at the place of return, estimating according to the rules prescribed by law, except that the returns of corn, cotton, wheat, oats, rice, peas and long forage, made on the day specified by law, shall be the amounts actually on hand in the hands of the producer thereof on the first day of August, immediately preceding the date of such return. But any county upon the written approval of a majority of the county legislative delegation, including the Senator, may waive penalties for failing to make such statement or may provide that such statement shall be made every fourth year. This section shall not repeal or alter any prior law or laws applying to particular counties which allow or provide for returns of real property more frequently than every four years.
SECTION 12-37-905. Required date for filing property tax returns.
Notwithstanding any other provision of this title, every person required by law to make a property tax return to the county auditor must file the return with the county auditor on or before April thirtieth for property owned as of the preceding December thirty-first.
SECTION 12-37-930. Valuation of property; depreciation allowances for manufacturer's machinery and equipment; department may permit adjustment in allowance.
All property must be valued for taxation at its true value in money which in all cases is the price which the property would bring following reasonable exposure to the market, where both the seller and the buyer are willing, are not acting under compulsion, and are reasonably well informed of the uses and purposes for which it is adapted and for which it is capable of being used. The fair market value for vehicles, watercraft, and aircraft must be based on values derived from a nationally recognized publication of vehicle valuations, except that the value may not exceed ninety-five percent of the prior year's value. However, acreage allotments or marketing quota allotments for a commodity established under a program of the United States Department of Agriculture is classified as incorporeal hereditaments and the market value of real property to which they are attached may not include the value, if any, of the acreage allotment or marketing quota. Fair market value of manufacturer's machinery and equipment used in the conduct of the manufacturing business, excluding vehicles, watercraft, and aircraft required to be registered or licensed by a state or federal agency, must be determined by reducing the original cost by an annual allowance for depreciation as stated in the following schedule.
1. Aerospace Industry .................................................... 15%
Includes the manufacture of aircraft, spacecraft, rockets, missiles and
2. Apparel and Fabricated Textile Products ............................... 14%
Includes the manufacture of apparel, for garments, and fabricated textile
products except knitwear, knit products and rubber and leather apparel.
3. Cement Manufacture ..................................................... 6%
Includes the manufacture of cement.
Excludes the manufacture of concrete and concrete products.
4. Chemicals and Allied Products ......................................... 11%
Includes the manufacture of basic chemicals such as acids, alkalis, salts,
and organic and inorganic chemicals; chemical products to be used in
further manufacture, such as synthetic fibers and plastics materials; and
finished chemical products such as pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, soaps,
fertilizers, paints and varnishes, explosives, and compressed and
Excludes the manufacture of finished rubber and plastic products.
5. Cold Storage and Icemaking Equipment ................................... 6%
6. Electrical Equipment
(a) Electrical Equipment ............................................ 11%
Includes the manufacture of electric household appliances, electronic
equipment, batteries, ignition systems, and machinery used in the
generation and utilization of electrical energy.
(b) Electronic Equipment ............................................ 15%
Includes the manufacture of electronic communication, detection,
guidance, control, radiation, computation, test and navigation
equipment and components thereof.
Excludes manufacturers engaged only in the purchase and assembly of
(c) Electronic Interconnection Component Assembly Devices for
Computers and Computer Peripherals; semiconductors and
semiconductor devices; substrates; flat panel displays; and
liquid crystal displays ....................................... 30%
Includes the manufacture of interconnection component assemblies and
devices, semiconductors and semiconductor devices, flat panel
displays, and liquid crystal displays which are incorporated in
computers or computer peripherals, or other electronic control
applications, and telecommunications devices. Computer peripherals
include tape drives, compact disk read-only memory systems, hard
disks, drivers, tape streamers, monitors, printers, routers,
servers, and power supplies.
7. Fabricated Metal Products ............................................. 11%
Includes the manufacture of fabricated metal products such as cans,
tinware, hardware, metal structural products, stampings and a variety of
metal and wire products.
8. Food and Kindred Products Except Grain and Grain Mill Products, Sugar
and Sugar Products, and Vegetable Oil Products ...................... 11%
Includes the manufacture of foods and beverages, such as meat and dairy
products; baked goods; canned, frozen and preserved products;
confectionery and related products; and soft drinks and alcoholic
beverages. Excludes the manufacture of grain and grain mill products,
sugar and sugar products, and vegetable oils and vegetable oil products.
9. Glass and Glass Products ............................................... 9%
Includes the manufacture of flat, blown, or pressed glass products, such as
plate, safety and window glass, glass containers, glassware and
10. Grain and Grain Mill Products 7% Includes the manufacture of blended and
prepared flours, cereals, feeds and other grain and grain mill products.
11. Knitwear and Knit Products ............................................ 17%
Includes the manufacture of knitwear and knit products.
12. Leather and Leather Products .......................................... 11%
Includes the manufacture of finished leather products, the tanning,
currying and finishing of hides and skins, and the processing of fur
13. Logging and Sawmilling Includes the cutting of timber and the sawing of
dimensional stock from logs.
(a) Logging ......................................................... 20%
Includes logging machinery and equipment and road building equipment
used by logging and sawmill operators on their own account.
(b) Sawmills ........................................................ 12%
Includes permanent or well-established sawmills.
(c) Portable Sawmills ............................................... 20%
Includes sawmills characterized by temporary foundations, and a lack
or minimum amount of lumber-handling; drying, and residue-disposal
equipment and facilities.
14. Lumber, Wood Products, and Furniture .................................. 12%
Includes the manufacture of lumber, plywood, veneers, furniture, flooring
and other wood products.
Excludes logging and sawmilling and the manufacture of pulp and paper.
15. Machinery Except Electrical Machinery, Metalworking Machinery, and
Transportation Equipment ............................................ 11%
Includes the manufacture of machinery such as engines and turbines; farm
machinery; construction and mining machinery; food products machinery;
textile machinery; wood-working machinery; paper industries machinery;
compressors; pumps; ball and roller bearings; blowers; industrial
patterns; process furnaces and ovens; office machines; and service
industry machines and equipment.
Excludes the manufacture of electrical machinery, metalworking machinery,
and transportation equipment.
16. Metalworking Machinery ................................................ 11%
Includes the manufacture of metal cutting and forming machines and
associated jigs, dyes, fixtures and accessories.
17. Mining ................................................................ 12%
Includes the mining and quarrying of metallic and nonmetallic minerals and
the milling, beneficiation and other primary preparation of such
Excludes the extraction and refining of petroleum and natural gas and the
smelting and refining of other minerals.
18. Motor Vehicles and Parts .............................................. 11%
Includes the manufacture of automobiles, trucks and buses and their
Excludes the manufacture of glass, tires and stampings.
19. Paper and Allied Products
(a) Pulp and Paper .................................................. 10%
Includes the manufacture of pulp from wood, rags, and other fibers
and the manufacture of paper and paperboard from pulp.
Excludes paper finishing and conversion into cartons, bags,
envelopes, and similar products.
(b) Paper Finishing and Converting .................................. 11%
Includes paper finishing and conversion into cartons, bags, envelopes
and similar products.
20. Petroleum and Natural Gas
(a) Drilling, Geophysical and Field Services ........................ 20%
Includes the drilling of oil and gas wells on a contract, fee or
other basis and the provisions of geophysical and other exploration
services. Includes oil and gas field services, such as chemically
treating, plugging and abandoning wells and cementing or
perforating well casings.
Excludes integrated petroleum and natural gas producers which perform
these services for their own account.
(b) Exploration, Drilling and Production ............................. 9%
Includes the exploration, drilling, maintenance and production
activities of petroleum and natural gas producers. Includes
gathering pipelines and related storage facilities of such
producers. Excludes gathering pipelines and related storage
facilities of pipeline companies.
(c) Petroleum Refining ............................................... 8%
Includes the distillation, fractionation, and catalytic cracking of
crude petroleum into gasoline and its other components.
(d) Marketing ........................................................ 8%
Includes the marketing of petroleum and petroleum products. Includes
related storage facilities and complete service stations. Excludes
petroleum and natural gas trunk pipelines and related storage
Excludes natural gas distribution facilities.
21. Plastics Products ..................................................... 11%
Includes the manufacture of processed, fabricated and finished plastics
Excludes the manufacture of basic plastics materials.
22. Primary Metals
Includes the smelting, reducing, refining and alloying of ferrous and
nonferrous metals from ore, pig or scrap and the manufacture of castings,
forgings and other basic ferrous and nonferrous metals products.
(a) Ferrous Metals ................................................... 8%
(b) Nonferrous Metals ................................................ 9%
23. Printing and Publishing ............................................... 11%
Includes printing, publishing, lithographing and printing services such as
bookbinding, typesetting, photoengraving, and electrotyping.
24. Professional, Scientific, and Controlling Instruments: Photographic
and Optical Equipment; Watches and Clocks ........................... 11%
Includes the manufacture of mechanical measuring, engineering, laboratory
and scientific research instruments; optical instruments and lenses;
surgical, medical and dental instruments and equipment, ophthalmic
equipment; photographic equipment; and watches and clocks.
25. Railroad Transportation Equipment ..................................... 11%
Includes the building and rebuilding of railroad locomotives, railroad
cars, and street cars.
26. Rubber Products ....................................................... 15%
Includes the manufacture of finished rubber products and the recapping,
retreading and rebuilding of tires.
27. Ship and Boat Building ................................................ 11%
Includes the building, repairing and conversion of ships and boats.
28. Stone and Clay Products Except Cement .................................. 8%
Includes the manufacture of structural clay products such as brick, tile
and pipe; pottery and related products, such as vitreous-china, plumbing
fixtures, earthenware and ceramic insulating materials; concrete; asphalt
building materials; concrete, gypsum and plaster products; cut and
finished stone; and abrasive, asbestos and miscellaneous nonmetallic
Excludes the manufacture of cement.
29. Sugar and Sugar Products ............................................... 7%
Includes the manufacture of raw sugar, syrup or finished sugar from sugar
cane or sugar beets.
30. Textile Mill Products Except Knitwear
(a) Textile Mill Products, Excluding Finishing and Dyeing ........... 11%
Includes the manufacture of spun, woven or processed yarns and
fabrics from natural or synthetic fibers.
Excludes finishing and dyeing.
(b) Finishing and Dyeing ............................................ 14%
Includes textile finishing and dyeing.
31. Tobacco and Tobacco Products ........................................... 8%
31. Tobacco and Tobacco Products ........................................... 8%
32. Vegetable Oil Products ................................................. 7%
Includes the manufacture of vegetable oils and vegetable oil products.
33. Other Manufacturing ................................................... 11%
Includes the manufacture of products not covered by other guideline
classes, such as the manufacture of fountain pens and jewelry.
Furniture & Office Equipment of Manufacturers ....................... 10%
34. Class 100 or better as defined in Federal Standard 209E Clean Room
Modules and Associated Mechanical Systems, Process Piping, Wiring,
Environmental Systems, and Water Purification Systems ............... 10%
Includes waffle flooring, wall and ceiling panels; foundation
improvements that isolate the clean room to control vibrations;
clean air handling and filtration systems; piping systems for fluids
and gases used in the manufacturing process and that touch the
product during the fabrication of semiconductors, flat panel
displays, and liquid crystal displays; process equipment energy
control systems; ultra pure water processing and wastewater
recycling systems; and safety alarm and monitoring systems.
34. Use of Clean Rooms .................................................... 10%
A manufacturer who uses a Class 100 or better clean room, as that term is defined in Federal Standard 209E, in manufacturing its product may elect an annual allowance for depreciation for property tax purposes of ten percent on clean room modules and associated mechanical systems, and on process piping, wiring environmental systems, and water purification systems associated with the clean room instead of a depreciation allowance for which the manufacturer otherwise is entitled. Included are waffle flooring, wall and ceiling panels, foundation improvements that isolate the clean room to control vibrations, clean air handling and filtration systems, piping systems for fluids and gases used in the manufacturing process and in the clean room that touch the product during the process, flat panel displays, and liquid crystal displays, process equipment energy control systems, ultra pure water processing and wastewater recycling systems, and safety alarm and monitoring systems.
In no event may the original cost be reduced by more than as provided in Section 12-37-935, except this limit is ninety percent for (1) custom molds and dies used in the conduct of manufacturing electronic interconnection component assembly devices for computers and computer peripherals; and (2) equipment used in the manufacture of tires by manufacturers who employ more than five thousand employees in this State and have over one billion dollars in capital investment in this State. Capital investment will be based upon the gross cost of assets in South Carolina as shown on the manufacturer's property tax and fee-in-lieu of property tax filings. In the year of acquisition, depreciation is allowed as if the property were owned for the full year. The term "original cost" means gross capitalized cost, including property on which the taxpayer made the election allowed pursuant to Section 179 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as shown by the taxpayer's records for income tax purposes. For purposes of this paragraph, custom molds and dies used in the conduct of manufacturing electronic interconnection component assembly devices for computers and computer peripherals are molds and dies designed, produced, and conditioned to the special order of a manufacturer.
Notwithstanding the percentage allowance stated in the schedule above, the department, after examination of the relevant facts, may permit an adjustment in the percentage allowance, with the total allowance not to exceed twenty-five percent, on account of extraordinary obsolescence. The department may set forth a depreciation allowance, instead of the depreciation allowance provided in this section, not to exceed twenty-five percent where the taxpayer can provide relevant data concerning a useful life of the machinery and equipment which is different from the period shown in this section.
SECTION 12-37-935. Maximum percentage depreciation; trust fund for tax relief.
(A) Except as provided in Section 12-37-930 for custom molds and dies used in the conduct of manufacturing electronic interconnection component assembly devices for computers and computer peripherals, and equipment used in the manufacture of tires by manufacturers who employ more than five thousand employees in this State and have over one billion dollars in capital investment in this State, the original cost must not be reduced more than the percentage provided in the following schedule:
Property Tax Year Maximum Percentage Depreciation
Before 1997 80 percent
1997 83.3 percent
1998 86.6 percent
After 1998 90 percent.
(B) Annually as provided in Section 11-11-150, there is credited to the Trust Fund for Tax Relief an amount sufficient to reimburse all local taxing entities the amount of revenue not collected as a result of the additional depreciation more than eighty percent allowed for manufacturer's machinery and equipment pursuant to this section. No reimbursement is allowed for any depreciation allowed in connection with custom molds and dies used in the conduct of manufacturing electronic interconnection component assembly devices for computers and computer peripherals and equipment used in the manufacture of tires by manufacturers who employ more than five thousand employees in this State and have over one billion dollars in capital investment in this State. Reimbursements must be paid from the fund in the manner provided in Section 12-37-270, mutatis mutandis.
SECTION 12-37-940. Valuation of certain kinds of personal property.
The following articles of personal property shall be valued for taxation, as follows, to wit: Money, bank bills and other bills lawfully circulating as money, at the par value thereof; credits, at the amount payable on the face of the contract, instrument or account, unless the principal be payable at a future time without interest and then at the sum payable, less the lawful interest thereon, for any term of credit not exceeding one year; contracts for the delivery of specific articles, at the usual selling price of such articles at the time of listing; leasehold estates held for any definite term, at the yearly value thereof to the lessee; annuities, at the yearly value thereof to the owner at the time of listing; and leasehold estates held on perpetual lease or for a term certain renewable forever at the option of the lessee, at the full value of the land.
SECTION 12-37-950. Valuation of certain leasehold estates as real estate.
When any leasehold estate is conveyed for a definite term by any grantor whose property is exempt from taxation to a grantee whose property is not exempt, the leasehold estate shall be valued for property tax purposes as real estate.
SECTION 12-37-970. Assessment and return of merchants' inventories, machinery, equipment, furniture and fixtures, commercial boats, and manufacturers' real and personal property to Department of Revenue.
The assessment for property taxation of merchants' inventories, equipment, furniture and fixtures, and manufacturers' real and tangible personal property, and the machinery, equipment, furniture and fixtures of all other taxpayers required to file returns with the South Carolina Department of Revenue for purposes of assessment for property taxation, must be determined by the department from property tax returns submitted by the taxpayers to the department on or before the last day of the fourth month after the close of the accounting period regularly employed by the taxpayer for income tax purposes in accordance with Chapter 7 of this title. The department by regulation shall prescribe the form of return required by this section, the information to be contained in it, and the manner in which the returns must be submitted. Every taxpayer required to make return to the department of property for assessment for property taxation must make the return to the department not less than once each calendar year. Whenever by a change of accounting period, or otherwise, more than one accounting period ends within any one calendar year, the taxpayer must make one such return within the prescribed time for filing following the end of each of the accounting periods and the department shall determine the assessment from the return setting forth the greatest value.
When property required to be returned as herein provided is sold after the end of the seller's accounting year and before January first next ensuing and when the purchaser's accounting year ends after the seller's and before January first next ensuing, the property must be returned by the seller as of the end of his accounting period. The purchaser is not required to list and return the property as of the close of his accounting period during the calendar year of sale. The seller and the purchaser are jointly and singularly liable for the tax that is due and payable by reason of this provision. The provision of this section does not apply to motor vehicles licensed for use on public highways.
When property required to be returned as provided in this section is sold before the end of the seller's accounting year and before January first next ensuing and when the purchaser's accounting year ends before the date of purchase and before January first next ensuing, the property must be listed and returned by the taxpayer holding title as of December thirty-first and is liable for the tax for the ensuing year.
The Department of Revenue shall forward the assessments prepared as a result of the returns submitted pursuant to this section to the appropriate local taxing authorities no later than August fifteenth of the applicable tax year.
SECTION 12-37-975. Filing of amended return.
The Department of Revenue may permit any person to substitute an amended return for the original return up to the last day prescribed for filing the return, including any extension of time granted by the department. The department in its discretion may accept or reject an amended return filed after the time prescribed for filing the return. An amended return may not operate to start or extend the limitation period for assessment and collection of taxes.
PERSONAL PROPERTY IN TRANSIT
SECTION 12-37-1110. "Personal property in transit" defined; such property acquires no situs for tax purposes; liberal construction of "no situs" status.
Personal property in transit through this State is personal property, goods, wares and merchandise: (a) Which is moving in interstate commerce through or over the territory of this State; or (b) which was consigned to a warehouse, public or private, within this State from without this State for storage in transit to a final destination outside of this State whether specified when transportation begins or afterward. Such property is deemed to have acquired no situs in this State for purposes of property taxation, and such "no situs" property shall not acquire situs so as to become subject to property taxation by virtue of the fact that while in the warehouse the property is assembled, bound, joined, processed, disassembled, divided, cut, broken in bulk, relabeled or repackaged. The "no situs" status granted herein shall be liberally construed to effect the purposes of this article.
SECTION 12-37-1120. "In transit" property; records to be kept by warehouses; inspection of records; computations; claiming "no situs" status.
All property claimed to be "no situs" under this article shall be designated as being 'in transit' upon the books and records of the warehouse wherein it is located, which books and records of the warehouse shall contain a full, true and correct inventory of all such property. The books and records of any such warehouse with reference to any such 'in transit' property shall be at all times open to the inspection of all taxing authorities of this State and of any political subdivision thereof. Any person making claim to "no situs" status on any property as provided for by this article shall determine the percentage of amount of 'no situs' property by dividing the total property shipped during the entire latest period located in South Carolina, not exceeding thirty-six months, into the total property shipped outside the State of South Carolina during the same period. The percentage determined in accordance with this section shall be applied to the inventory on hand on the last day of the accounting period of the person to determine the amount of "no situs" property.
Any person making claim to 'no situs' status of any property under this article shall do so in the form and manner prescribed by the South Carolina Department of Revenue and all such claims shall be accompanied by a certification of the warehouseman as to the percentage used.
SECTION 12-37-1130. Penalties for false statements.
If any person shall wilfully deliver any statement to the South Carolina Department of Revenue concerning "no situs" property containing a false statement of a material fact, whether it be an owner, shipper, his agent or a storage or warehouseman or his agent, he shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction shall be punished by a fine of not less than one hundred dollars nor more than five hundred dollars, or by imprisonment of not less than ten days nor more than six months.
SECTION 12-37-1140. Penalties for evasion of assessment or levy of taxes.
If any owner, shipper or his agent shall by misrepresentation, concealment or violation of the provisions of this article evade assessment or the levy of taxes on property not defined herein to be personal property in transit through this State, he shall be liable in the sum of the taxes evaded which would otherwise have been levied against his property and which together with a penalty of twenty-five per cent of such taxes shall be levied and collected in accordance with methods and procedures set out in Article 5, Chapter 37, Title 12.
MANUFACTURERS, PAWNBROKERS, MINES AND MINING CLAIMS
SECTION 12-37-1310. "Manufacturer" defined.
Every person engaged in making, fabricating or changing things into new forms for use or in refining, rectifying or combining different materials for use shall be held to be a "manufacturer."
SECTION 12-37-1610. Returns of railroad companies to Department of Revenue.
The President or designated agent of every railroad company, whose track or roadbed, or any part thereof, is located in this State, shall annually, on or before the fifteenth day of the fourth month, following the close of the company's accounting period, file a return to the South Carolina Department of Revenue, under oath, on forms prescribed by the department. Such company shall also file a duplicate copy of the annual report to the Interstate Commerce Commission of the United States Government or a duplicate copy of the annual report required by the South Carolina Public Service Commission and any other report the Department of Revenue may require that shall accurately detail all real and personal property of the company within and without this State.
SECTION 12-37-1630. Valuation and allocation.
In ascertaining the value of the road and property of any railroad company the value of the right of way, bed and track of the whole road shall be fixed and such value apportioned pro rata to each mile of the main track. And to the value of the number of miles of main track in each town or city of each county in this State through and into which such road is located shall be added the value of the real estate, fixtures, stationary engines, tools, implements, machinery and other stationary property provided for use in the daily operations of the road situate in such town or city. The total value of the rolling stock, moneys and credits shall be apportioned pro rata to each mile of the main track of such road and the amount thereof, according to the number of miles of main track in each town or city in this State, added to the value of the main track in each town or city respectively. And the aggregate value of such road and property in this State and in each county, city or town of this State through or into which such road is located shall be stated in such return.
SECTION 12-37-1640. Form of return and oath.
The return and oath required of officers of railroad companies shall be made in such form as shall be prescribed by the department.
SECTION 12-37-1650. Returns to be made by receivers.
If any railroad, its appurtenances, equipments and property of any kind whatsoever shall be in the hands of a receiver or other officer, such receiver or other officer shall make the returns required by this chapter.
SECTION 12-37-1660. Power of department to question officers, agents and receivers, and to examine books and papers.
The department, or any person appointed by it for that purpose, may put any question, in writing, it may deem proper to any officer, agent or receiver of any railroad company having any portion of its track in this State, and it may summon any officer, receiver or agent of such company to appear before it and testify, under oath, touching such railroad company's property and the management and disposition thereof. It may also, by any member of some person appointed by it, examine the books and papers of such company in the hands of the company or any of its officers, agents or receivers. All such officers, agents and receivers shall answer, under oath, all such questions as shall be put to them by the department or any person appointed by it for that purpose, relative to the condition, amount and value of the company's property and the management or disposition thereof.
SECTION 12-37-1670. Railroad officer, receiver or agent who refuses to answer questions of or submit books to department; penalties.
If any officer, receiver or agent of any railroad company having any portion of its tracks in this State shall refuse or neglect to appear before the department, or the person appointed by it, or to answer any question put to him as provided for in Section 12-37-1660 or submit the books and papers aforesaid for examination as provided in said section, he shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon indictment and conviction therefor in the court of general sessions for any county, shall be fined in any sum not exceeding five thousand dollars and the costs of prosecution and confined in the jail of the county until he answers all questions which may be put to him by the department and such fine and costs be paid.
SECTION 12-37-1680. Proceedings in case of failure to file return.
If any railroad company shall fail to make the returns to the department as required by this chapter, the department shall proceed to ascertain the value of the company's road and property according to the principles prescribed in this Article from the best information it can conveniently obtain, and add thereto fifty percent as penalty and apportion such valuation to the several counties, towns, townships and cities through or into which such road or any part thereof may be located. The department shall certify such apportionment and valuation to the several county auditors, who shall place it on their duplicates for taxation.
TELEGRAPH, TELEPHONE, EXPRESS AND SLEEPING CAR COMPANIES AND PRIVATE CAR LINES
SECTION 12-37-1940. Statements of telegraph and telephone companies.
Every such telegraph and telephone company doing business in this State, whether incorporated under the laws of this State, of any other state or of any foreign nation, shall annually, between the first day of January and the first day of March, make out and deliver to the department a statement, verified by the oath of the officer or agent of such company making such statement, showing, with reference to the thirty-first day of December next preceding:
(1) The total capital stock or capital of such association, copartnership or corporation;
(2) The number of shares of capital stock issued and outstanding, the par or face value of each share and, in case no shares of capital stock are issued, in what manner such holdings are evidenced;
(3) Its principal place of business;
(4) The market value of its shares of stock on the first day of December next preceding and, if such shares have no market value, the actual value thereof; and, in case no shares of stock have been issued, the market value or the actual value in case there is no market value of the capital thereof and the manner in which it is divided;
(5) The real estate, structures, machinery, fixtures and appliances owned by such association, company, copartnership or corporation and subject to local taxation within the State and the location and assessed value thereof in each county or township where it is assessed for local taxation;
(6) The specific real estate, together with the improvements thereon, owned by such association, company, copartnership or corporation, situate outside the State and not used directly in the conduct of the business, with a specific description of each piece, where located, the purpose for which it is used and the sum at which it is assessed for taxation in the locality where it is situate; and
(7) All mortgages upon the whole or any part of its property, together with the dates and amounts thereof.
SECTION 12-37-1990. Form of returns when no principal office is in State; examination of agents.
All returns required to be made by telephone and telegraph companies having their principal offices out of this State shall be made in such form as the department shall prescribe and the department may require answers, under oath, to any questions it may put to the principal or any other agent of any of such companies in this State and may examine any of such agents, under oath, relative to the property and affairs of such companies and the management thereof. The department may administer any such oath.
SECTION 12-37-2000. Department shall examine statements and may require other data.
Upon the filing of statements required by Section 12-37-1940 the department shall examine them and if it shall deem them insufficient, or in case it shall deem that other information is requisite, it shall require the officer filing them to make such other and further statements as the department may call for.
SECTION 12-37-2010. Auditors may require agents to report length of lines in each township; addition to value.
To enable the county auditors properly to apportion the assessments between the several townships, they may require the agent of any association or company subject to the provisions of this article to report to them, respectively, under oath, the length of the lines in each township, and the auditor shall thereupon add to the value so apportioned the assessed valuation of the real estate, structures, machinery, fixtures and appliances situated in any township and extend the taxes thereon upon the duplicates, as in other cases.
SECTION 12-37-2020. Actions for taxes in case of failure or refusal to pay; penalty.
In case any association, copartnership or corporation subject to the provisions of this article shall fail or refuse to pay any taxes assessed against it in any county or township in the State, in addition to other remedies provided by law for the collection of taxes, an action may be prosecuted in the name of the State by the solicitors of the different judicial circuits of the State on the relation of the auditors of the different counties of the State. In any such action the amount of the assessment fixed by the department and apportioned to such county, or apportioned by the county auditor to any particular township, shall not be controverted, and the judgment in such action shall include a penalty of fifty per cent of the amount of taxes as assessed and unpaid, together with reasonable attorneys' fees for the prosecution of such action.
PRIVATE CAR LINE COMPANIES
SECTION 12-37-2110. Definitions.
As used in this article, the following words shall have the following meanings:
(a) "Company" shall be deemed and construed to mean any person, copartnership, association, corporation, or syndicate that may own or operate, or be engaged in operating, furnishing, or leasing cars, as defined and described in this section, whether formed or organized under the laws of this State or any other State or territory.
(b) "Private car" includes a passenger car, sleeping car, dining car, express car, refrigerator car, oil or tank car, horse or stock car, fruit car, or any car designed for the carrying of a special commodity, operated upon the railroads in this State. "Private car" also includes any passenger train car, locomotive, or other equipment operated on the railroads in this State and owned, used or leased by the National Railroad Passenger Corporation, created under the Rail Passenger Service Act of 1970 (Public Law 91-518, 91st Congress) or any successor in interest other than a railroad company. "Private car" does not include freight train or passenger train cars owned by railroad companies which are used or subject to use under the ordinary per diem.
(c) "Department" means the South Carolina Department of Revenue.
SECTION 12-37-2120. Filing of report required.
Every person whose private cars are operated upon the railroads in this State at any time during a calendar year shall file with the department on or before April 15, a report setting forth specifically the information prescribed by the department to enable it to make the assessment required by this article.
SECTION 12-37-2130. Annual valuation of private cars of private car companies.
The department shall annually assess, adjust, equalize, and apportion the valuation of all private cars of each private car company of a type or model operated in this State by such private car company by such type or model. Such private cars shall be valued by the department at fair market value.
SECTION 12-37-2140. Method of valuation.
The valuation of such private cars apportioned to this State shall be determined by the department. The department shall determine the average number of each class of private cars physically present in the State in the year immediately preceding the year in which the tax is imposed upon the basis of car mileage, car days, or such other data as would tend to establish this average. The department shall multiply the average number so determined by the fair market value for a car of that class and use the product as the basis for the assessment of the property.
SECTION 12-37-2150. Tax levy against assessed value.
The department shall annually make a tax levy against the value so assessed and determined to exist in the State at a rate which will equal the average rates of levy for all purposes in the several taxing districts of the State for the current year, and such tax levy shall be due and payable to the department before December 31 of each year.
SECTION 12-37-2160. Disposition of proceeds.
The proceeds collected under this article shall be paid into the general fund of the State.
SECTION 12-37-2170. Penalty for failure to file return or to pay tax.
If any person fails to file a return or to pay a tax, if one is due, on or before the time required by or under the provisions of this chapter, the tax shall be increased by ten per cent, and, in addition thereto, interest at the rate of one-half of one percent per month shall be added to the tax.
SECTION 12-37-2190. Effect of other ad valorem taxes.
The ad valorem taxation authorized by this article shall be in lieu of all other ad valorem taxes upon the private cars of private car companies.
OTHER COMPANIES AND CORPORATIONS
SECTION 12-37-2270. Failure to pay tax works a forfeiture.
Whenever any corporation chartered under the laws of this State shall refuse, neglect or omit to pay the taxes for State and county purposes, as assessed and levied upon the property of such corporation, within thirty days after the time required and permitted by law for taxes to be paid with or without penalty, as required by law, the charter of such corporation, with all the rights, privileges and franchises thereunder, shall become and be deemed forfeited and the corporate existence of such corporation shall be annulled.
In every such case the Attorney General shall bring an action against such corporation for the purpose of vacating the charter or annulling the existence of such corporation in the manner prescribed by Section 15-63-30.
SECTION 12-37-2410. Definitions.
As used in this article:
(a) "Aircraft" means any contrivance, used or designed for navigation or flight through the air.
(b) "Airline company" means any person who undertakes, directly or indirectly, to engage in the regularly scheduled transportation by aircraft of persons or property for hire in interstate, intrastate or international transportation.
(c) "Operated" or "operation" means landings or takeoffs of aircraft by any airline company as defined herein.
(d) "Department" means the South Carolina Department of Revenue.
(e) "Person" means any individual, corporation, firm, partnership, company or association, and includes a guardian, trustee, executor, administrator, receiver, conservator or any person acting in a fiduciary capacity therefor.
(f) "Plane hours" means and includes for each type of model of aircraft all hours in flight and all hours on the ground.
SECTION 12-37-2420. Required tax returns.
All airline companies operating in the State shall make an annual property tax return on or before the 15th day of April in each year for the preceding calendar or fiscal year of their flight equipment to the department. Each type and model of flight equipment shall be separately returned, valued and apportioned as herein provided.
Provided, However, That the first report of airline companies shall be filed on or before October 15, 1976 and any tax due shall be paid by December 31, 1976.
SECTION 12-37-2430. Valuation of aircraft.
The department shall annually assess, adjust, equalize, and apportion the valuation of all aircraft of each airline company of a type or model operated in this State by such airline company by such type or model. Such aircraft shall be valued by the department at fair market value.
SECTION 12-37-2440. Ratios for valuation of aircraft.
The valuation of such aircraft apportioned to this State shall be determined by the department to be the proportion of the total valuation of such aircraft determined on the basis of the arithmetical average of the following two ratios:
(a) The ratio which the total time scheduled on the ground within this State of such aircraft during the preceding calendar or fiscal year bears to the total time scheduled on the ground within and without this State of such aircraft during the preceding calendar or fiscal year.
(b) The ratio which the total mileage scheduled within this State of such aircraft operated in this State during the preceding calendar or fiscal year bears to the total mileage scheduled within and without this State of such aircraft during the preceding calendar or fiscal year.
SECTION 12-37-2450. Tax levy.
The department shall annually make a tax levy against the value so assessed and determined to exist in the State at a rate which will equal the average rates of levy for all purposes in the several taxing districts of the State for the current year, and such tax levy shall be due and payable to the department before December 31st of each year.
SECTION 12-37-2460. Disposition of tax proceeds.
The proceeds collected under this article shall be paid into the general fund of the State.
SECTION 12-37-2470. Penalty for failure to file return or to pay tax.
If any person fails to file a return or to pay a tax, if one is due, on or before the time required by or under the provisions of this article, the tax shall be increased by ten percent, and, in addition thereto, interest at the rate of one-half of one percent per month shall be added to the tax.
SECTION 12-37-2490. Effect of other ad valorem taxes upon aircraft of airline companies.
The ad valorem taxation authorized by this article shall be in lieu of all other ad valorem taxes upon the aircraft of airline companies.
SECTION 12-37-2610. Tax year for motor vehicles.
The tax year for licensed motor vehicles begins with the last day of the month in which a license required by Section 56-3-110 is issued and ends on the last day of the month in which the license expires or is due to expire, unless the license is for a period of two years. In that case the tax year for motor vehicles for the first year of the two-year licensing period begins with the last day of the month in which a license required by law is issued and ends on the last day of the month on the next anniversary of the issue date of the license. For the second year of the two-year licensing period the tax year for motor vehicles begins with the last day of the month on the anniversary of the issue date of the license and ends on that last day of the month in which the license expires or is due to expire. No license may be issued for motor vehicles until the ad valorem tax is paid for the year for which the license is to be issued. Motor vehicles registered under the International Registration Plan may pay ad valorem property taxes on a semiannual basis. The provisions of this section do not apply to sales of motor vehicles by a licensed motor vehicle dealer that do not involve the transfer of a license plate. Notice of the sales must be furnished to the department along with other documents necessary for the registration and licensing of the vehicle concerned. The notice must be received by the department as a prerequisite to the registration and licensing of the vehicle and must include the name and address of the purchaser, the vehicle identification number, and the year and model of the vehicle. The notice must be an original and one copy, and the copy must be provided by the department to the auditor of the county in which the vehicle is taxable. All ad valorem taxes on a vehicle are due and payable one hundred twenty days from the date of purchase. The notice and the time in which to pay the tax applies to motor vehicles that are serviced and delivered by a licensed motor vehicle dealer for the benefit of an out-of-state dealer.
SECTION 12-37-2615. Penalties for violation of Section 12-37-2610.
Any person who violates the provisions of Section 12-37-2610 shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, shall be fined not more than one hundred dollars or imprisoned for a period not to exceed thirty days, or both.
SECTION 12-37-2620. Tax determined for twelve or twenty-four month period, depending on licensing period; proportionate reduction for shorter period.
The tax payable on motor vehicles required to be licensed by Section 56-3-110 must be determined for a twelve-month licensing period, except when the license required is for a twenty-four month licensing period. In that case the tax payable on motor vehicles required to be licensed by the department must be determined for a twelve-month tax year for each of the two twelve-month periods contained in the biennial licensure as they respectively occur. If the actual licensing period is less than twelve months for either of the two twelve-month tax years, the tax payable must be that proportion of the above described tax that is equal to the proportion of the number of months that the licensing period is to the twelve-month period that is affected.
SECTION 12-37-2630. Property tax return to be filed prior to application for motor vehicle license.
When a motor vehicle is first taxable in a county the owner or person having control of the vehicle shall make a property tax return of it prior to applying for a license. The return shall be made to the auditor of the county in which the owner or person having control of the motor vehicles resides. If the motor vehicle is used in a business the return shall be made to the auditor of the county in which the motor vehicle is situated, that being the county and city of principal use of the vehicle. The return shall be signed under oath and shall set forth the county, school district, special or tax district and municipality in which the vehicle is principally used.
SECTION 12-37-2640. Auditor to determine assessed value of motor vehicle.
The auditor shall determine the assessed value of the motor vehicle and shall calculate the amount of taxes on the vehicle. However, in the case of motor vehicles whose model year is fifteen years or more prior to the tax year, the assessed value is fifty dollars and in the case of a motor vehicle whose model year is less than fifteen years prior to the tax year, the assessed value must not be less than fifty dollars. The millage to be applied to motor vehicles licensed during January through December of each year must be that applied to other taxable property within the county, school district, special or tax district and, if applicable, the municipality for the preceding regular tax year.
SECTION 12-37-2650. Issuance of tax notices and paid receipts; delegation of collection of taxes.
The auditor shall prepare a tax notice of all vehicles owned by the same person and licensed at the same time for each tax year within the two-year licensing period. A notice must describe the motor vehicle by name, model, and identification number. The notice must set forth the assessed value of the vehicle, the millage, the taxes due on each vehicle, and the license period or tax year. The notice must be delivered to the county treasurer who must collect or receive payment of the taxes. One copy of the notice must be in the form of a bill or statement for the taxes due on the motor vehicle and, when practical, the treasurer shall mail that copy to the owner or person having control of the vehicle. When the tax is paid, the treasurer shall issue the taxpayer two copies of the paid receipt. One copy may be delivered by the taxpayer to the Department of Public Safety with the application for the motor vehicle registration. A copy must be retained by the treasurer. The auditor shall maintain a separate duplicate for motor vehicles. No registration may be issued by the Department of Public Safety unless the application is accompanied by the receipt, a copy of the notification required by Section 12-37-2610 or notice from the county treasurer, by other means satisfactory to the Department of Public Safety, of payment of the tax. Motor vehicles registered under the International Registration Plan may pay ad valorem property taxes on a semiannual basis, and a proportional receipt must be issued by the treasurer subject to penalties in Section 12-37-2730. The treasurer, tax collector, or other official charged with the collection of ad valorem property taxes in each county may delegate the collection of motor vehicle taxes to banks or banking institutions, if each institution assigns, hypothecates, or pledges to the county, as security for the collection, federal funds or federal, state, or municipal securities in an amount adequate to prevent any loss to the county from any cause. Each institution shall remit the taxes collected daily to the county official charged with the collections. The receipt given to the taxpayer, in addition to the information required in this section and by Section 12-45-70, must contain the name and office of the treasurer or tax collector of the county and must also show the name of the banking institution to which payment was made.
The county official charged with the collection of taxes shall send a list of the institutions collecting the taxes to the Department of Public Safety. Each institution shall certify to the Department of Public Safety that the taxes have been paid, and the Department of Public Safety is authorized to accept certification in lieu of the tax receipt given to the taxpayer if certification contains information required by this section.
Tax bills (notices) for county assessed personal property valued in accordance with applicable Department of Revenue regulations must include notification of the taxpayer's appeal rights, to include a minimum amount of information of how the taxpayer should file his appeal, to whom, and within what time period.
SECTION 12-37-2660. Listing of license registration applications to be furnished to county auditors.
The Department of Public Safety shall furnish to the auditor of each county a listing of license registration applications to be mailed to the owners of motor vehicles in the respective counties. The listings must be furnished to the auditor as soon as possible but not later than ninety days before the expiration of the registration. Listings must be in the form of computer tapes or printouts. The Department of Public Safety shall provide notice to the respective counties each month for all vehicles that are licensed the second year of the two-year licensing period. This listing must contain an updating of the prior year's list to denote vehicles in which the license or registration is transferred or canceled.
SECTION 12-37-2675. Transfer of vehicle license, tax levy prohibited until license expires.
If a license is transferred from one motor vehicle to another, no tax may be levied on the motor vehicle to which the license was transferred until the license expires.
SECTION 12-37-2680. Determination of assessed value of vehicle.
The assessed value of the vehicle must be determined as of the first day of the month preceding the beginning of the tax year for the vehicles. The assessed values must be published in guides or manuals by the South Carolina Department of Revenue and provided to the auditor of each county as often as may be necessary to provide for current values. When the value of any vehicle is not set forth in the guide or manual the auditor shall determine the value from other available information.
SECTION 12-37-2690. Assessment and collection of municipal taxes.
A municipality may by contract authorize the county to assess and collect the municipal tax on motor vehicles. When so contracted, the provisions hereof shall be applicable to the municipal tax on vehicles. In such cases the duplicate and receipt above provided for shall also reflect the amount of municipal tax. A municipality that does not contract shall by ordinance provide for the date that taxes due on motor vehicles for each tax year are to be paid. All statutes providing for the collection of taxes shall be applicable to such municipal tax.
SECTION 12-37-2710. Returns for personal property registered with state agencies.
Except as provided in Section 12-37-2630, no return shall be required for personal property which is required by state law to be registered with an agency of the State. The provisions of this section shall be effective for tax years beginning after December 31, 1980.
SECTION 12-37-2720. Exception as to motor vehicles held for sale by dealers.
The provisions of this article shall not apply to motor vehicles which are a part of the inventory held for sale by licensed motor vehicle dealers and which are operated on the highways under a dealer tag.
SECTION 12-37-2721. Exemptions from motor vehicle tax.
The provisions of this article do not apply to motor vehicles owned and licensed by motor vehicle dealers and operated on the highway with education license plates pursuant to Section 56-3-2320.
SECTION 12-37-2722. Exemptions from the motor vehicle tax.
This article does not apply to motor vehicles on which is used a research and development license plate issued by the department pursuant to Section 56-3-2335.
SECTION 12-37-2723. Article inapplicable to vehicles operated on highway with manufacturer's plates.
The provisions of this article do not apply to motor vehicles held by a manufacturer and operated on the highway with manufacturer's license plates issued pursuant to 56-3-2330.
SECTION 12-37-2725. Cancellation of license plate and registration certificate upon transfer of vehicle title or upon owner of vehicle becoming legal resident of another state and registers vehicle in that state; refund or credit for property taxes paid by transferor.
When the title to a licensed vehicle is transferred, or the owner of the vehicle becomes a legal resident of another state and registers the vehicle in the new state of residence, the license plate and registration certificate may be returned for cancellation. The license plate and registration certificate must be delivered to the auditor of the county of the vehicle's registration and tax payment. A request for cancellation must be made in writing to the auditor upon forms approved by the Department of Public Safety. The auditor, upon receipt of the license plate, registration certificate, and the request for cancellation, shall order and the treasurer shall issue a credit or refund of property taxes paid by the transferor on the vehicle. The amount of the refund or credit is that proportion of the tax paid that is equal to that proportion of the complete months remaining in that tax year. The auditor, within five days thereafter, shall deliver the license plate, registration certificate, and the written request for cancellation to the Department of Public Safety. Upon receipt, the Department of Public Safety shall cancel the license plate and registration certificate and may not reissue the same.
SECTION 12-37-2730. Penalties.
It is unlawful for any person to use the treasurer's receipt to obtain motor vehicle license plates unless all municipal personal property taxes due in the county of his residence on any vehicles now or previously owned by the applicant have been paid. Any person who knowingly violates the provisions of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be fined not more than two hundred dollars. Each day's violation constitutes a separate offense.
The above penalty is in addition to any other penalties prescribed by law for failure to pay municipal taxes.
The verbatim text of the first paragraph of this section must be printed or stamped upon the treasurer's receipt. The owner of any motor vehicle registered under the International Reciprocity Plan who opts to pay semiannually and fails to pay semiannual payments as provided in this chapter is not permitted to relicense the vehicle until all taxes are paid and shall forfeit any further privilege to pay semiannually.
SECTION 12-37-2735. Personal Property Tax Relief Fund established.
(A) There is established in the State Treasury a separate and distinct fund to be known as the Personal Property Tax Relief Fund to which must be credited not more than nor less than twenty million dollars for a fiscal year. All monies deposited to this fund must be accounted for separately and any interest accruing from the investment of the monies on deposit with the fund must be credited to the fund and used for the same purpose as the principal. The fund must be used to make allocations available to the counties for the purpose of assisting the counties in reducing the ad valorem tax on personal motor vehicles.
(B) The monies credited to the Personal Property Tax Relief Fund must be allocated annually to separate county accounts, one each established in the name of the forty-six counties. The monies must be divided and allocated to the various county accounts based on a ratio equal to the total number of personal motor vehicles registered in a county divided by the total number of personal motor vehicles registered statewide at the close of the preceding calendar year or fiscal year as determined by the State Treasurer. The allocation drawn from the fund must be used for the exclusive purpose of reducing the ad valorem tax on personal motor vehicles and must be distributed to eligible persons in an equitable manner based on the fair market value of the vehicle.
SECTION 12-37-2740. Suspension of driver's license and vehicle registration for failure to pay personal property tax on a vehicle.
(A) The Department of Public Safety shall suspend the driver's license and vehicle registration of a person who fails to pay personal property tax on a vehicle. The request to suspend must be an electronic notification from the county treasurer of the county where the tax is delinquent. Before the electronic notification is sent to the department, the county treasurer shall notify the delinquent taxpayer of the pending suspension by letter. The letter must be developed by the county treasurers in conjunction with the department and used uniformly throughout the State. The letter must advise the person of the pending suspension and the steps necessary to prevent the suspension from being entered on the person's driving and registration records. Each county must allow thirty days for the payment of taxes before the county notifies the department to suspend the person's driver's license and vehicle registration.
(B) Notwithstanding the provisions of Section 56-1-460, a charge of driving under suspension when the suspension is solely for failure to pay property taxes or the reinstatement fee required for the property tax suspension does not require proof of financial responsibility. A person shall not be subject to a custodial arrest solely for being under suspension pursuant to provisions contained in this section. Upon conviction:
(1) For a first offense under this section, the penalty is a fine not to exceed fifty dollars.
(2) For a second offense under this section, the penalty is a fine not to exceed two hundred fifty dollars.
(3) For a third or subsequent offense under this section, the penalty must not exceed the general criminal jurisdiction of a magistrate's court.
(C) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsections (A) and (B) of this section or the provisions of Section 56-1-460, a charge of driving under suspension issued solely as a result of this section must be dismissed if the person provides proof on the person's court date that the personal property taxes on the vehicle which resulted in the charge being issued have been paid.
(D) Before the reinstatement of a driver's license or vehicle registration suspended due to a violation of this section, a fee of fifty dollars must be paid to the department. The department may retain revenues generated by payment of the reinstatement fees pursuant to this section for use in defraying costs associated with suspension and reinstatement actions pursuant to this section. Fees collected in excess of actual departmental direct costs related to suspension and reinstatement actions pursuant to this section must be deposited to the credit of the general fund of the State at the end of each fiscal year.
SECTION 12-37-2810. Definitions.
As used in this article, unless the context requires otherwise:
(A) "Motor carrier" means a person who owns, controls, operates, manages, or leases a motor vehicle or bus for the transportation of property or persons in intrastate or interstate commerce except for scheduled intercity bus service and farm vehicles using FM tags as allowed by the Department of Motor Vehicles. A motor carrier is defined further as being a South Carolina-based International Registration Plan registrant or owning or leasing real property within this State used directly in the transportation of freight or persons.
(B) "Motor vehicle" means a motor propelled vehicle used for the transportation of property on a public highway with a gross vehicle weight of greater than twenty-six thousand pounds.
(C) "Highway" means all public roads, highways, streets, and ways in this State, whether within a municipality or outside of a municipality.
(D) "Person" means any individual, corporation, firm, partnership, company or association, and includes a guardian, trustee, executor, administrator, receiver, conservator, or a person acting in a fiduciary capacity.
(E) "Semitrailers" means every vehicle with or without motive power, other than a pole trailer, designed for carrying property and for being drawn by a motor vehicle and constructed so that a part of its weight and of its load rests upon or is carried by another vehicle.
(F) "Trailers" means every vehicle with or without motive power, other than a pole trailer, designed for carrying property and for being drawn by a motor vehicle and constructed so that no part of its weight rests upon the towing vehicle.
(G) "Bus" means every motor vehicle designed for carrying more than sixteen passengers and used for the transportation of persons, for compensation, other than a taxicab or intercity bus.
SECTION 12-37-2820. Assessment of motor vehicles.
(A) The Department of Revenue annually shall assess, equalize, and apportion the valuation of all motor vehicles of motor carriers. The valuation must be based on fair market value for the motor vehicles and an assessment ratio of nine and one-half percent as provided by Section 12-43-220(g). Fair market value is determined by depreciating the gross capitalized cost of each motor vehicle by an annual percentage depreciation allowance down to ten percent of the cost as follows:
(1) Year One -- .90
(2) Year Two -- .80
(3) Year Three -- .65
(4) Year Four -- .50
(5) Year Five -- .35
(6) Year Six -- .25
(7) Year Seven -- .20
(8) Year Eight -- .15
(9) Year Nine -- .10
(B) "Gross capitalized cost", as used in this section, means the original cost upon acquisition for income tax purposes, not to include taxes, interest, or cab customizing.
SECTION 12-37-2830. Determination of value based on ratio.
The value of a motor carrier's vehicles subject to property taxes in this State must be determined based on the ratio of total mileage operated within this State during the preceding calendar year to the total mileage of its fleet operated within and without this State during the same preceding calendar year.
SECTION 12-37-2840. Annual property tax returns; failure to remit taxes or file returns; assessments; appeals; penalties.
(A) Motor carriers must file an annual property tax return with the Department of Revenue no later than June 30 for the preceding calendar year and remit one-half of the tax due or the entire tax due as stated on the return. If the motor carrier fails to pay either one-half of the tax due or the entire tax due as of June 30, the department must issue a proposed assessment for the entire tax to the motor carrier. The tax as shown in the proposed assessment must be paid in full by cashier's check, money order, or cash within thirty days of the issuance of the proposed assessment, or the taxpayer may appeal the proposed assessment within thirty days using the procedures provided in subarticle 1, Article 5, Chapter 60 of this title.
(B)(1) If one-half of the tax is remitted on or before June 30, the remaining one-half of the tax due must be paid to the Department of Revenue on or before December 31 of that year. If the motor carrier fails to remit the remaining tax due pursuant to this section, the department shall issue a proposed assessment to the motor carrier.
(2) The tax shown in the proposed assessment must be paid in full by cashier's check, money order, or cash or appealed within thirty days of the issuance of the proposed assessment. The taxpayer may appeal the proposed assessment using the procedures provided in subarticle 1, Article 5, Chapter 60 of this title.
(C) If a motor carrier fails to timely file the return as required by this section, the department shall issue a proposed assessment which assumes all mileage of the motor carrier's fleet was driven within this State. A taxpayer may appeal this proposed assessment using the procedures provided in subarticle 1, Article 5, Chapter 60 of this title.
(D) A twenty-five percent penalty must be added to the property tax due if the motor carrier fails to file a return or pay any tax due, including the one-half of the tax due on June 30, as required by this section. The penalty must be applied the day after the date that the return was due to be filed or the tax was due to be paid. This penalty is instead of all other penalties and interest required by law, except those provided in Section 12-54-44.
(E) If the motor carrier fails to remit the tax due within thirty days of receipt of the proposed assessment and the taxpayer fails to appeal the proposed assessment as provided in subsection (B), the department shall assess the tax. Tax due pursuant to this section is subject to the collection procedures provided in Chapter 54, of this title, except that the penalty provisions of Section 12-54-43 do not apply.
SECTION 12-37-2842. Registration of vehicles or buses with Department; notification to Department of disposition of vehicles or buses.
(A) The Department of Motor Vehicles, at the time of first registration by a motor carrier as defined in this article, shall notify the registrant of the Department of Revenue's registration and filing requirements and supply the required registration forms.
(B) The motor carrier must register with the Department of Revenue within thirty days following the year in which the vehicle or bus was first registered for operation in South Carolina.
(C) A motor carrier must notify the Department of Revenue, on forms supplied by the department, of a motor vehicle or bus that is disposed of before December 31.
SECTION 12-37-2845. Repealed by 2000 Act No. 399, Section 3(T)(4), eff August 17, 2000.
SECTION 12-37-2850. Assessment of taxes.
The Department of Revenue shall assess annually the taxes due based on the value determined in Section 12-37-2820 and an average millage for all purposes statewide for the preceding calendar year and shall publish the average millage for the preceding year by June 1 of each year. The taxes assessed must be paid to the Department of Revenue no later than December 31 of each year and may be made in two equal installments. Distribution of the taxes paid must be made by the State Treasurer's Office based on the distribution formula contained in Section 12-37-2870.
SECTION 12-37-2860. One-time fees.
(A) Instead of the property taxes and registration requirements contained in Sections 56-3-110 and 56-3-700 on semitrailers and trailers of motor carriers as defined in Section 12-37-2810, a one-time fee payable to the Department of Public Safety in the amount of eighty-seven dollars is due on all semitrailers and trailers currently registered and subsequently on each semitrailer and trailer before being placed in service.
(B) Twelve dollars of the one-time fee must be distributed to the Department of Revenue and may be retained by the Department of Revenue and expended in budgeted operations to record and administer the fee. The remaining seventy-five dollars of the fee must be distributed based on the distribution formula contained in Section 12-37-2870 and must occur by the fifteenth day of the month following the month in which the fees are collected.
(C) The fee required by this section is due on or before March 31, 1998, for the initial registration.
(D) The Department of Public Safety shall design a permanent tag for display on the exterior of the rear of the trailer or semitrailer in a conspicuous place.
SECTION 12-37-2870. Distribution formula.
The distribution for each county must be determined on the ratio of total federal and state highway miles within each county during the preceding calendar year to the total federal and state highway miles within all counties of this State during the same preceding calendar year. The county must distribute the revenue from the payment-in-lieu of taxes received pursuant to this section within thirty days of its receipt to every governmental entity levying a property tax in the manner set forth below. For each governmental entity levying a property tax, the entire assessed value of the taxable property within its boundaries and the county area must be multiplied by the millage rate imposed by the governmental entity. That figure constitutes the numerator for that governmental entity. The total of the numerators for all property tax levying entities within the county area constitutes the denominator. The numerator for each governmental entity must be divided by the denominator. The resulting percentage must be multiplied by the payment-in-lieu of tax revenue received pursuant to this section and that amount distributed to the general fund of the appropriate governmental entity. The distribution of taxes and fees paid must be made by the last day of the next month succeeding the month in which the taxes and fees were paid.
SECTION 12-37-2880. Ad valorem taxes.
The ad valorem taxes authorized by this article are in lieu of all other ad valorem taxes upon the motor vehicles of motor carriers. The fee-in-lieu of property taxes and registration requirements authorized by this article are in lieu of all other ad valorem taxes upon trailers and semitrailers of motor carriers.