May 27 2008
Many constituents have contacted me with their concerns over the acceptance of windfalls produced by property reassessments. Upon further research (and assistance from Senate staff), I have found that South Carolina law remains very clear on the subject. SECTION 12-37-251. (E) says that “ 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.”
This means that a taxing authority may not take more of your money simply because they decided that the value of your property rose, i.e. they may not take a windfall due to their reassessment. The law cited above provides for a rollback of the proposed tax burden to equal the amount of reassessment by inflation as opposed to reassessment of new or substantially improved structures or property bought at a new price since the last assessment. The law is clear—government may not simply decide that your property is worth more and then take more money from you.