SC property taxes unfair on secondary homes

info@islandpacket.comDecember 21, 2012 

In 2006, while living and working in Charlotte, I purchased an approximately one-acre lot on the Whale Branch in a small development with 12 other lots.

Since that time I have paid approximately $3,500 a year in taxes on that lot ($21,000 over six years for myself and $252,000 in total for all lot owners) because of Act 388.

What have we received in return? Absolutely nothing. None of us have kids in school, and empty lots hardly need police services, etc. I paid less in taxes on my 3,200-square-foot house in Charlotte that had a tax valuation of approximately $375,000.

In August of this year, we sold our North Carolina house and moved down here and became South Carolina and Beaufort residents. We are in the process of building on our lot and renting while doing so. Thinking I might finally get some property tax relief, I called the Beaufort County Assessor's Office.

Nope, I can't get any reduction until I have a certificate of occupancy for a primary residence.

How is any of this process fair, especially with primary Beaufort County residents paying zero in property tax for school operations?

I certainly have advised both friends and relatives thinking of buying other than a primary residence to take this tax into consideration.

Daniel A. Rich

Beaufort

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