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Property Taxes to Remain at 2008 Values Until 2014

County Council chair votes against reassessment postponement, calls it 'a tax increase' to keep property values at pre-recession levels.

Tax values will remain at 2008 levels until 2014 for homeowners in Dorchester County.

The third and final reading of Dorchester County Council's postponement of property value reassessment, originally scheduled for 2013, passed without discussion Tuesday, but not without a dissenting vote by the council's chair. The postponement included about half a million dollars to pay for new software for the reassessment.

Property value reassessment is done every five years, but counties are allowed to postpone under S.C. law. 

Want to learn more about property taxes? Click here to read information by S.C. Department of Revenue. 

Council Chair Larry Hargett voted against the postponement, citing the boom-times of 2008 inflating property value and taxes, but the council passed it 6-1 in order to allow for implementation of new software.

Councilman Jay Byars said Charleston County tried to implement new software and reassessed property values in the same year, and it caused a heep of problems. The vote was to ensure smooth and proper reassessment of property values, Byars said.

"It was a debacle (in Charleston County)," Byars said after Tuesday's meeting. "We don't want to repeat that mistake." 

But Hargett was unpersuaded.

"I was consistent in my vote against it," Hargett said. "It's a tax increase — at least one year of higher taxes (at the 2008 level)."

Lindsay Street September 05, 2012 at 11:50 AM
Do you own a home that is valued below its 2008 tax assessment? What are your thoughts on the county postponing the reassessment?
fairshareplus September 05, 2012 at 01:20 PM
"Heap of problems"...LOL. It wasn't a heap of problems when the rushed to do the reassessment in 2008 was it? You think 2008 HOME taxes are high? Try owning commercial property in Dorchester County! This is outrageous! What county is Mr Byars' business located in? Council keeps spending the money even though the economy and property values are in the dumps. Truth is, they have ramped up spending, and cannot afford to lose the revenues they have gotten so cozy with. Why not just tell the truth? The economy is awful, and businesses are suffering. County is buying land right and left to build parks they can't afford to build much less maintain. It's ridiculous. That's ok, we are not stupid Mr Byars. See you at re-election.
Joyce September 05, 2012 at 02:30 PM
Our property is not worth what it was at the last assessment. Forcing us to pay taxes at the higher value is theft. Some of us have been at almost every council meeting trying to stem the spending. Instead we get the Taj Mahal Courthouse, Taj Mahal St. George library, a new prison and more parks than we can afford or maintain. Council is actively looking for more land to buy. To top it off Summerville raises franchise fees and DD2 wants 200 million dollars in bonds - part of it for an aquatic center that won't even belong to us. We are being robbed, especially the business owners. Time for us business owners to go Galt. I'm making preparations.
Henry Turner September 05, 2012 at 03:30 PM
County Council will still be forced to use the same date for reassessment Dec. 31, 2012 as they would have even if they didn't delay it. Also, under the millage equalization act - the county would've raised the millage to offset decrease values just as they would've done if values increased and had to reduce millage. The value doesn't matter, it's the millage that matters!
Linda September 05, 2012 at 08:41 PM
I do not believe the reason for this at all! If this is true, then they should credit our tax this year on next year's taxes...assuming they get their software working by next year...what a joke!

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