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The Official Web Site of the State of South Carolina

 

 

Treasurer FAQs

General Questions
 

Question:  How can I pay my taxes?

 Answer:

We offer several payment options for your convenience:

  • In person, at the Lexington County Treasurer's Office, with cash, check (payable to County of Lexington), or debit/credit card (Visa, MasterCard, Discover, & American Express).  Convenience fees apply to all tax payments made with a credit or debit card.
  • Online with a debit/credit card(Visa, MasterCard, Discover, & American Express) or electronic check. Convenience fees apply to all tax payments made with a debit/credit card or electronic check.
  • Through the mail with check only. Make check payable to County of Lexington, include tax bill and write the bill number on the check.  The United States postmark is the determining date for mailed payments as to whether or not penalty applies.
  • At the Lexington County Treasurer's Office night deposit box for convenient after business-hours payment. Checks only, made payable to the County of Lexington, include tax bill and write the bill number on the check. The night deposit box is located in front of the County Administration Building.
  • NEW!  Effective June 1, 2015, local TD Bank branches are now accepting Lexington County property tax payments.  Cash and Checks (made payable to County of Lexington) only, include tax bill and write the bill number on the check.  The following is a list of TD Bank branches that accept Lexington County tax payments:
    • 575 Columbia Avenue, Lexington
    • 4320 Sunset Boulevard, Lexington
    • 1265 Lake Murray Boulevard, Irmo
    • 1926 Augusta Road, West Columbia
    • 200 South Brecon Avenue, Swansea
    • 260 Columbia Avenue, Chapin 

 

Question:  I mailed my tax payment before the due date but I still received late fees.  Why?

Answer:  

If your payment cannot be processed, it will be returned for the necessary corrections. Additional penalties and/or fees may accrue. Failure to receive bill does not exempt the account from penalty. The Lexington County Treasurer's Office is not responsible for mail that has been mishandled by the US Postal Service.

 

 

Vehicle Tax Questions

 

Question:  When are the taxes due on my motor vehicle?

Answer:

Annually.  Taxes on motor vehicles and recreational vehicles must be paid before your license plate tags can be renewed. These taxes are due by the last day of the month in which your tag expires.

 

 

Question:  Why didn't I get a tax bill for my car? 

Answer:

If you have moved and not informed the Lexington County Auditor's Office, your bill was sent to your previous address. If you did not change your address with the SC Department of Motor Vehicles that information was not forwarded to the Auditor’s Office which then sent your bill to your previous address.

If the SC Department of Motor Vehicles did not send the Lexington County Auditor’s Office information that your automobile was still registered in Lexington County, you would also have not received a bill.


You can contact the Auditor's Office at (803) 785-8181 (Prompt #2, Prompt #8) to obtain a current bill.

 

 

Question: How do I change the address on my vehicle?

Answer:

For temporary address changes, you need to call the Auditor's Office at (803) 785-8181 (Prompt #2, Prompt #8). For permanent address changes, please contact the S.C. Department of Motor Vehicles at (803) 896-5000.

 

 

Question: How do I receive my renewal sticker for my vehicle?

Answer:

If you pay your vehicle taxes by mail or via the Internet, the sticker comes from SCDMV. That sticker is sent to your mailing address within 7 business days. Please make sure that your address is correct and that your insurance certification is provided when required.  If you do not receive your sticker within this time period, contact the SC Department of Motor Vehicles by clicking on this link or by phone at (803) 896-5000.

 

 

Question: Is there a late fee for late payment of vehicle taxes?

Answer:

The County does not charge a late fee for late payment of vehicle taxes.  However, the registration renewal fee charged by the S.C. Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) appears on your tax bill every other year. When you have a DMV tag fee due and the taxes are paid after the expiration of your license tag, you will need to go to any S.C. DMV to show your paid tax receipt, pay the late fee, and obtain your decal and registration.

 

 

Question: Why did I get a tax bill on a car I sold?

 Answer:

For your automobile, if the SCDMV did not recognize the car sale transaction within 90 days of sending your bill, they have already transmitted ownership data to the Auditor's Office that still reflects you as the owner of the vehicle even though you no longer are liable for the taxes. Contact the Auditor's Office at (803) 785-8181 (Prompt #2, Prompt #8).

 

 

Question: Why am I getting a tax bill on a car I just bought from a dealer? Were the taxes and tags not included?

Answer:

When you purchase a vehicle from a dealership, their personnel are allowed to pick up your registration and license tags without paying the local property taxes. The tax you paid to the dealership at the time of purchase was the South Carolina state sales tax. The bill that you received is for county property taxes and you were given a 120-day grace period from the date of purchase of your new vehicle in which to pay the property tax due on your vehicle.  If this bill is not paid, it will still be due and payable the following year when your tag must be renewed.

 

 

Question: Why did I receive a notice that my vehicle registration and/or driver’s license may be suspended?

Answer:

If you purchased your vehicle from a dealer and the dealer obtained a tag for you, property taxes on that vehicle are due within 120 days after the purchase. If this bill is not paid, state law requires the Treasurer's Office to send a suspension on your vehicle and/or driver’s license for non-payment of taxes to the Department of Motor Vehicles. This suspension is lifted when the tax obligation on the vehicle is satisfied, however, the S.C. Department of Motor Vehicles may charge reinstatement fees. If your driver’s license is suspended for non-payment of property taxes and you also hold a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License), it will also be affected by the suspension.

 

  

Question: What property is included in the Active Duty Military Exemption and how do I apply?

Answer:

If your home of record is not South Carolina, you do not have to pay personal property taxes on property which you own while permanently stationed in this state. This exemption does not include county taxes on real property. The exemption covers motor vehicles (including trucks), campers, motor homes, boats and outboard motors, personal recreational watercraft (like wave-runners and jet-skis), aircraft and mobile homes (occupied by the owner). The property must be singularly titled in the name of the military service member in order to qualify for a 100% exemption. If there is a non military co-owner, only 50% of the exemption will be applied. In order for your mobile home to be qualified, it must be the service member's primary residence. To obtain the exemption, the service member must submit their latest Leave & Earnings Statement and a copy of their Military ID to the County Auditor’s Office. The exemption is valid for only one year, so you will need to reapply every year.

 

 

Real Property Tax Questions

 

Question: My real estate taxes are too high.  Why, and how can I get them reduced?

Answer:

All residential and commercial property in Lexington County is assessed at 6%, except an owner-occupied legal residence.  If the property is your residence, it may qualify for the 4% assessment instead of the 6% assessment.  Tax amounts are based also on the appraised value of the property.  If you have questions about your assessment ratio or your property value, contact the Tax Assessor’s Office at (803) 785-8190.

 

Question: My mortgage company paid my taxes on my residence at the 6% assessment when it should have been 4%.  How do I get a refund?

Answer:

Please contact the Tax Assessor's office to be sure that you have completed your 4% application with their office. After the 4% application has been accepted, the Auditor’s Office will issue a new tax notice at the 4% assessment. Should your mortgage company send a check for the 6% amount, the difference will be refunded. It may take several weeks to process this refund.

 

 

Question: I bought my property this year, but the tax bill has the name of the person I bought the property from instead of my name.  What should I do?

Answer:

Tax notices are mailed according to the owner of record as of January 1 of each year.  The tax notice will be in the new owner's name the following year.

 

Question: How do I qualify for the Homestead Exemption?

Answer:

You may qualify for the Homestead Exemption if you:

*  ARE at least 65 years of age on or before December 31, preceding the tax year in which you wish to claim the exemption; OR

*  ARE certified totally and permanently disabled by a state or federal agency; OR

*  ARE legally blind; OR

*  ARE a legal resident of South Carolina for at least one year on or before December 31 of the year prior to the exemption; AND

*  HOLD fee simple title or partial title to your house, mobile home, or life estate on or before December 31 of the year prior to the exemption, and have been approved to receive the 4% legal residence tax assessment ratio, AND

*  WERE a legal residence of South Carolina for one year

 
For this exemption, the qualifying homeowner must apply through the County Auditor’s Office 803-785-8181.

 

Question: What property is included in the Active Duty Military Exemption and how do I apply?

Answer:

If your home of record is not South Carolina, you do not have to pay personal property taxes on property which you own while permanently stationed in this state. This exemption does not include county taxes on real property. The exemption covers motor vehicles (including trucks), campers, motor homes, boats and outboard motors, personal recreational watercraft (like wave-runners and jet-skis), aircraft and mobile homes (occupied by the owner). The property must be singularly titled in the name of the military service member in order to qualify for a 100% exemption. If there is a non military co-owner, only 50% of the exemption will be applied. In order for your mobile home to be qualified, it must be the service member's primary residence. To obtain the exemption, the service member must submit their latest Leave & Earnings Statement and a copy of their Military ID to the County Auditor’s Office. The exemption is valid for only one year, so you will need to reapply every year.