Community

Published on July 5th, 2019 | by Millennium Magazine Staff

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County Reassessment Notices Go Out

(Richland PIO) – The Richland County Assessor’s Division recently completed its 2019 Countywide reassessment and affected property owners are being notified by mail.

The reassessment was done in accordance with state law and is conducted every five years to ensure that all real property is valued equitably and fairly. Richland County has 173,700 parcels of real property and only the properties that had an increase in value of $1,000 or more will receive a reassessment notice.

The Assessor’s Division sent out about 100,000 reassessment notices.

Residents are reminded that if home values increase, that doesn’t mean taxes will rise. In reassessment years, counties are required by state law to roll back millage rates to be revenue neutral and about half of the property owners will benefit from a mandated 15% cap in taxable value.

The purpose of reassessment is not to raise taxes, but to distribute the taxes collected more fairly among all real property owners. 

“When most of us receive a reassessment notice, we immediately think of more taxes, but in a reassessment year that is not always the case,” said County Assessor Liz McDonald. “The taxable value of a property is only one part of the equation for calculating real property taxes and is the only part of the equation that our office has control over. 

Even though the County appraisers work diligently to accurately value property, McDonald encourages property owners to do their own research.

“A few ways to accomplish this – review a recent appraisal that was done for refinancing and/or use the County’s online Comparative Sales Analysis site,” she said.

While the taxable value is the basis for the real property tax bill, the assessment and taxes will not be calculated until October, when County Council sets the property tax rates, known as the millage rate.

In the meantime, residents can visit the County Assessor’s property tax estimate page to estimate their real property taxes based on the 2019 taxable value and the 2018 millage rate. The link to this site is under Online Services.

The Assessor’s Division ensures that all real property is valued at its current fair market rate, which is the price the property could sell for in the open real estate market. Property values change at different rates, with some increasing or decreasing faster due to location, desirability of the neighborhood or property, age and physical location.

The Assessor’s Division is planning two community meetings to give an overview of the reassessment process and to give property owners the opportunity to ask general questions, as well as any inquiries specific to their individual properties.

  • 6 p.m. Tuesday, July 16 in the County Council Chambers, 2020 Hampton St., Columbia
  • A second meeting is being planned in the Lower Richland area. Details are forthcoming. 

Property owners who disagree with the County appraisals can file an appeal, but McDonald hopes residents realize the effort the Assessor’s staff put into the reassessment process was thorough and fair.

The deadline to file an appeal is Sept. 30, 2019 for the reassessment notices mailed July 2, 2019.

For more information visit richlandcountysc.gov and navigate to the Assessor’s web page.

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