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Indicates Matter Stricken
Indicates New Matter
Sponsors: Rep. Bowers
Document Path: l:\council\bills\gjk\20404sd05.doc
Companion/Similar bill(s): 3264
Introduced in the House on April 14, 2005
Currently residing in the House Committee on Ways and Means
Summary: Owner-occupied residential property
HISTORY OF LEGISLATIVE ACTIONS
Date Body Action Description with journal page number ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 4/14/2005 House Introduced and read first time HJ-4 4/14/2005 House Referred to Committee on Ways and Means HJ-5
View the latest legislative information at the LPITS web site
VERSIONS OF THIS BILL
TO AMEND THE CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, BY ADDING SECTION 12-37-223 SO AS TO ELIMINATE INCREASES IN FAIR MARKET VALUE OF OWNER-OCCUPIED RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY AND CERTAIN OTHER REAL PROPERTY ATTRIBUTABLE TO QUADRENNIAL REASSESSMENT IN A COUNTY, AND PROVIDE THE PERIOD FOR WHICH THIS EXEMPTION APPLIES.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:
SECTION 1. Article 3, Chapter 37, Title 12 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding:
"Section 12-37-223. (A) For purposes of this section, 'real property' means owner-occupied residential real property eligible for the four percent assessment ratio for property tax purposes allowed pursuant to Section 12-43-220(c) and real property which is eligible for a six percent assessment ratio.
(B) There is exempted from property tax an amount of fair market value of real property located in the county sufficient to eliminate any increase in fair market value attributable to a countywide appraisal and equalization program conducted pursuant to Section 12-43-217. An exemption allowed by this section does not apply to:
(1) fair market value attributable to real property or improvements to real property not previously taxed, such as new construction, and for renovation of existing structures; and
(2) real property transferred after the implementation of the values determined in the most recent countywide equalization program conducted pursuant to Section 12-43-217.
(C) Notwithstanding subsection (B)(2), the exemption provided in subsection (B) applies to real property which has been transferred in a transfer not subject to income tax pursuant to Sections 102 (Gifts and Inheritances), limited to transfers to a spouse or surviving spouse, 1033 (Conversions--Fire and Insurance Proceeds to Rebuild), or 1041 (Transfers of Property Between Spouses or Incident to Divorce) of the Internal Revenue Code, as defined in Section 12-6-40. The exemption provided in subsection (B) also continues to apply to real property which has been transferred if the transferor retains a life estate in the real property and the transferor continues to occupy the real property as his legal residence and to real property which has been transferred to a trust if the transferor is a life beneficiary of the trust and continues to occupy the real property as his legal residence.
(D) Once the fair market value of real property is first reduced by the exemption allowed in subsection (B), that reduced fair market value remains the fair market value of the property subject to property tax except as otherwise provided in subsection (B)(1) and (2), regardless of further increases in fair market value of that real property as determined in subsequent countywide appraisal and equalization programs. When real property is transferred such that the real property is no longer eligible for the exemption provided for in subsection (B), the real property is subject to being taxed in the tax year following the transfer at its value, as determined under Section 12-37-930, at current fair market value as determined by the county assessor.
(E) The closing attorney involved in a real estate transfer shall provide the following notice to the buyer(s):
REAL PROPERTY TRANSFERRED AS A RESULT OF THIS TRANSACTION MAY BE SUBJECT TO PROPERTY TAXATION DURING THE NEXT TAX YEAR AT A VALUE THAT REFLECTS ITS FAIR MARKET VALUE.
(F) To qualify for the exemption authorized under subsection (B), the owner of the real property for which the exemption is sought or the owner's agent must apply to the county assessor where the real property is located and establish eligibility for the exemption. The time period for making application for the exemption provided for in subsection (B), or for seeking a refund of taxes paid as a result of a subsequent determination of eligibility for the exemption, is the same as provided for in Section 12-43-220(c) for administering the special legal residence assessment ratio, mutatis mutandis.
Under penalty of perjury, the taxpayer must certify that the real property meets the qualifications established in subsection (A) for eligibility for the exemption and provide such other proof required by the county assessor. The burden is on the taxpayer to establish eligibility for the exemption. The Department of Revenue shall assist the applicant and the assessor to the extent practicable in providing information necessary or helpful in determining eligibility. If the assessor determines the applicant ineligible, the value of the real property must be determined by the assessor.
No further application is necessary from the owner who qualified the property for the exemption while the real property continues to meet the eligibility requirements. If a change in ownership occurs, the owner who had qualified for the exemption shall notify the assessor within six months of the transfer of title. Another application is required by the new owner if the new owner seeks to qualify for the exemption provided by this section.
If a person signs the certification, obtains the exemption, and is, thereafter, found not eligible, a penalty may be imposed equal to one hundred percent of the tax paid, plus interest on that amount at a rate of one-half of one percent a month, but in no case less than thirty dollars nor more than the current year's taxes assessed on the value of the real property without regard to the exemption."
SECTION 2. This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor and applies for countywide reassessment program values implemented after 2004.
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