COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - Many Richland County residents are concerned about the effects recent property value notices may have on homeowners.
Richland County Assessor, Liz McDonald, says, “The first thing people think about when they think of reassessment is what are my taxes going to be?”
It’s one of the many questions the Assessor’s Division will help to answer during a community meeting, Tuesday night.
Notices went out earlier this month regarding newly reassessed property values in Richland County. It’s a process which happens every five years by state law, but this is the first time the county is having this community meeting so that homeowners have a clear understanding of the process and an opportunity to ask questions.
This reassessment is done to ensure that all property is valued equally and fairly, and in turn guarantees that homeowners are paying their fair share in property taxes. Only property owners with homes that had an increase in value of $1,000 or more were notified. According to Richland County about 100,000 notices went out.
Property values are determined based on property sales over the last four years, as well as the type of home – how many bedrooms/bathrooms, plus the type of construction like brick siding versus vinyl siding, or hardwood floors versus carpet.
The Assessor’s Division wants homeowners to understand this process is not about raising property taxes, but redistributing property tax rates, fairly, across homeowners in Richland County.
“Our office only deals with the valuation and assessment part. We’re not about collecting revenue. We’re about having every property fairly and appropriately valued. To calculate your taxes, it’s going to be your assessment value times the millage rate will equal the real property taxes due,” McDonald said.
The notices from the Assessor’s Division will include your property value, but you’re still missing the millage rate for Richland County, which McDonald says is typically finalized in October by County Council. You’ll need that number to get a more accurate idea of what your property taxes will be.
There’s one area of Richland County that may see the most change.
McDonald tells WIS-TV, “I did see in the town of Blythewood, they had – that’s where the growth is right now, on the northeast. The town of Blythewood probably had some of the larger changes, larger increases, but in a reassessment year the taxable value can’t increase more than 15%. So, even though your market value might have gone up, your taxable value necessarily can’t increase to the same level of the market.”
Tuesday’s meeting begins at 6:00 PM in Council Chambers. There will be several staff members from Assessor’s Division to answer questions.
They’re also planning a second meeting for the Lower Richland area, but a date and location have not yet been set.