Richland County homeowners talk property values, taxes, and millage at Assessor’s meeting

Richland County homeowners talk property values, taxes, and millage at Assessor’s meeting

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - Homeowners in Richland County were able to get a crash course about property reassessment this evening from the county Assessor’s Office.

2019 is a reassessment year for Richland County homeowners. What exactly does that mean?

“Reassessment is something that’s mandated by state law that we do every five years,” Liz McDonald the Richland County Assessor. “So as a homeowner your concern would be, do we have it valued correctly.”

McDonald says overall, property values in the county have recovered to 2009 levels, and have had a $1.4 billion increase in taxable value.

“If the values are increasing, it’s good if you want to stay,” McDonald. “That means your investment is solid and growing. The value of your property is a part of the calculation for your taxes, so the biggest thing is, you want to make sure we have that value right.”

While higher property values could mean higher taxes, McDonald says the auditor will typically work with county council to roll back the millage for some balance.

“Typically that’s what you see,” McDonald said. “You do see a lower millage rate in a reassessment year and that’s because as the values increase the millage rate can come down.”

McDonald tells us market sales are what they use to drive the property value determination-but some homeowners say…they want to see the county do more with cleanup and blight enforcement to help residents get the most out of their investment.

“If Richland County would force people or whatever they need to do, educate people to get the property in mint condition,” said homeowner Roger Leaks. “They would get far more value at this time for reassessment because lots of properties are under-assessed because of blight. It looks like an enforcement problem”

McDonald says you might see lowered values opposed to other homes in the area if there’s something particular about your property, such as being positioned in a floodway or severe storm damage.

But, if you have any questions…she says her team is available to help.

“The biggest thing our office can do is get your value right,” she said.

McDonald says if you want to appeal the property value they’ve determined, that’s an option. You will need to file the appeal in writing, and mail it to the Assessor’s Office by the date stated at the bottom of the county notice you received in the mail.

The Assessor said properties in areas like Blythewood, that have experienced a lot of growth lately, should be seeing more value because of the sheer number of residential units popping up.

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