Exemptions

  1. Military Exemption
    • The Soldiers and Sailors Relief Act exempts military personnel and their spouses (whose HOME OF RECORD is somewhere other than the State of South Carolina), from paying Berkeley County Property Taxes.
    • If you are active duty military stationed in South Carolina and claim another state as your home of record, vehicles (as well as leased vehicles) with a title in your name and/or your spouse's name may be exempted from property taxes. A current Leave and Earning Statement (LES), long form, must be filed with the Auditor's Office yearly. If your spouse is on the title as a co-owner or alone, a copy of their dependent ID card or copy of your marriage license must be presented in addition to the military member’s LES every year. Only active duty military personnel and their spouses may be exempt. Any other names on the title with the active duty military member’s name will result in the bill being half exempt.
    • You may also qualify for the military exemption if you are stationed elsewhere but you have family members still living in Berkeley County or if you own property in Berkeley County.
    • If you claim South Carolina as your home of record, you do not qualify for the exemption.
    • If you are in the Reserves, you are not eligible for the exemption.
  2. Homestead Exemption
    • The Homestead Exemption Program exempts the first $50,000 from the taxable value of your primary residence.
    • You may apply for the Homestead Exemption any time after you reach the age of 65 and have lived in South Carolina for a full calendar year. Since house taxes are billed in arrears, you won’t see the discount on your bill until the year after you turn 65.
    • You may also qualify for the Homestead Exemption if you have been declared totally and permanently disabled by Social Security or if you have been declared legally blind by a licensed ophthalmologist.
    • If you are applying due to age, please provide us with one of the below listed documents
      • Birth Certificate
      • Passport
      • State Issued ID
      With the above listed docuement, Berkeley Coutny will also need one of the following documents for each person listed on the deed or title:
      • Social Security Card (with SS# listed on card)
      • Tax Return (with SS#)
      • Legal Document (with SS# listed)
      If the property is held in a trust, please provide us with a copy of the Certificate of Trust
    • If you are applying due to your Social Security disability, you must provide your entitlement letter complete with your effective disability date. If you are applying due to being totally blind, you must provide a letter from your physician complete with the date your condition began.
  3. Disability
    • You may be eligible for exemption of property taxes through the South Carolina Department of Revenue on your home and up to one acre of the land on which the home is located if you are:
    • a 100% totally and permanently disabled veteran, law enforcement officer or firefighter with a service-connected disability.
    • a paraplegic or hemiplegic or have Parkinson's Disease, Multiple Sclerosis or Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis.
    • The surviving spouse of a veteran, a law enforcement officer or a firefighter who is 100% service connected disabled or is killed in the line of duty and who owned the house in fee or for life or jointly with the now deceased spouse. The exemption will be for life if the surviving spouse remains in the home and unmarried.
  4. Vehicles Exemption for Disabled Veterans
    • If you are a veteran who is 100% totally and permanently service connected disabled, you may be eligible for and exemption on two of your vehicles. The Auditor’s Office will need a copy of a letter from the Veteran’s Administration certifying that the total and permanent disability is due to a service connection. In addition, the registration card or bill of sale of the vehicle(s) to be exempted must be presented to the South Carolina Department of Revenue for approval. This can be done by filling out the PT-401-I form and sending it to the SCDOR. Once the SCDOR has granted its approval, a letter will be mailed to the veteran. This letter can be brought in to the Berkeley County Auditor’s Office to have your vehicle(s) exempted from property tax. Any property taxes paid after the entitlement date will be refunded.
    • To qualify for this exemption, the vehicle must be registered solely in the name of the disabled veteran or jointly owned with a spouse. If the spouse has a different last name than the veteran, a marriage license must be provided. If the vehicle is jointly owned with anyone other than a spouse, it would be disqualified from receiving the exemption.
    • This exemption is also allowed for a surviving spouse for one vehicle owned or leased for their lifetime or until they remarry.
      If you are applying as a surviving spouse, you must provide a copy of the Veteran’s death certificate, documentation from the Veterans Administration that you are the surviving spouse of the veteran, and a copy of the vehicle registration card, bill of sale or title showing you are the sole owner of the vehicle.
  5. Vehicles Exemption for being a Prisoner of War
    • If you were a Prisoner of War (POW) in WWI, WWII, the Korean Conflict or the Vietnam Conflict, you are entitled to an exemption on two vehicles owned or leased solely by the POW or with a spouse. A certificate from the Veteran’s Administration certifying you were a POW, in addition the registration card or bill of sale of the vehicle(s) to be exempted must be presented to the South Carolina Department of Revenue for approval. This can be done by filling out the PT-401-I form and sending it to SCDOR. Once SCDOR has granted the approval, a letter will be mailed to the POW. This letter may be brought in to the Berkeley County Auditor’s Office to have your vehicle(s) exempted from property tax. Any property taxes paid after the entitlement date will be refunded.
    • To qualify for this exemption, the vehicle must be registered solely in the name of the POW or jointly owned with a spouse. If the spouse has a different last name than the POW, a marriage license must be provided. If the vehicle is jointly owned with anyone other than a spouse, it would be disqualified from receiving the exemption.
    • This exemption is also allowed for a surviving spouse for one vehicle for their lifetime or until they remarry.
    • If you are applying as a surviving spouse, you must provide a copy of the POW’s death certificate, documentation from the Veterans Administration that you are the survivor of the POW, and a copy of the vehicle registration card, bill of sale or title showing you are the sole owner of the vehicle.
  6. Vehicles Exemption for being a medal of honor recipient
    • If you are a Medal of Honor recipient you are entitled to an exemption on two vehicles owned or leased solely by the Medal of Honor Recipient. You must present a certificate from the Veteran’s Administration certifying you are a Medal of Honor Recipient and the registration card or bill of sale of the vehicle(s) to be exempted.
  7. Vehicles Exemption for an individual who is required to use a wheelchair
    • You may be eligible for two personal vehicles to be exempt from property taxes that are owned or leased either solely or jointly by the person required to use a wheelchair. You must provide the vehicle’s registration card, bill of sale or title. You must also provide a signed physician’s statement on their letterhead certifying the required use of wheelchair on a permanent basis, complete with the effective date.
  8. Vehicles Exemption for an individual whose minor child is required to use a wheelchair
    • One personal vehicle owned or leased by the parent or legal guardian of a minor child who is blind or requires the use of a wheelchair when the vehicle is used to transport the minor. You must provide the vehicle’s registration card, bill of sale, or title and a physician’s statement certifying the minor child is blind or requires the use of a wheelchair complete with the effective date. You will also need a copy of the birth certificate showing parent(s) name or court documentation of legal guardianship.
  9. Marine Equipment Exemption
    • All marine equipment, which includes boats and motors valued at $500 or less are exempt from property taxes.
    • Boat Trailers are exempt.
  10. Manufacturer’s Exemption
    • Per SC Code of Laws, section 12-37-220
      (7) all new manufacturing establishments located in any of the counties of this State after July 1, 1977, for five years from the time of establishment and all additions to the existing manufacturing establishments located in any of the counties of this State for five years from the time each such addition is made if the cost of such addition is fifty thousand dollars or more. Such additions shall include additional machinery and equipment installed in the plant. Provided, however, that the exemptions authorized in this item for manufacturing establishments, and additions thereto, shall not include exemptions from school taxes or municipal taxes but shall include only county taxes. Provided, further, that all manufacturing establishments and all additions to existing manufacturing establishments exempt under statutes in effect February 28, 1978, shall be allowed their exemptions provided for by statute until such exemptions expire.