Barnwell County Auditor
Homestead Tax Exemption Program

General Information 

In 1972, the General Assembly passed the Homestead Exemption Law, which provided property tax relief for South Carolinians age sixty-five, the blind, or disabled.

Since that time, the Comptroller General’s Office has reimbursed over 545 million dollars for property tax relief through this worthy program.

How the Homestead Exemption Program can reduce your bill 

Example without Homestead With Homestead
Value Of Home $62,500 $62,500
Less Homestead Exemption N/A – $50,000
New Value Of Home $62,500 $12,500
Multiplied by 4% $2,500 $500
Multiplied by Millage x 0.100 x 0.100
Total Taxes $250.00 $50.00

Please note: This guide is provided as a general information tool and does not attempt to cover the entire Homestead Exemption law. Your County Auditor and The Comptroller General’s Office will be happy to assist you with further questions.

How do I Qualify? 

1. I hold complete fee simple title or life estate to my primary residence.
2. As of December 31 preceding the tax year of the exemption, I am

  • age 65 on or before December 31, preceding the tax year in which you wish to claim the exemption; OR
  • certified totally and permanently disabled by a State or Federal agency having the authority to make such a declaration; OR
  • was legally blind as certified by a licensed ophthalmologist registered with the South
    Carolina Commission for the Blind; OR
  • at least 50 years of age when your spouse who was eligible for the Homestead Exemption died; AND
  • a legal resident of South Carolina for at least one year on or before December 31 of the
    year prior to the exemption.

Where do I apply? 

You must apply for the Homestead Exemption at the County Auditor’s office. If you are unable to go to the Auditor’s office, you may authorize someone to apply for you. Contact the County Auditor’s office for details.

What documents do I need? 

You will need to provide proof of your eligibility. If you are applying due to age, bring your
birth certificate, Medicaid card, Medicare card, or driver’s license and Social Security Card.
If you are applying due to disability (in addition to the above requirements) bring certification from a state or federal agency. This agency must have the proper authority to make this certification. If you are applying due to blindness bring certification from an ophthalmologist registered with the South Carolina Commission for the Blind.

Do I need to re-apply annually? 

No. The only reason for re-application is in the event that you move to a new home. However, any changes which may affect your eligibility should be reported to your County Auditor immediately. You need to reapply for the following reasons:

  • change in disability status
  • rental of your home
  • remarriage of surviving spouse
  • death of the eligible owner (requires reapplication by the surviving spouse) if not jointly owned.

Additional Assistance 

The South Carolina Joint Legislative Committee on Aging assists the senior community with problems and introduces legislation to correct inequities in the law.

Joint Legislative Committee on Aging
Post Office Box 11867
Columbia, South Carolina 29211
Telephone: (843) 734-2995

In addition to the Homestead Exemption Program, there are other services and programs available to qualified individuals. To find out more, contact:

Department of Health and Human Services Office of Aging
Post Office Box 8206
Columbia, South Carolina 29202
Telephone: (843) 253-6100

The Homestead Exemption Program is administered at the State level by the Comptroller General.

South Carolina Comptroller General
Local Government Division
Post Office Box 11228
Columbia, South Carolina 28211
Telephone: (843) 734-2137

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