More than $650,000 will return to about 1,250 Dorchester County residents by the end of 2019, thanks to a unique tax credit program the county implemented for the first time this year.
The Dorchester County Auditor’s Office launched the Inaugural Homestead Exemption Campaign on April 24, after Charleston County Auditor Peter Tecklenburg shared the idea.
Using the information, staff in the Dorchester County Auditor's Office overlaid voter registration information with the county tax system to identify homeowners who might qualify for the Homestead Exemption Tax Credit, a statewide program administered by county auditors. The program provides property tax relief to taxpayers over the age of 65 and those with disabilities.
The tax credit removes $50,000 of the assessed tax value from the taxpayer’s primary residence. For example, if a resident owns a home with an assessed value of $250,000, the resident would would only pay taxes on $200,000. This is an approximate annual savings of $300 on a resident's tax bill.
Using the data collected, the Auditor’s Office mailed 1,553 notifications to residents who might be eligible for the credit. Approximately, 180-200 notifications were mailed weekly. The notices were sent in small batches to ensure short wait times and low call volumes to maximize customer service.
As of Wednesday, 776 residents had received the Homestead Exemption Tax Credit as a result of the outreach campaign.
“I am proud of and thankful for the hard work and dedication displayed by the staff in the Auditor’s Office," said J.J. Messervy, county auditor, in a statement. "The outreach campaign was a team effort and would not have been possible without the oversight of Chief Deputy Auditor, Brenda Nix.
Residents with questions about the Homestead Exemption Tax Credit are asked to contact Chief Deputy Auditor Brenda Nix in the Dorchester County Auditor’s Office at 843-832-0109 and/or 843-563-0109 or via email at BNix@DorchesterCountySC.gov.
To apply and/or for more information residents are asked to visit the county website.