AuditorAuditor

The Horry County Auditor's Office assembles information regarding real and personal property ownership for the purpose of establishing a fair market value, computation of the assessed value and application of the taxing millage rate to produce revenue to be collected by the Horry County Treasurer/Tax Collector.

2015 Property Tax Millage


Functions

  • Assembles information regarding real and personal property ownership for the purpose of establishing a fair market value, computation of the assessed value and application of the taxing millage rate to produce revenue to be collected by the Horry County Treasurer/Tax Collector.
  • Prepares and list all taxable personal property on the County's tax roll:
    • Cars/Trucks
    • Big Trucks/Utility Trailers
    • Campers/RV's/Motor Homes
    • Motorcycles
    • Watercrafts/Motors
    • Pontoon Boats/House Boats
    • Commercial Boats
    • Documented Vessels
    • Aircraft
    • Furniture/Fixtures & Equipment
    • Commercial Signs
    • Exemptions (Blue Cards) Military/SCDOR
  • Enters assessed values of all real property under the jurisdiction of the County Assessor on the tax roll.
  • Enters all assessments certified by the South Carolina Department of Revenue:
    • Manufacturing Real & Personal
    • Industrial Real & Personal
    • Utilities/Railroads
  • Authorizes all additions, discoveries, omissions, and abatements to the tax roll.
  • Ascertains personal property listed in manuals furnished by the South Carolina Department of Revenue is taxed in accordance with such manuals, guidelines, rules and regulations.
  • Applies penalties to taxes and assessments which remain unpaid as of statutorily defined due dates.
  • Administers the Homestead Exemption Program on the local level and determines eligibility for county residents.
  • Receives tax returns such as: campers/trailers/business personal property/aircraft/ documented vessels on personal property not otherwise listed.
  • Determines necessary revenues needed annually to satisfy bonded debt payments and sets levies for all political subdivisions except municipalities.
  • Administers proper application of property tax exemptions certified by the DOR and also those authorized by provisions of the Soldiers & Sailors Relief Act for active duty military personnel.

Out-of-State & Expired Tags

According to South Carolina Code of Law, Section 56-3-150, a motor vehicle operated in this state for an accumulated period exceeding 150 days during a year must be taxed and registered here. This includes all vehicles owned or operated by that person.

Any reported use of an out-of-state tag will be followed up by the Auditor's Office. If it is determined that the vehicle should be registered in South Carolina, the owner shall be required to do so. Failure to timely register a vehicle is subject to penalties as prescribed by law.


Boats/Watercraft

  1. December 31 of the prior year is the assessment date for the current tax year. Failure to file the Survey by April 30 of the current year may result in an estimated value plus 10% penalty. If sold, please attach a copy of your Bill of Sale or other document showing date of sale, and purchaser's name and address. If sold after December 31 prior, you may still be subject to property taxes this year.
  2. Horry County Council has passed an ordinance adopting a state-allowed local option to reduce all watercraft taxes by 42.75%. Under this ordinance, 42.75% of the fair market value of a watercraft (and motor, if taxed separately) will be exempted from tax. The assessment rate will remain at 10.5% as set by state statute. The ordinance, which went into effect beginning with tax year 2008, has the same net effect as using a 6% assessment rate.
  3. Please sign and return the survey with post-mark on or before April 30 to avoid a potential 10% penalty, and please complete the Survey in its entirety so that your vessel may be added to or exempted from the official tax roll of Horry County. An incomplete filing may result in an estimated value being used for the vessel described.
  4. The Watercraft Survey is required if any of the following criteria apply to you:
    • Your official documentation/registration shows an Horry County mailing address,
    • Your official documentation/registration shows an Horry County hailing port,
    • Your boat was docked in Horry County for a minimum of 180 days during the prior year,
    • You are a legal resident of Horry County,
    • Your name/address have been included on a report from a local marina.
  5. South Carolina Code of Laws, Section 12-37-710 states, "Every person of full age and of sound mind shall annually list for taxation the following personal property, to wit:
    • All the tangible personal property in the State owned or controlled by him;
    • All the tangible property owned by him or by any other resident of this State and under his control which may be temporarily out of the State but is intended to be brought into the State;
    • (3) All tangible personal property owned or controlled by him which may have been sent out of the State for sale and not yet sold."
  6. In cases where a taxable vessel has been sold after the December 31 assessment date, taxes are not automatically prorated by Horry County. The December 31 (prior) owner will be billed for the tax. Section 12-37-735 provides for the proration of property taxes, but only if the transferor (seller) and transferee (buyer) agree and both sign a proration form available at our office and immediately pay each pro-rated share.
  7. South Carolina Code of Laws, Section 12-54-40 states: A person who willfully attempts to evade or defeat any tax or property assessment, in addition to other penalties provided by law, is guilty of a FELONY and, upon conviction, must be fined not more than ten thousand dollars or imprisoned not more than five years, or both, together with the cost of prosecution. The assessment may be estimated from the best available information and then amended when more sufficient information becomes available. ENFORCEMENT FOR NON-COMPLIANCE (PENALTIES AND PROSECUTION) WILL BE STRENGHTENED BY OUR OFFICE, ALONG WITH OTHER COUNTY, STATE AND FEDERAL AGENCIES.
  8. South Carolina Code of Laws, Section 12-37-900 states that personal property owned on December 31 shall be listed for taxation with the County Auditor between January 1 and April 30 of the following year regardless of whether the property was sold after the December 31 assessment date.
    An Attorney General's opinion on this section states, (for example) "The owner of personal property on December 31, 1979 is required to make a return to the county auditor listing all property owned by him on that date notwithstanding the fact that some property is sold by him in January 1980…a (taxpayer) is liable for the ad valorem tax on all tangible personal property possessed and used by him as of December 31 next preceding the taxable year."
  9. If you have any questions regarding the information listed in this section, please contact:
    Glenn Hardee, Supervisor
    Horry County Auditor's Office
    1201 21st Avenue North
    Myrtle Beach, South Carolina 29577
    Telephone: (843) 915-5054
    Email: ghardee@horrycounty.org

FAQ

How do I qualify for a high mileage discount?
You must bring your actual mileage into one of our offices in the month in which your taxes are due. We will look up your information and give you a discount if you qualify.
How old must I be to qualify for Homestead Exemption?
You must be 65 years of age on or before December 31 preceding the tax year in which you wish to claim the exemption. You must be a legal resident of South Carolina at least one year on or before December 31 of the year prior to the exemption.
When I purchased my car, the dealership told me they would take care of the taxes and tags. Why am I getting a tax bill?
The dealership was referring to the SALES TAX and the license plate. You are receiving the personal property tax bill for your vehicle, they are not the same.

Common Terms

Ad Valorem
According to value
Fair Market Value (FMV)
the amount the property might bring on the open market between a buyer and seller of which neither being under duress to buy or sell
Assessment Ratio
  • Legal Residence: 4%
  • Commercial Fishing: 5%
  • All Other: 6%
  • Airplanes: 4%
  • Trucking: 10.5%
  • Vehicles, RV's, Watercraft: 6%
  • MFG. & Industrial Real/Personal: 10.5%
Assessed Value
The product of fair market value multiplied by the assessment ratio.
Millage (M)
The rate of taxation expressed in whole numbers. Varies according to municipality/location within the county.

Major Projects

  • The Auditor's Office is always on the look out for people who live here and do not register their vehicles. This is a major project for us in addition to our daily work of serving the taxpayers of Horry County.
  • We have a new computer program which helps us discover documented vessels in our area which need to be added to our tax rolls.
  • We also spend a good deal of time discovering business personal property which needs to be taxed.

Interesting Facts

  • In South Carolina, taxes on your vehicle are paid a year ahead.
  • If you would like to transfer a license plate, the car must be in the same name or you must obtain a new license plate.
  • You can only get a high mileage discount in the month your taxes are due. This is State Law.
  • In order to cut down confusion and avoid errors, we do not give estimates of your taxes over the phone. There are too many variables which determine your correct assessment and this needs to be done in person.
  • If you are still receiving a tax bill for a boat or motor you have sold and no longer own, you must notify the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources at Post Office Box 167, Columbia, SC 29202. We receive our billing information from them every year.
  • The Auditor's Office is issued Assessment Guides by the South Carolina Department of Revenue. We must use these guides to assess your property, it is State Law.
  • If you are 100% disabled you may qualify to be tax exempt on property in your name but you must apply for exemption with the South Carolina Department of Revenue. The form is available in our office but you must return it to the SCDOR.
  • Assessments should go down at least 5% each year from the previous year. However, circumstances may increase your total tax bill such as: the state registration fee or you may have moved to a different area of the county with a higher millage rate.
  • The household furniture, fixtures and appliances used in the principal residence of a permanent county resident is exempt from county taxation.

Department Well

County Auditor
Lois Eargle
Contact
Phone: (843) 915-5050
Fax: (843) 915-6050
Mailing Address
P.O. Box 1205
Conway, SC 29528
Physical Address
1301 Second Avenue
Conway, SC 29526
Office Hours
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Monday through Friday

Additional Locations

Little River
Contact:

Phone: (843) 915-5053
Fax: (843) 399-5566

Physical Location:

107 Hwy. 57
Little River, SC 29566

Supervisor: Cathy Gasque

Myrtle Beach
Contact:

Phone: (843) 915-5054
Fax: (843) 444-6143

Physical Location:

1201 21st Avenue North
Myrtle Beach, SC 29577

Vehicle Division: Renita Stephens, Supervisor
Appraisal Division: Glenn Hardee, Supervisor

'Appraisal' would be Documented Vessels, Furniture/Fixt/Equipment

South Strand
Contact:

Phone: (843) 915-5052
Fax: (843) 915-6052

Physical Location:

9630 Scipio Lane, Ste. K
Myrtle Beach, SC 29588

Supervisor: Beth Poston

All out-of-state tags are handled here also

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