THE REAL PROPERTY APPRAISER
The property appraiser is a uniquely qualified, trained in appraisal methodology professional that specializes in opinions of value of properties for tax purposes. The property appraiser is responsible for identifying, locating, and fairly valuing all property under our jurisdiction within the county for ad valorem tax purposes.
The property appraiser also tracks ownership changes by validating sales information from deeds that have been recorded; keeps descriptions of buildings and property characteristics up to date; approves or disapproves agricultural applications that may or may not be eligible; conducts field inspections of certificate of occupancies and building permits that include new structures, additions, remodels, renovations, pools and other yard improvements.
The property appraiser also inspects other items such as demolitions, disaster damage, and repairs. Since building permit data is often incomplete, periodic inspections of property on a mass basis is necessary. And most importantly, the property appraiser analyzes trends in sale prices, construction costs, and rents to best estimate the value of all assessable property.
The South Carolina Code of Laws Section 12-37-930 states, "All property must be valued for taxation at its true value in money which in all cases is the prices which the property would bring following reasonable exposure to the market, where both the seller and buyer are willing, are not acting under compulsion, and are reasonably well informed of the uses and purposes for which it is adapted and for which it is capable of being used."
Basically put, market value is the value that a property would sell for on the open the market place following reasonable exposure time to the market and where the buy and seller are knowledgeable and are not acting under compulsion. The Assessor’s Office does not create market value. Market value is created by people who buy and sell property. Our responsibility is to analyze market data and assess property based on that information. Foreclosures, foreclosure resales, forced sales, family sales, distressed sales, non-market level sales, un-marketed property sales, and other unreliable sales are not used to develop fair market value.
If you recently purchased one of these types of properties and are appealing based upon purchase price, please read the following court rulings very carefully.
The Courts have consistently ruled that:
- All property shall be valued for taxation purposes at its true value in money which in all cases shall be held to be the price which the property would bring following reasonable exposure to the market, where both the seller and the buyer are willing, are not acting under compulsion, and are reasonably well informed as to the uses and purposes for which it is adapted and for which it is capable of being used. S. C. Code Ann. § 12-37-930 (Supp. 1995).
- Fair market value is the measure of true value for taxation purposes. Lindsey v. S.C. Tax Comm'n, 302 S.C. 504, 397 S.E.2d 95 (1990).
- “A taxpayer contesting an assessment has the burden of showing that the valuation of the taxing authority is incorrect. Ordinarily, this will be done by proving the actual value of the property.” [citations omitted]. Cloyd v. Mabry, 295 S.C. 86, 367 S.E.2d 171, at 173 (Ct. App. 1988).
- While not conclusive, market sales of comparable properties present probative evidence of the fair market value of similar property. 84 C.J.S. Taxation § 411 (1954); see Cloyd v. Mabry, 295 S.C. 86, 367 S.E.2d 171 (Ct. App. 1988).
- Forced sales and distress sales such as foreclosed properties are not probative evidence of value. Hickey v. United States, 208 F.2d 269 (1953).
- A delinquent tax sale is a forced or distress sale with the sale price dictated more by the amount of taxes owed rather than the normal market factors which provide a reliable indication of true value and should not be considered as a comparable sale for purposes of determining the fair market value of the subject property. See S. C. Code Ann. § 12-37-930 (Supp. 1995); and Hickey v. United States, 208 F.2d 269 (1953).
We are responsible for appraising over 157,500 parcels. How do we accomplish this? We accomplish this using Mass Appraisal. Mass Appraisal is the process of valuing a universe of properties as of a given date using standard methodology, employing common data, and allowing for statistical testing to achieve uniformity and equity for tax purposes.
- The Mass Appraisal process includes:
- Identification of properties to be appraised
- Defining market areas of consistent behavior that applies to properties
- Identifying supply and demand in the market that impacts value
- Developing and calibrating model structures that reflects the relationship among the characteristics affecting value
- Analyzing and applying the conclusions to the market models
- Reviewing, modifying, and measuring the results
The appraisers in our office use a combination of the following appraisal methods to value your property:
Cost Approach - estimates the cost to replace your building new, then subtracts for depreciation to determine the value of the improvement. The improvement value is then added to the land value.
Sales Comparison Approach - compares your property to similar properties that have sold during the previous five years.
Income Approach- determines the value of commercial property based on the amount of income it should produce in the market place.
If you feel that an error has been made please contact our office at:
Search the database by Owner Name, Street Address, Map Number, GIS PIN or Deed Book location.
Explanation of Physical Condition Codes
Explanation of Single and Multi-Family Residential Quality of Construction
Definitions of Common Terms
Commonly Used Forms:
Application for Legal Residence Special Assessment (Word)
Application for Legal Residence Special Assessment (PDF)
Application for Agricultural Real Property Special Assessment (Word)
Application for Agricultural Real Property Special Assessment (PDF)
La Aplicación del Condado de Spartanburg para la Evaluación Especial de Residencia Legal
La Aplicación del Condado de Spartanburg para la Evaluación Especial de Propiedad Agrícola