Homestead Tax Exemption

Homestead Tax Exemption Program
Tiffany Johnson, Homestead Exemption Coordinator
 [email protected]

In 2007, the SC Legislature passed legislation that completely exempts from your tax bill all taxes levied for school operating purposes on the value of your legal residence.  The Homestead Exemption credit continues to completely exempt the value of $50,000 for all purposes except for school operating purposes (already exempted by the new 2007 legislation).

 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
• was a legal resident of South Carolina for one calendar Year.
3.  As of December 31 preceding the tax year of the exemption, I
• was 65 years of age. Or was declared totally and permanently disabled by the state or federal agency having the authority to make such a declaration, or
• was legally blind as certified by a licensed ophthalmologist.

If statements 1, 2 and 3 are true, you are qualified to receive the Homestead Exemption.


Surviving Spouse Benefit

 If you are the surviving spouse of person who was qualified or could have been qualified for the Homestead Exemption at the time of his death, and you are the owner of the home, you may also receive the exemption. If you are not the sole owner of the home, you will receive a pro rata share of the exemption.  If you are the surviving spouse of a person who meets the above requirement, and are not sure if you can qualify, please contact the auditor’s office at (864) 596-2600.

What Documents are needed?

  • Proof of your eligibility is required.
  • If you are applying due to age, bring your birth certificate, Medicaid card, Medicare card, or driver’s license.
  • If you are applying due to disability, you will need to present documentation from the state or federal agency certifying the disability. This documentation must state the ORIGINAL ONSET DATE of disability. You can request a TPQY from the local Social Security Administration which will provide the required information.
  • If you are applying due to blindness, you will need to present documentation from a licensed ophthalmologist.
  • If you are the income beneficiary of a trust, you will need to present a copy of the portion of trust agreement that identifies you as the beneficiary.

Do I need to re-apply annually?

 No.  Only in the case of the death of the eligible owner or if you move to a new home will re-application be necessary.

However, any changes that may affect your eligibility must be reported to your County Auditor immediately.  They are:

  • Change in disability status.
  • Any change of ownership.
  • Rental of your home.
  • Remarriage of the surviving spouse.

Where Do I Apply?

 You can apply at the County Auditor’s office located at 366 North Church Street, Spartanburg, SC , Monday through Friday between 8:30AM and 5:00PM.  If the home is in both the husband’s and wife’s name, either can come to complete the application; however, we will need the birth date and social security number of both owners. 

 If you are unable to come to the office, you can complete the application on the website and email it along with copies of your eligibility documents.  We will be unable to consider the application until we receive the documentation.

If you reached your 65th birthday prior to January 1st, and are not sure if you qualify, please call my office at (864) 596-2600 and we will be happy to assist you.  

Sharon H. West, Auditor
Spartanburg County