Understanding the 4% or 6% Property Tax Structure on Homes for Sale in Bluffton and Hilton Head Island

Now is the time to buy a home in Bluffton or Hilton Head Island. The housing market is the best it has been in years and it makes perfect sense to take advantage of this opportunity now before prices skyrocket.  Whether you are considering looking at homes in Bluffton or Hilton Head Island as a permanent residence or are considering a 2nd home, or even a vacation rental, it’s important to understand the Special Assessment Ratio Beaufort County has in place for homeowners. As a realtor in Bluffton, I’m readily available to answer any questions you may have about property taxes in Beaufort County.

Property Taxes on Homes in Bluffton and Hilton Head

The rate of property taxes on homes in Bluffton and Hilton Head Island is based not only on the value of the home, but on residency status and what you plan to do with the home as well.  Here’s how it works:

The Beaufort County tax assessor appraises the value of homes in Bluffton and Hilton Head Island based on comparable area sales, the home’s amenities, location, condition, etc. This value is then multiplied by 4% for residents of Beaufort County and 6% for non-residents, to determine the “assessed value” of the home.

The determined value of the home is then multiplied by the corresponding millage rate for the district of the home. If you are considered a resident of Beaufort County, you will qualify for the 4% tax ratio and are not required to pay school taxes. Non-residents, those whose primary home is located outside of Beaufort County, are assessed the 6% tax ratio, which includes different tax rates. Our Bluffton realtor can answer any questions you may have about this tax.

How Residents Can Ensure They Are Taxed at the Correct Tax Ratio

Homeowners must file an application with the Beaufort County Assessor to ensure they are taxed at 4% for residents. Once the application is filed, it will be renewed automatically each year, unless there is a change in the mailing address or in the property’s use. In accordance with the law, you must notify the Assessor within six months if you change your residency.

To File for the 4% Special Assessment Ratio You Need the Following:

Please be aware of the following items that are required for eligibility of the Special Assessment Ratio (4%), both items are needed from you and your spouse.

-Copy of your South Carolina vehicle(s) registration

-Copy of your South Carolina driver’s license or identification card

-Copy of owner-occupants most recently filed South Carolina Income tax return

-Copy of your trust agreement if property is held in a trust


If MILITARY Provide:

-Copy of PCS Orders and Military/ Spouse ID

-Copy of current Leave and Earnings Statement (LES)

-Military members AND their spouses must provide driver’s license(s), vehicle registration(s) and voter   registration(s) regardless of where licensed or registered

-Yes, State Law provides for a 4% property assessment ratio on primary residences


The Dufrene Group – Your Bluffton Real Estate Experts

As an experienced Bluffton realtor, I can help explain the Beaufort County property tax process and make you aware of the different tax districts and millage rates for homes in Bluffton and Hilton Head Island. You can reach me at (843) 707-2267 or via email here.

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