In South Carolina you will enjoy an average effective tax rate of just 0.57%, the fifth-lowest property tax rate in the United States. In Beaufort County it’s even lower, just 0.48%! Whether you intend to live year-round or just visit, you will almost certainly save quite a bit on your annual tax bill.
South Carolina residents enjoy property taxes that are almost comically “cheap” in comparison to what they were paying up north. Full-time South Carolina residents enjoy a 4% assessment rate. Secondary homeowners (part-time residents, vacation home investors, etc.) pay a slightly higher 6%. Taxes are calculated on the assessed value of your home and your district’s millage rate.
For example, if an owner-occupied primary residence (4%) has a value of $100,000 with a millage rate of 200 mills, the annual property taxes would only be about $800.
65 or older, permanently and totally disabled, or legally blind? If you've enjoyed South Carolina residency for at least one year and meet any of the aforementioned criteria, the first $50,000 of your home's fair market will be exempted from your total property tax assessment under the homestead exemption.
Hilton Head Island sales tax is currently set at 7%. Combined with an already low cost-of-living, this really gives your dollar "more mileage". Prescription medicine, dental prosthetics, electricity, natural gas, and fuel oil are all exempted from state sales taxes.
Additional taxes may be imposed at the county/township level, i.e. the food and lodging tax on Hilton Head Island. This tax shifts some of the burden for capital improvements and infrastructure management to Hilton Head Island vacationers. Remember to thank them for their business!
South Carolina has a simplified income tax structure that essentially mirrors federal norms. South Carolina recognizes most of the exemptions on your federal tax return, with rates from 0% to 7%. Income brackets are adjusted annually to reflect inflation.