Myrtle Beach local taxes include sales tax, personal property tax, and the state’s lowest millage rate for real estate taxes.
Much as we hate to think about them, or pay them, the pennies we give to our state and regional government provide us with our schools, fire departments, police departments, libraries, parks and other community resources. Ranked as one of the best school districts in the state, Horry County Schools serves over 40,000 students, and that’s just one area where we can see our local taxes at work.
Although the county collects taxes on a number of different commercial items, we’ll confine our discussion here to the private citizen moving to Myrtle Beach. Homeowners pay property taxes, if you own and operate a motor vehicle you’ll pay personal property tax along with the vehicle license, and there’s the inevitable sales tax.
If you own real estate in Horry County, you’ll owe tax on that property, but it could be worse. The good news is Horry County has one of the lowest tax rates in the state. If you are a legal resident, and have not rented your property for more than 14 days in a calendar year, your assessment rate is 4%. If you rent your property, or if it is an investment and you do not live there, the rate is 6%.
Horry County assesses property according to fair market value, that is, what the property could reasonably expect to sell for on the open market. The millage rate for the county is determined by adding together the following: Horry County 45.2 + School 130.2 + Fire 21.2 + Waste Management 6.0 = 202.60 x .001 (which is one mil) or .2026.
So to get a rough idea of your taxes, multiply your fair market rate times the assessment rate times the millage rate (.2026). If you rent your property use the 6% assessment rate to calculate. There are other things that can impact your property taxes, such as homestead exemption if you are age 65 or older, so be sure to contact the Tax Assessor’s Office online or call at (843) 915-5040 for more information. The office is located at 1301 Second Avenue, Suite 1C08, Conway, South Carolina 29566.
If you drive a car, truck or motorcycle, own a boat, a camper or an RV, you will be assessed personal property taxes on those vehicles. This is in addition to the annual SC DMV license and registration. There is no car inspection necessary as South Carolina does not require any smog or emission inspections on vehicles. However, North Carolina does require an annual inspection, so if you live north of the border in Brunswick County, you’ll have to have your car inspected each year before licensing it.
If you have rental property in the county, you’ll owe taxes on the appliances and any furnishings. This is in addition to the taxes on the property itself. This tax is handled by the Horry County Auditor, (843) 915-5050, is located at 1301 Second Avenue, Conway, South Carolina 29566.
Sales tax on retail purchases in Horry County is 7%. The city of Myrtle Beach assesses an additional 1%, so sales tax within the city limits is 8% (6% State Sales Tax + 1% Horry County Sales Tax + 1% Special Sales Tax for transportation and attractions).
All other municipalities such as North Myrtle Beach, Little River, Conway and Surfside Beach charge 7% sales tax. Georgetown County local sales tax is 7% and Brunswick County, North Carolina local taxes are 6.75% (4.75% state sales tax and 2% county sales tax).
Other local taxes include accommodations (10.5% to 12%), prepared foods and restaurant foods (10.5%), shows, amusements and theater tickets (6% to 7.5%) and mixed liquor drinks 10.5% to 15.5%.
In August of each year, South Carolina holds a tax free weekend so that parents can shop for school supplies without paying sales tax on their purchases. The state estimates an annual savings to shoppers of $2.5 million.
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