North Myrtle Beach Real Estate Guide
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What to Expect for North Myrtle Beach and Horry County Property Taxes
Taxes, millage rates and assessment ratios are all terms on property tax bills that will set the average citizens head to spinning. These are the tools that local government entities use to determine the taxable value of a home. Understanding them can help a property owner know where the tax money is headed and how to decrease their tax burden overall.
Every property owner in the North Myrtle Beach area is under the jurisdiction of the Horry County Assessors Office with regard to taxes. It is this office that sends out the annual tax bills. But that is not to say that the Assessors Office or even the County keeps all the tax money collected.
Different categories are on each tax bill, with money being divided up for the city, county and the school district. For instance, if a homeowner lives in the City limits of North Myrtle Beach, their overall tax bill will reflect taxation for the County, the City and the School District.
There are three factors that can influence how high a tax bill is for any property. The rate at which a property is taxed is determined on the appraised value times the assessment ratio times the millage rate.
The appraised value of real property is determined by the actual fair market value of the property. The appraised value of property is not usually changed on the tax rolls, unless a property is sold or if improvements are made on the property by way of a building permit.
The next factor that greatly affects the overall tax bill for owners is the assessment ratio for the property. The usual rate is six percent (6%) but that can be lowered if a homeowner claims the property as their legal residence and lives in the house. If that is the case, the ratio can be set at four percent (4%). However, the legal owner must apply to the Assessor’s office in person and fill out the necessary paperwork for that discount rate to become effective.
The last step of the formula is the millage rate. This is the rate of taxation that is determined by the County or City to maintain or improve services for the next budget year. Accordingly, they adjust the millage rate to collect enough taxes to operate. Traditionally, the tax rate is set each year at budget time by both the County and cities. During that time, the “millage” rate or “mil” is determined to decide how much residents will pay for the different services. The millage rate equates to 1/1000 of a dollar or .001.
When a property owner resides within a City limit, a separate millage rate is determined by the City for their services. This rate is added to their tax bill sent out by the County, but these rates are not necessarily the same. The homeowner will receive only one property tax bill per year for their home but it may include both County and City taxes.
For instance, the millage rate for the County in 2006 was 46.3, while the City of North Myrtle Beach kept their rate at the lower rate of 30.5 mil. The monies collected under these tax millage rates go to Debt Service, General Fund (operating costs), education and other funds such as senior citizens and recreation. Though these numbers sound daunting, Horry County and North Myrtle Beach have maintained the lowest millage rates in the entire state. This is quite a feat; given Horry County is the largest county in the state, with almost 200,000 taxed real estate parcels.
Taxes on other real property, such as cars, boats or watercraft are determined by different formulas and valuations.
For more information on taxes, residents and property owners can contact:
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