Property Tax Rise Arrives In Mail

Buyers get hit with state’s bill due to appraisal rule

August 07, 2008

By Mike Cherney and Jessica Foster – The Sun News

When Richard Holmes decided to buy a Myrtle Beach townhouse from his mother last year, he did not think his property taxes would increase 75 percent.

Beginning in 2007, a state law required that counties automatically reappraise properties at fair market value when they are sold, and Holmes’ townhouse was no exception. In 2007, Holmes paid $1,693 in property taxes and now the county estimates he will owe $2,963 this year, he said.

“I don’t mind paying my taxes, but just don’t hit me with a two-by-four,” said Holmes, 62, who lives in Raleigh, N.C., and has cut trips to Starbucks to save money to pay the increased taxes.

The owners of 20,000 to 25,000 properties in Horry County who purchased property in 2007 received an estimate this week from the county for their 2008 tax bill, which is based on 2007 property values. Some have called the assessor’s office to complain, but not as many as expected, the office said.

Rendel Mincey, the county assessor, said the office received about 250 calls about the estimates on Monday and Tuesday. That’s not very high, Mincey said, considering the office can get 1,000 calls a day after tax bills are mailed out in October.

“I don’t know if the attorneys or Realtors at closings were informing buyers that this was coming,” he said. “Of course we’d like to think the tax estimates that we did hopefully helped some.”



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