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South Carolina is the #7 state with the lowest property taxes

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January 14, 2022
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This story originally appeared on Roofstock and was produced and distributed in partnership with Stacker Studio.

South Carolina is the #7 state with the lowest property taxes

Ask any homeowner about expenses and they’ll tell you: If you’re a first-time buyer, you need to carefully calculate the total cost of owning a home before taking the plunge into homeownership.

Owning a home comes with dozens of additional costs, from mortgage payments and interest to upkeep, renovations, and household utility bills. It doesn’t take long before expenses add up—especially when they come on top of potential property tax costs.

To determine which states offer the lowest in property taxes, Roofstock analyzed 2021 data from Wallethub and the U.S. Census Bureau. Costs were then determined for real estate property tax rates, median real estate tax payments, and median home prices for every state and Washington D.C. These amounts were then contextualized with what first-time homebuyers need to know about property taxes.

South Carolina by the numbers

- Effective real estate tax rate: 0.57%
- Annual taxes on $217.5k home: $1,238
- South Carolina's median home value: $162,300
- Annual taxes on South Carolina's median home: $924

South Carolina is home to desirable areas like Myrtle Beach and Charleston, both of which are steeped in history and entertainment. The state is also home to one of the lowest effective real estate tax rates in the nation. Part of the reason the real estate taxes are extremely low in this state is that owner-occupied houses are assessed at a lower rate of just 4% when compared to other types of properties. What that means for homeowners in this state is that an owner-occupied home worth an appraised value of $100,000 would result in an assessed value of just $4,000—which is the amount the owner would be paying taxes on. That results in huge savings on owner-occupied tax bills, and other restrictions, like caps of 15% on increases in market value, help to keep the tax rates low across the state.

Tax rates vary by county in South Carolina, so some homeowners will pay much more than the state average for real estate taxes. But more generally, the rate residents of South Carolina pay is one of the lowest in the entire nation

In some states, the high cost of property taxes can cause a home with an otherwise affordable price tag to be well out of someone’s price range. In others, the low cost of property taxes could give you a little more wiggle room in your budget—which is never a bad thing.

If the idea of weighing the estimated costs of property taxes seems overwhelming to you, start by looking at the states with the lowest property taxes listed below. The national list is reverse-ordered by effective real estate tax rate, with Hawaii as the state with the lowest property taxes, though the results would look different if it was ordered by the taxes on the state's median home. Whether you're looking for a dream home or next big investment, owning a home comes with several additional costs, property taxes being one of them.

States with the lowest property taxes

#1. Hawaii: 0.28% effective real estate tax rate
#2. Alabama: 0.41% effective real estate tax rate
#3. Colorado: 0.51% effective real estate tax rate
#4. Louisiana: 0.55% effective real estate tax rate
#5. Washington, D.C.: 0.56% effective real estate tax rate

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