Friday, April 20, 2018
Official Website for Oconee County

Frequently Asked Questions

I.  General

What are your hours of operation?

    o   We are open Monday – Friday, 8:30am till 5:00pm.

What holidays does Oconee County observe?

    o    For a list of County holidays, see Holiday Schedule on Oconee County Section under County Council’s Meeting Schedule and then 2012 Oconee County Holiday Schedule.

Do you close for lunch?

    o   No, we do not close for lunch. However, we are short staffed from 12-2 daily.

What is your email address?


Where are you located?

    o   For Directions, Click on Directions at top of page.

How do I get in touch with the local Seneca DMV branch and where are they located?

    o   Their telephone number is (864) 882-8698.

    o   Their address is: 13009 South Radio Station Road, Seneca, SC 29678.

    o   They are open M-F, 8:30am – 5:00pm  (Wednesday's they open at 9:30am)

    o   Various locations of the SC DMV branches are open on Saturdays, check the SC DMV website for more details.

What is the DMV’s website?     

    o   For the DMV website, click here.

Can I pay my taxes online?

    o   Yes you can pay online.  See Online Services on the County Home Page. 

I need a copy of my paid tax receipt.

    o   You may print a copy of the receipt online, Select Online Service on the County Home Page.

I lost my tax bill, can I get another one?

    o   You can print a copy online, go to the County homepage, click on Online Services, then Online Tax Payment.  Once you find the record, you can print the tax notice. If we print a replacement notice for you in the office, there will be a .25 cent charge for each notice.

When does the DOR Sales Tax Representative come to Oconee County?

    o   They visit Oconee County once a week.  They come on Monday mornings from 8:30 am till noon.

    o   The phone number to the Walhalla location is (864) 638-4238.

    o   The Greenville location phone number is (864) 859-0335.

    o   If you have any questions, please call one of the numbers listed above.  We do not have any information regarding DOR guidelines on Sales Tax.  For the DOR website, click here.

Does Oconee County have a County Business License?

    o   There is currently no county business license.  However, if you are working inside a municipality, please contact them for further information regarding work inside their corporal limits.

II.  Notice of Change of Address

Real Property

    o   Contact the Assessor’s Office (864) 638-4150 or access the Assessor’s Office Webpage under Departments on the County Home Page.

All other Personal Property (Except Motor Vehicles and Watercraft)

    o   Personal Property Address Change Form can be found under Forms from the above selections.

    o   Please submit a separate form for each piece of property you own to the Auditor’s Office.

    o   Motor Vehicles and Watercraft, please notify us as well and the DMV and /or DNR.

Motor Vehicles Address Changes

    o   In accordance with state law, you must notify the DMV (SC Department of Motor Vehicles).

    o   We use the DMV’s records to determine which county and/or taxing district you are in and where to mail your tax bill.

    o   The wrong address on DMV’s records could result in paying too much tax or not receiving your tax bill.

    o   This could delay the delivery or renewal of your registration and decal for your license plate.

    o   Use the link below to print the form, complete it and mail to the DMV.

    o   SC Department of Motor Vehicle Form 4057

Watercraft and Boats/Motors Address Changes

    o   In accordance with state law, you must notify the DNR (SC Department of Natural Resources).

    o   It is their records that we use to determine which county and/or taxing district you are in and where to mail your tax bill.

    o   The wrong address on the DNR’s records could result in paying too much tax or not receiving your tax bill, which may delay the registration renewal.

    o   Use the link below to print the form, complete it and mail it to the DNR.

    o   DNR Change of Address Form  ( Form is listed at the bottom of the page)


III. Property Tax


How does the property tax system work?           

    o   There are basically three parts to South Carolina’s property tax system:

        §  Taxable Value

        §  Assessment Ratios

        §  Tax rate

    o   The tax rate is reflected by “mills” or the millage rate.  See below for link to millage rates.

    o   A mill is a unit of monetary value equal to one tenth of a cent, or one thousandth of a dollar.

    o   This applies to both real and personal property.

What is an assessment?

    o   An assessment is the taxable value of a piece of property as of a certain date determined by state law, multiplied by the assessment ratio that applies to the type of property.

If I mail my tax payment, what is the last day it can be postmarked before it is considered late?

    o   It must be postmarked no later than the due date to avoid penalty.

    o   If the due date falls on a weekend or a county holiday then the due date is extended to the next business day.

What are the current millage rates for Oconee County?

    o  See the "Millage" tab. 

IV.   Motor Vehicle Tax

How can I get an estimate on my vehicle taxes?

    o   Go to the County homepage, click on Online Services then Tax Estimate Calculator.    

How do you value my vehicle?

    o   The S.C. Department of Revenue (DOR) determines the value of motor vehicles within the state by using a set of nationally accepted standards and guidelines established by the auto industry.

    o    Auditors across the state use the DOR vehicle manual to establish the assessed value on your vehicle.

    o   The DOR vehicle manual lists each model and make of most vehicles.

    o   When an assessed value is not available in the DOR vehicle manual, we use other nationally recognized sources.

    o   The vehicles fair market value is multiplied by the assessment ratio set by law to determine the assessed value.

    o   The assessed value is then multiplied by the millage rate to determine the taxes due.

    o   Vehicle taxes are due a year in advance.  All other property that is taxable is taxed in arrears.

    o   If you disagree with the value we have placed on your vehicle, you may appeal the value to the Auditor.

    o   If you would like to appeal, click on Appeals above for the appropriate form.


What is the assessment ratio on vehicles?

    o   An amendment to the South Carolina Constitution, Article X, Section 1(8)(B)(1) reduced the assessment ratio on personal motor vehicles including motorcycles from 10.5% to 6% over six years beginning with the 2002 tax year. The 6% ratio was applied in the 2007 tax year.

    o   The reduced assessment ratio only applies to personal automobiles, lightweight trucks and personal motorcycles.     

    §  The laws were changed in 2006, to amend the gross vehicle weight to 11,000 lbs. or less and the net vehicle weight to 9,000 lbs. or less.

    o   Any vehicle listed in a business name is taxed at a 10.5% ratio.

    o   All medium and heavy trucks classified by the manufacturer are valued at 10.5%.

    o   All other motor vehicles will continue to be assessed at 6%.

When are vehicle taxes due?

    o   Personal property taxes on vehicles must be paid before you can purchase or renew a license plate with the DMV.

    o   Taxes are due throughout the year on a staggered monthly schedule.  The month you register your vehicle will also be the renewal month the following year. As long as all information is correct with the DMV, a renewal notice will be mailed to you from the County in which you reside.

    o   When moving into South Carolina, you have 45 days to register your vehicle.

    o   For more information, contact the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles.

What do I need to bring with me to pay my property taxes?

    o   We require your prior state registration card, vehicle title or Manufacturer‘s Certificate of Origin to set up your personal property taxes. We do not accept insurance cards.

    o   However, after you pay your taxes the DMV will require other documentation to register the vehicle with them.  Click here for what you need to purchase a new plate for a vehicle.

How do I apply for the high-mileage discount?

    o   SC Code of Law 12-37-2680 and Property Regulations 117-119 and 117-129 provide for the high-mileage reduction.

    o   The amount of the high-mileage reduction is based on guidelines set by the DOR.

    o   Vehicles must accumulate at least 15,000 miles per year and an accumulation of 15,000 miles for each subsequent year.  For clarification, a 2009 vehicle is considered five years old in 2013, so you will need at least 75,001 miles on the vehicle to qualify.

    o   Once your renewal date has expired, appeals for high-mileage cannot be granted for the current year taxes (in accordance with state law).

    o   You must reapply for this discount annually.

    o   If you do not receive a tax bill at least 45 days prior to your vehicle renewal date, please contact our office at (864) 638-4158.

    o   We do not give out estimates on high-mileage discounts.

    o   If you think you qualify for the discount, click on High Mileage Appeal above and apply online if your vehicle is currently up for renewal.

When I bought my vehicle, the dealer told me they would take care of the taxes and tags.  Why did you send me a bill?      

    o   The taxes and tags the dealer paid are for South Carolina sales tax and your DMV license fees.  The tax notice you received is for personal property taxes, which must be paid annually.

I sold the vehicle that you sent me a tax notice on.  What do I need to do?

    o   Please contact our office at (864) 638-4158.  We will need to remove the charge from our records.

    o   If you sold the vehicle and transferred the tag to another vehicle, taxes will be due on the vehicle that the license plate is on when the plate is ready for renewal.  You will need to provide us with the most current information on the vehicle the license plate is on.

    o   You may also email us at

I want to transfer my license plate to another vehicle.  What do I need to do?

    o   Please see the DMV’s website for information on transferring a license plate.

    o   Click here for the DMV website

How do I apply for the senior citizen discount for persons 64 years of age or older?

    o   This discount is on the vehicle license plate fee; there is currently no provision in S.C. law that discounts taxes on vehicles for age.            

    o   You will need to print the application 4027-A, complete it and return it to the DMV.

    o   Click here for the 4027-A application.

Do you sell Temporary Tags?  If so, what do I need to purchase one?

    o   Yes, we sell Temporary Tags in our office; however we reserve the right to sell based on information provided as well as temporary tag issuance history.

    o    You must be in the office by 4:30 to purchase a temporary license plate.

    o   They are $5.00.  We accept cash, money orders, or cashier checks only.                

    o   You will need a Bill of Sale or Title to the vehicle that you would like a temporary tag for. For out of state purchases, you must have the title to purchase a temporary license plate from us.              

    o   Insurance Proof.

Do I qualify for a refund on a motor vehicle tax that was paid?

    o   If you sold your vehicle, moved out of state or if your insurance was canceled, you are required to turn your tag in immediately to the Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV) or you will be charged a fee per day by DMV.

    o   Refund for County Property Tax - If you sold your vehicle or moved out of state before your tag expires, you may qualify for a refund. To qualify for the refund, bring the following documents to the Auditor’s office.

    §  Out of State Refund

Copy of out-of-state registration card and S.C. license plate or Form 5051 verifying the S.C. license plate has been turned in to the DMV.

    §  In State Refund

Copy of the Bill of Sale or the front and back of title and, Form 5051 verifying vehicle license plate has been turned into the DMV. If the license plate has been transferred no refund applies.

    §  Note: The DMV will issue a refund for the tag only if there remains over 365 days on the 24 month tag.

    o   If you do not sell your vehicle but turn in your tag and drop your insurance, South Carolina law provides that you will still owe property taxes on the vehicle, so no refund will be issued and annual property tax will apply.

V.        Real Property

What is the School Tax Credit and who qualifies for it?

    o   The School Tax Credit (see Act 388 of 2006) is an exemption from the school operating millage on the total assessed value of your residential property.  South Carolina law allows this exemption for taxpayers who own the home in which they reside and are claiming legal residence.  This is an automatic exemption for homeowners who have been granted the 4% legal residence ratio.  If you are unsure if your are receiving the legal residential ratio, please contact the Oconee County Assessor’s Office at (864) 638-4150 or

I do not agree with the value of my real estate.

    o   You have the right to appeal the value that has been placed on your real estate.  You must contact the Oconee County Assessor’s Office at (864) 638-4150, or you may print the appeal form and return it to the Assessor’s Office.

For more information on functions of the Assessor’s Office and Real Estate questions:

    o   Please visit their website page from the Departments selection on the County Website Home Page.

    o   You may call them at (864) 638-4150.

    o   Or you may email them

VI.       Personal Property Tax

What is Personal Property?

    o   Motor vehicles, recreational vehicles, aircraft, boats, boat motors, wave runners, jet skis, etc….               

    o   Personal property tax also applies to equipment, furniture, fixtures and machinery primarily used by businesses.

    o   It also applies to furniture, fixtures and equipment in rental homes.

When are personal property taxes due?

    o   With the exception of motor vehicles, personal property taxes must be paid by January 15th following receipt of the tax notice in October or November of the preceding year.

    o   Personal Property taxes on motor vehicles and recreational vehicles are due throughout the year on a staggered monthly schedule and must be paid before your license plates can be renewed.

How do you determine the value of watercraft/aircraft?

    o   Values of personal property are kept current through annual updates by the S.C. Department of Revenue and the S.C. Department of Natural Resources.

    o   We currently use nationally recognized sources to determine values on watercraft/aircraft using data provided by the DOR and DNR.

I sold the personal property that I received a tax notice on.  What do I do with this bill?

    o   If you owned the property on December 31 of the previous year, you are responsible for the taxes for the entire year.  However, if you sold the property and you can provide us with the name, address, signature and copy of bill of sale, we can prorate the taxes for you.  Please contact our office for full details.

    o   Personal property is taxed in arrears (except for motor vehicles).

    o   If you purchase personal property on or after January 1, you will not be billed for county taxes until the following year.

Can I appeal the value on my watercraft/aircraft?

    o   Yes you can.  You have until the taxes are due (1st penalty date) to appeal to the Auditor’s Office.

    o   The appeal of the value does not extend the due date of the taxes.

    o   Click on Forms then Watercraft Appeal form.

If I own a business or rental property, how are my taxes determined on the business personal property?

    o   Owners are required to file an annual personal property tax return to the County Auditor.

    o   Click on Forms above and then on County Business Personal Property Return.

When are business/rental property tax returns due?

    o   Business Personal Property Returns must be filed by April 30th of each year.

    o   Currently there are no provisions in the law to allow for an extension of filing returns.

    o   As with other forms of personal property (except for motor vehicles), taxes are levied in arrears.

    o   If you owned the property on December 31 of the previous year, you are responsible for the taxes for that entire year.

What happens if I do not file a property tax return on my business/rental?

  •    The Auditor is required by law to estimate all accounts in which a return was not filed.
  •    Estimates may be higher than the original amount filed, if filed in a previous year, due to penalties.

    o   If no initial return is filed, then an estimate will be placed on the account.

I am thinking about purchasing a used watercraft/boat motor/airplane.  What should I do first?

    o   You should check to see if there are any unpaid property taxes on the piece of personal property that you are considering.  The previous owner should pay the taxes, however, please be advised that if the taxes go unpaid it will be your responsibility to pay the taxes.  Taxes follow the property, and you may have difficulties registering or renewing registrations if taxes are unpaid.  To check for unpaid taxes, please feel free to call us at (864) 638-4158.

Are all watercraft taxable?

    o   Watercraft and boat motors with a fair market value of $500 or less are not taxable.

Are boat trailers taxable?

    o   No, not in South Carolina.

How do I register a watercraft/ boat motor that I purchased?

    o   You will need to contact the S.C. DNR.

    o   Sales Tax will be paid to the S.C. DNR.

    o   Click here for the S.C. DNR website to get step by step instructions for registration.



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