Dear Clients, Friends & Fellow Associates ~

If you live in Beaufort County, you probably have some questions regarding the Beaufort County Reassessment 2009.  I asked a Cerified Residential Appraiser to address my questions and she would be happy to address yours.  Of course, she can also help you appeal your taxes if you are interested.  Please read on:

A note from Marsha Rabun:

By now, all Beaufort County property owners should have received a property reassessment in the mail. The SC state legislature has mandated a reassessment every 5 years. The last assessment was dated December 31, 2002 so the current assessment date is December 31, 2007. This is necessary to compare all properties in the County at a single point in time.

For a home that has not transferred title, the assessed value of each property in Beaufort County is capped to a 15% increase by a state law passed in 2006. It is capped at the 15% increase, if it does not transfer title, for the next 5 years, if no physical changes are made to the property.  For instance, if your assessed value in the last assessment was $300,000, the current capped value could not be higher than $300,000 + 15% of $300,000($45,000) or $345,000.

Also due to the state law passed in 2006, if your home HAS transferred title by sale, to/from a trust, or by will since January 1, 2007, there is a Point of Sale reassessment(AKA Assessable Transfer of Interest) which MAY be greater that the 15% capped assessment on the property had it not transferred. If it transferred in 2008, its value  will be “trended back” to the December 31, 2007 date based on comparable properties-like properties in a similar location selling at that time. 2009 sales have not been considered at this time. 
As a homeowner on Hilton Head Island, you may not be satisfied with your assessed value and may think it needs to be appealed.  There are few important points to remember and consider:

  1.  The date of the taxable value placed on your property is December 31, 2007 and that date cannot be changed, although the market value may have declined.  Sales from 2007 and as late as very early 2008 may be considered as comparables, not sales later in 2008 and 2009. Think about what your property was worth in December 2007, not today. 
  2. If you feel your property is assessed incorrectly due to significant discrepancies in physical data, -factual errors-in overstating living area  and features, this may be grounds for an appeal. However, if these errors that have been made are in your favor, an appeal may bring them to light and you may end up with a higher but at least more correct assessment. If you have questions about the physical characteristics of your property, you may go to, and under Departments, go to Assessor’s and go to Property Max and enter your last name or tax account number to find living area and other features considered.    
  3. Most market values should be within a reasonable range of market value as of December 31, 2007. Remember it is the “Taxable Value” that is important. Assessor’s office personnel are available for questions at 843-470-2522(Beaufort, 843-757-1500X 226(Bluffton), 843-341-8411(Hilton Head Island).
  4. If you would like to appeal your taxable value, you have 90 days from the date of the notice from the Assessor’s office to file the appeal.  You can file the appeal yourself, or have an “Authorized” person file an appeal for you. Only certain people may be “Authorized” including Attorneys, CPA’s, Corporate Officers, Full Time Employees, Partners , Fiduciaries, IRS Agents, and SC Licensed Certified Appraisers. There are several good appraisers in the area who could act as your authorized representative since they would also be able to do an appraisal of your property as of December 31, 2007 which would be helpful in proving your case. Real estate agents and brokers cannot be authorized to act on your behalf unless they also fall into one of the other categories. Proof of eligibility and written consent from the owner/taxpayer must be provided to the Assessor. 

I hope this information has been informative. Please let me know if I or any of my colleagues may assist you in appealing your new taxable value.

Marsha W. Rabun
SC Certified Residential Appraiser #2691
Rabun Associates LLC
P.O Box 23674
Hilton Head Island, SC 29925
Office Phone-(843)686-3344
Cell Phone – (843)384-3214
Email –