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Treasurer's Office

Contact Information, Office Hours
Functions, Office Responsibilities
FAQ's, Common Terms, History, Interesting Facts
Current Elected Official Biographical Information
Tax-Related Forms and Information, Online Tax System

Functions

Tax Collection
Investment of Funds
Issuance of Tax Refunds

 

The Treasurer's Office collects real, personal, motor vehicle and other taxes and oversees their disbursement to County government, municipalities, schools and special taxing districts in Charleston County. The Treasurer's Office also maintains records of revenues collected by these districts and invests any funds not immediately needed for disbursement.

 

The Treasurer, an elected official, serves as the holding agent for funds of many County departments. These departments deposit their funds (such as grants, plat sales, fines and copy fees) with the Treasurer who invests these monies, along with tax collections, to generate additional revenues for the County in the form of interest earnings.

 

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This Office Does

dot Provide notification of taxes due for both taxpayers and mortgage/taxing services
dot Deposit money received from other County departments
dot Generate refund checks to taxpayers for overpayments due to change in address status, assessment or other adjustments as determined by the Auditor or Assessor
dot Invest funds not needed for immediate disbursement
dot Act as a paying agent for bond and other debt issues for the County and special districts
dot Collect the annual renewal license fee on motor vehicles on behalf of the State of South Carolina
dot Provide tax information to the public and legal professionals
dot Offer on-line capabilities with the S.C. Department of Public Safety's Division of Motor Vehicles, for collection of biannual registration fees


This Office Does Not

dot Set property tax rates or millage
dot Assess the value of property (See Assessor)
dot Determine the amount of tax owed (See Auditor)
dot Make address or name corrections (See Auditor)
dot Create or change the assessment ratio on real property (See Assessor)
dot Collect delinquent property taxes (See Delinquent Tax)
dot Resolve disputes over property appraisals or assessments (See Board of Assessment Appeals)
dot Grant high mileage tax discounts on personal property vehicle taxes (See Auditor)
dot Grant homestead or other property tax exemptions (See Auditor)

 

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Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Why did the Treasurer raise my taxes?
A: The Treasurer does not determine property tax amounts. The amount of tax money needed is decided by each of the area's taxing authorities. The Assessor's Office determines appraisal values for real property while the Auditor calculates the tax.
Q: Why did the Treasurer send my bill to the wrong address?
A: The Treasurer does not maintain property or owner records. The Assessor and Auditor maintain these records and are dependent on taxpayers to notify their offices of changes in address.
Q: Where does the Treasurer invest funds, and what are the constraints on investment of County monies?
A: Sections 12-45-220 and 6-5-10 of the S.C. Code of Laws limit the Treasurer as to where public funds may be invested. These code sections allow investment: a) in obligations of the United States and its agencies within the United States that are fully guaranteed by the federal government; b) in bonds or certificates of indebtedness of the State of South Carolina and its agencies; c) in shares of any building and loan association insured by an agency of the United States; and d) with banking institutions of South Carolina.

 

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Common Terms

 

Execution-- The process by which the Treasurer submits all unpaid real property taxes to the Delinquent Tax Department for collection.

 

Penalty Date-- The date on which penalties are levied due to non-payment of real property taxes.

 

Property Tax Receipt-- A receipt provided to taxpayers that reflects the date and amount of their tax bill payment and other information relating to the property being taxed.

 

History

 

The forerunner of the County Treasurer was the Tax Collector appointed in each parish by the S.C. General Assembly. This person inquired into the taxable possessions of neighbors, assessed values, collected taxes, and sent them to the State Treasurer. The Collector's tenure was not limited until 1791 when tenure was governed "at the pleasure of the legislature." The position's term was fixed to four years in 1812. The position of Collector became elective in 1836 and remained that way until the position was phased out 41 years later.

 

In 1868, the S.C. State Constitution gave county commissioners "jurisdiction over roads, highways, ferries, bridges and all matters related to taxes and disbursement of money for county purposes." The power to assess property, collect taxes and disburse money for county purposes was especially significant because it allowed local commissioners to have access to their funds immediately. This authority offered more fiscal control to local government, which is most familiar with its needs.

 

The first Treasurer for Charleston County was elected in 1874.

 

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Interesting Facts

dot Between December 1996 and mid-March 1997, the Treasurer's Office collected approximately $188 million from property taxes.
dot The County uses interest earned from this office's investments to provide many services and minimize tax increases. The amount earned in FY 95 was approximately $4.7 million and in FY 96, approximately $6.7 million.

 

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Contact Information

 

O.T. Wallace County Office Building
101 Meeting Street, Suite 240
Charleston, SC 29401
(843) 958-4360
(843) 958-4370 (Fax)

 

Service Centers :

             East Cooper Service Center
             1189 Sweetgrass Basket Pkwy
             Mount Pleasant, SC 29464
             (843) 856-1201
             (843) 856-1204 (Fax)

North Charleston Service Center
Lonnie Hamilton, III Public Services Building
4045 Bridge View Drive
North Charleston, SC 29405
(843) 202-6691
(843) 202-6698 (Fax)

 

St. Paul Service Center
5962 Highway 165, Suite 300
Ravenel, SC 29470
(843) 889-8351 (Auditor)
(843) 889-3025 (Treasurer)
(843) 889-8077 (Fax)

Mailing Address:

Lockbox Mail Payments:

PO Box 878

Charleston County Treasurer (Real Estate Tax Payments)

Charleston SC 29402

PO Box 100242

Columbia, SC 29202

 

Charleston County Treasurer (Motor Vehicle Tax Payments)

PO Box 100231

Columbia, SC 29202

Office Hours

Monday-Friday
8:30 a.m.-5 p.m.

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