Oct 06 2020

CHARLESTON, SC—Homeowners in the Charleston area are receiving notices that their property values have been reassessed. But what if a homeowner doesn’t agree with the value assessed? 

Womble Bond Dickinson real estate attorney Morris Ellison recently spoke to Fox 24 News Now about the home value reassessment appeal process. While it is possible to appeal a reassessment in Charleston and Georgetown counties, Ellison said the chances of success are far from certain. But he said the first step is for homeowners to make sure they meet the appeals deadline. 

“Be very mindful of the deadline for filing an appeal. It’s 90 days, essentially, from the date of the notice,” he said.

Ellison also noted that the effective date of valuation for the Charleston County reassessment is Dec. 31, 2018—and that real estate market conditions have changed dramatically in the nearly two years since that date.

“The market is up in the air right now. In some ways, the market has actually improved. But the impact of COVID-19 on the real estate market is yet to be determined,” he said. Retail real estate hotels and hospitality, in particular, has been negatively impacted by the pandemic. 

Contrary to popular belief, county appraisers don’t try to assign the highest possible value to homes, but determine that value using mass appraisal techniques which compare the values of similar properties. 

“If the property owners decide to appeal, that doesn’t mean they don’t have to pay the taxes,” Ellison said. South Carolina homeowners can choose to pay 80 percent during the appeal period, but if the appeal isn’t successful, they not only have to pay the remaining portion of the bill, but also interest. 

Click here to watch “Appealing Your Home Value Reassessment” with Morris Ellison on Fox 24 News Now.