Columbia SC homes

Welcome to the Midlands of South Carolina Columbia
South Carolina

Cost of Living & Taxes
In the Midlands of South Carolina

Nothin could be finer than to be in Carolina...
South Carolina
that is. And, the Midlands of South Carolina is a great area to live, work and play. Employment is strong and the cost of living is very reasonable.

The Midlands area includes Richland and Lexington counties and the cities/towns and areas of: Columbia, the capital of South Carolina, Lexington, Irmo, Chapin, Lake Murray, Forest Acres, Cayce, and West Columbia.

Cost of Living - Columbia, South Carolina

A leading international research firm specializing in living costs reports that Columbia, South Carolina is the least expensive city in the Southeast in which to buy goods and services according to a survey of approximately 400 U.S. cities.

A market basket survey of more than 200 items found that Columbia's costs were nearly 6% below the national median and nearly 40% lower than New York City, the nation's most expensive city. Only 5 U.S. cities were less expensive than Columbia!

Columbia's Ranking is 94.2 (National median equals 100)
Other regional cities - Greenville (96.2); Charleston (97.5); Birmingham, AL (97.6); Greensboro ( 98.7); Charlotte (100.6); Atlanta (101.6); Savannah (101.9); Knoxville (104.5)


S.C. Department of Revenue
Tax Information
Moving to South Carolina Tax Guide
Homeowner's Guide to Property Taxes in South Carolina

As a general rule, county property taxes generally run about 1%, or less, of the market value of a home in Richland and Lexington counties.

Income Tax

South Carolina has a simplified income tax structure which follows the federal income tax laws. South Carolina accepts the adjustments, exemptions and deductions allowed on your federal return with few modifications. Your federal taxable income is the starting point in determining your state income tax liability.

SC Individual Income Tax Rates

Sales Tax

Sales tax is imposed on the sale of goods and certain services in South Carolina. Use tax is imposed on goods and certain services purchased out of state and brought into South Carolina or on which no sales tax has been paid. The statewide sales and use tax rate is 5%. Counties may impose an additional 1% local sales tax if voters in that county approve the tax. Lexington and Richland counties do not have a local sales tax. Generally, all retail sales are subject to the sales tax.

Property Tax

Property tax is administered and collected by local governments with assistance from the South Carolina Department of Revenue. Real and personal property are subject to the tax. Approximately two-thirds of county-levied property taxes are used for support of public education. Municipalities levy a tax on property situated within the limits of the municipality for services provided by the municipality. The tax is paid by individuals, corporations, partnerships, etc. owning property within the state.

Assessment Ratios

The following percentage of each class of property is used to determine the assessed value of the property for purposes of taxation:

Manufacturing Property 10.5% of fair market value
Primary Residences 4.0% of fair market value
Agricultural Property (privately owned) 4.0% of use value
Agricultural Property (corporate owned) 6.0% of use value
Other real estate 6.0% of fair market value
Personal property 10.5% of income tax depreciated value

The market value of a legal residence and up to five acres of surrounding land is assessed at 4%. The millage reate of the local government is then applied to the assessed value resulting in the tax liability. The millage rate varies widely throughout the state.

If you have established a one-year residency and you are 65 or older, you are eligible for a homestead exemption of $20,000.

Motor Fuel Tax

Each gallon of gasoline and diesel fuel purchased in South Carolina is taxed at 16 cents. This tax is included in the price per gallon of gasoline at the pump.


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Columbia real estate - Mel Coker, Columbia Realtor

Columbia, SC