Thomas Chandler

City of Florence finance director Thomas Chandler speaks on Monday, Aug. 12 to the Florence City Council about an ordinance raising the city's property tax millage. Chandler told the council that the increase would be more than offset by continued growth from the city's local option sales tax.

FLORENCE, S.C. – Homeowners within the city of Florence can expect a slight reduction in their property taxes this year.

City finance director Thomas Chandler told the city council at its Monday meeting that those owning a $100,000 home could expect to see a reduction in property taxes of approximately $10, and those who own homes worth $200,000 could expect to see a reduction of roughly $21.

The reduction derives from a state-mandated county-wide reassessment of property values.

South Carolina Code mandates that real properties, or land, are reassessed every five years .

The amount of revenue generated by the assessment of properties and the reassessment value go into a formula, Chandler said, that calls for a 1.0 mill increase in the property tax mills from 58.1 to 59.1. The formula indicates that the city’s 4.0 debt service millage should decrease by 0.1 mills, creating an effective millage rate increase of 0.9 mills.

He added that the formula is designed to prevent local governments from receiving a financial windfall from the reassessment.

This increase also takes into account the loss of property tax revenue of around $317,000 from the Medical University of South Carolina’s acquisition of Carolinas Hospital System.

However, Chandler said, the increase is more than offset by the continued growth of funds received through the city’s local option sales tax.

The city offsets property taxes based upon the local option sales tax.

The matter was before the city council on Monday because the change in millage rates requires an ordinance to be passed by the council to become effective. The council unanimously approved the ordinance on first reading. It probably will be back before the council at its September meeting.

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