From staff reports
Beaufort County’s thousands of taxpayers who are waiting for an important tax discount, the Legal Residence Exemption, will not be penalized for not paying by the tax deadline on January 18.
The offices of Beaufort County Treasurer Maria Walls and Beaufort County Assessor Ebony Sanders have been working on a short-term solution to address citizens’ concerns about the outstanding legal residence applications for Property Taxes.
“If left unaddressed, thousands of customers would have to pay their tax bill in full, at a much higher amount, by January 18 and then wait for a refund,” Beaufort County Treasurer Maria Walls said in a release. “We do not want our customers paying any more than they have to.”
Any citizen whose application has been submitted by January 18 but has not been processed will have the penalty waived by the Assessor’s Office. Once the application is processed, taxpayers will receive a notification of the results and will have 30 days to pay without penalty, regardless of whether their 4 percent is approved or not.
“I commend both offices for addressing this issue and look forward to having our County Administrator and his staff working with the Assessor and Treasurer to come up with a long-term solution to address this annual problem,” Beaufort County Council Chairman Joe Passiment said.
If a customer has not already paid, they may wait to pay until their application has been processed. Once completed, they will be notified of the outcome and given 30 days to pay the balance due without penalty.
If a customer has already paid, the processing of their application will be given priority to ensure their payments are refunded as quickly as possible.
The Treasurer’s Office has notified more than 3,000 affected customers of this benefit and what to expect next. Should a customer wish to check the status of their application, they may do so by visiting the Assessor’s Office website.
The County Assessor will prioritize the applications of customers whose mortgage company has already paid, meaning those whose escrow payments have increased significantly will have their applications processed faster.
Applications received after the deadline will be subject to the penalty.
For more payment information or contact our office, please visit www.BeaufortCountyTreasurer.com or call the Treasurer’s Office at 843-255-2600.