(Columbia, SC) – State Representative Wendy Brawley (D-Richland) released the following statement on her bill, the Homestead Exemption Act (H.3108).
“South Carolina has an unprecedented budget surplus and has had a budget surplus since I was first elected to the legislature in 2017. In addition to the state surplus, there are billions more in federal funds approved by Congress to mitigate the economic impact of the pandemic. Now is the time for the legislature to do more to help lower property taxes on the homes of seniors by increasing the Homestead exemption.
The Homestead exemption in South Carolina is currently $50 thousand, and it has not been increased since 2008. Increasing the exemption, which is fully funded by the state, would lower property tax bills by hundreds of dollars per year for seniors 65 and older, the legally blind and the disabled. I sponsored the Homestead Exemption Act (H.3108) to increase the exemption to $75 thousand. Many of the state’s County Auditors, Treasurers and tax collectors support increasing the Homestead exemption because they see firsthand seniors struggling on low or fixed incomes lose their home in a tax sale.
It is past time for the General Assembly to address this problem. The state has the money to do it and should provide the property tax relief that is desperately needed. If legislators can agree to give income tax relief to the wealthiest South Carolinians, we must also help our seniors by lowering their property tax bill.”