SC bills giving tax relief on 2nd homes delayed

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - Some South Carolina senators want to give struggling homeowners property tax relief if they can't sell their home or must move for a new job.

But county officials complain the good-intentioned proposals will invite more tax fraud.

A Senate Finance subcommittee postponed voting Thursday on measures to let homeowners pay the lower, owner-occupied property tax rate on two homes.

Currently, residents pay a higher tax rate on homes they own but don't live in full-time, such as vacation or rental property.

Republican Sen. Mike Rose of Summerville says his bill is designed to give relief to people laid off during the recession who must move their family to find work but can't sell their former home.

But county assessors say residents already manipulate the state's complicated tax system.

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