Questions arise how new tax code will play a part in property taxes

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - As people across the country are preparing their 2017 property taxes, it's raising questions for some of how the new tax code will play a part.

Charleston County Treasurer Mary Tinkler said she's been getting calls all week regarding the pre-payment of 2018 taxes.

"This week the treasurer's office and other taxing offices in the county have been inundated with a number of phone calls requesting an advance payment of that 2018 property tax so that they can deduct that bill from their taxes next year," Tinkler said.

Tinkler asked Gov. Henry McMaster for a state executive order to suspend the South Carolina law and collect early 2018 tax payments, as some states have done.

Tinkler said she was told it couldn't happen.

"Unfortunately, his hands too are tied when it comes to what he has the ability to do when it comes to suspending state laws," said Tinkler.

"We were hoping the county treasures across the state would be able to accept a prepayment of 2018 taxes and that would have been a suspicion of that law for three days, and unfortunately there's no way we have the authority to do that," said Tinkler.

Tinkler said her hands are tied too, and South Carolinians will have to file property tax as they normally would.

"You can go ahead and pay 2017 taxes by the end of the year and have that deducted from their tax bill, like they would any other year," she said."Unfortunately, here in the state of South Carolina the way we pay property taxes is in the rears not in advance. Unlike other states that are able to take measures to allow tax payers to pay 2018 in advance, we are unable to do that."

Tinkler said the three-day suspension of the law would have allowed them to accept a prepayment of 2018 taxes.

"While there was not a bill set up for payment here they could have perhaps paid the amount they paid for currently year taxes and then it would have applied and been credited down the road," said Tinkler.

Tinkler said the tax bill was set so late in the game that there wasn't a lot of time to put new measures in place, but now is important to file property taxes for the current year by Friday.

"Moving forward there's still a lot that is in question with the way this tax bill is coming down," Tinkler said."But at this point what we know is the $10,000 cap will go into effect next year. The best we can offer at this point for tax payers is to go ahead and get the current tax bill paid for by Friday."

Copyright 2017 WCSC. All rights reserved.