Town's Lower Millage Rates May Save Property Owners from Higher Taxes

November 2023

Beaufort County recently completed a comprehensive property reassessment across the entire county. If you're a property owner, you have likely received your 2023 assessment notices by now and have a clear picture of the value of your real property.

These notices signify potential adjustments in the fair market value of your real estate, as determined through this assessment. The fair market value of a property is subject to continuous change influenced by factors such as location, market demand, neighborhood age and condition, and the overall economic state. A reassessment is essentially a resetting of the property's base value to match the current market value as of a specific state-mandated date.

This reassessment might result in increased property values, potentially leading to higher property taxes. We recognize that higher taxes may impact individuals differently. To mitigate the burden of higher taxes on Hilton Head Island property owners, the Town Council took a proactive step in August. We reduced the millage rate for homeowners from 23.1 mills to 21.4 mills, keeping a promise made when we passed the Fiscal Year 2024 budget in June to ease the tax burden on Island residents. To provide a clear perspective, a mill represents $4 in taxes for every $100,000 of a home's appraised value. For commercial or non-owner-occupied properties (like second homes), the rate is $6 per $100,000 of appraised value.

South Carolina mandates that Beaufort County evaluates property values annually. Given the rise in property values, maintaining the same millage rate would have meant higher property tax bills. However, instead of capitalizing on the increased property values for additional revenue, the decision was made to pass on the savings to the residents. This reduction in the millage rate ensures that Hilton Head Island homeowners don't bear any extra tax burden, and the Town doesn't suffer a loss in revenue. Importantly, this action won't lead to a reduction in the essential services the Town provides.

It's hoped that the property reassessment notices have provided property owners with the necessary insights into their property's fair market value. For those seeking further clarification or with additional questions, Beaufort County Assessor Ebony Sanders is hosting community meetings at county library branches. These events offer an opportunity to engage with her staff and discuss concerns related to reassessment notices. On Hilton Head Island, two meetings have already taken place and two more are scheduled: 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. on November 16 and December 14 at the public library. Please take the time to visit with the assessor and her staff. For more information, individuals can reach out to the Beaufort County Assessor's Office at 843-255-2400 or visit

Mayor Alan Perry

Alan Perry