Horry County’s property reassessment season begins this month, but owners may find this year is different from the past.
That’s because many but not all of the county’s properties actually lost value between the last reassessment in 2008 and the one they’ll hear about with the reassessment notices the county will be mailing over the next few weeks.
Only those whose property’s value has gone up at least $1,000 since the last reassessment will get the notices. In a normal year, those who didn’t get a notice would assume they’d be OK taxwise.
That’ll be true this year, at least, because Horry County has decided to absorb the approximately $855,000 revenue loss officials estimate it will see because of generally lowered property values.
But that’s not to say what will happen in subsequent years.
As the county continues to grow -- this year it’s been the fastest-growing metro area on the East Coast -- so too will the need for more police, firefighters, equipment, etc. that come along with an expanding population.
And no matter what you hear, growth doesn’t pay 100 percent of the costs it brings with it.
The last reassessment pegged Horry County with $45 billion worth of property on which it could base revenue. Officials figure the Great Recession has cut about $2.25 billion off that figure.
The county, though, isn’t the only local government whose revenues will be affected by the property value dilemma.
Municipalities also base their millage rates on the county’s property valuation.
North Myrtle Beach, for instance, had to raise its property tax rate by 3.3 mills this year, or about $5.20 per $100,000 valuation, just to keep even with the tax revenue it has been getting under the old rates.
“Because of the reassessment result,” North Myrtle Beach spokesman Pat Dowling said, “the millage rate established earlier was adjusted so that the city will receive the same amount of revenue annually per $100,000 of valuation.”