Due date for property taxes extended 30 days due to software problems – Coastal Observer


Due date for property taxes extended 30 days due to software problems

Feb. 15 is the new deadline to pay property taxes.

Georgetown County property owners will have an extra month to pay taxes on their real estate because of a delay in mailing the tax notices.

The tax notices that are usually posted in October and mailed in November were delayed this year because of problems with the new system being used to generate them, Ken Baker, the county auditor, said.

“I hate it,” he said.

Tax notices were delivered this week to the firm contracted to print and mail them. Since that was cutting it close to the Dec. 15 deadline to mail them, Baker sought and received an extension from the state Department of Revenue to the Jan. 15  payment deadline.

The new deadlines is Feb. 15.

State law requires that the notices go out 30 days before the payment deadline. Many people pay their property taxes before the end of the year to claim a deduction on their income tax. They can access their tax bills online.

The county planned the upgrade to its property tax software before the pandemic. That and a hack of the county’s computer system delayed implementation.

It involved moving the data from the county’s computers to off-site servers, which was done last year, Baker said. This year the new system generated the tax bills.

Baker realized there was a problem when he saw unusually high bills for some owners. He discovered that the new software didn’t account for the state’s cap on property values. It billed owners at the market value.

The software developers had to change their program to correct the problem, which affected about 7,000 of the nearly 55,000 tax notices.

“They’re trying to work it around South Carolina law, which is very different. There are so many exemptions that need to be applied,” Baker said, adding that Georgetown County is the first in the state to use the system. “All the other counties are looking at us.”

The notices were published online Nov. 29, after the county received a previous extension from the state Department of Revenue. People have already started paying, said Miriam Mace, the county treasurer. The delay in generating and mailing the notices won’t impact the county’s cash flow, she added.

Update: This article was updated from the print version to include the extension of the payment deadline.




Georgetown County Board of Education: First and third Tuesdays, 5:30 p.m., Beck Education Center. For details, go to gcsd.k12.sc.us. Georgetown County Council: Second and fourth Tuesdays, 5:30 p.m., Council Chambers, 129 Screven St., Georgetown. For details, go to georgetowncountysc.org. Pawleys Island Town Council: Second Mondays, 5 p.m. Town Hall, 323 Myrtle Ave. For details, go to townofpawleysisland.com.   , .