Local Option Sales Tax (LOST)

A LOST is imposed by counties for the specific purpose of reducing the property tax burden for residents. It is authorized under S.C. Code Section 4-10-10. This tax is a general sales and use tax on all sales at retail (with a few exceptions) taxable under the state sales and use tax. 

How would the funds be used?

County officials project the tax would generate approximately $10 million per year, of which 71% would go directly to property tax rollbacks. Taxes on both primary and secondary residences, including those within municipalities, would receive rollbacks. The remaining 29% of revenue generated can be used for government operations and projects. Essentially, it would spread out the cost of government operations among more people by allowing visitors -- and even those just passing through -- to pay a share.

View full-size image of LOST revenue distribution chart

“It’s a way to just make living here more affordable and take some of the burden off of the homeowner,” said County Administrator Angela Christian. “It will allow visitors to share the burden of the cost of providing services, not to just our citizens, but with all the visitors and tourists and everybody else who comes to our community.”

Exactly how much would I save on my property taxes if the LOST were passed?

While it is impossible to know the exact amount each property owner's taxes would be offset by this tax, you can download the Excel workbook linked below to help estimate your property tax reduction amount. After downloading the workbook, you will note that there are three separate worksheets for Real Property, Vehicles, and Boats. Double click on the green cell in Row 23, Column N and enter the taxable value of your home, vehicle, or boat (be sure you are using the appropriate worksheet).

Effect of Implementation of 1% Local Option Sales Tax - Microsoft Excel Workbook

DISCLAIMER: Please note that the above workbook is a Microsoft Excel workbook and will work best in that program. Any figures or calculations generated by this workbook are estimates and should only be used for planning purposes. Figures/calculations under this model may vary depending upon other factors, including but not limited to: property values, assessments, etc., which may vary over time. Neither the information provided by this workbook, nor any reliance thereon, shall operate to create any warranty or duty on behalf of Georgetown County, and Georgetown County assumes no liability or responsibility for damages which may arise in relation to or reliance on the information obtained through this workbook.

What other SC counties have a LOST?

Thirty-two of the state's 46 counties already have a LOST.

Effective DateCounties
July 1, 1991Charleston, Colleton, Hampton, Jasper, Marion and McCormick
May 1, 1992Abbeville, Allendale, Bamberg, Edgefield, Lancaster, Marlboro and Saluda
May 1, 1994Chester and Florence
May 1, 1995Pickens
May 1, 1996Dillon, Lee and Sumter
May 1, 1997Berkeley, Chesterfield, Clarendon, Darlington, Kershaw and Williamsburg
May 1, 1999Barnwell and Laurens
May 1, 2005Richland and Calhoun
May 1, 2006Fairfield
May 1, 2009Cherokee
May 1, 2017Union

Other Resources