While Dorchester County strives to make its local business climate as welcoming as possible, we understand that state-level tax issues are also an important consideration for relocating or expanding businesses. South Carolina has many tax incentives that can reduce a company's tax liability, thus increasing your bottom line.

This page contains a brief summary of state taxes and incentives. More detailed information on how these taxes are calculated and the incentives available to qualifying companies can be found in the Learn More resources at left.

Income Tax & Credits

South Carolina's corporate income tax rate of 5% is the lowest in the Southeast. Corporate income tax is based primarily on federal gross and taxable income. Companies engaged in multi-state activities will only pay taxes on the income derived from business activity conducted in South Carolina.

Companies may be entitled to two corporate income tax credits:

  • Job Tax Credits - By creating new jobs in Dorchester County, companies may earn a credit of $1,500 per job annually. An additional $1,000 credit per job is available for companies located in a site designated as a "multi-county industrial park." The credits can be used for five years and offset state corporate income tax liability by up to 50%.
  • Economic Impact Zone - Manufacturers locating in Dorchester may be eligible for a one-time credit against corporate income tax of up to 5% of investment in new production equipment.

Sales and Use Tax

South Carolina imposes a sales and use tax of 6%. Dorchester County also imposes a sales tax of 1%. A detailed list of sales tax exemptions for manufacturers can be found in the Learn More resources at left. 

Property Taxes

In South Carolina, there is no state property tax; only local governments may levy property taxes. A company's property tax liability is a function of Property Value x Assessment Ratio x Millage.

The assessment ratio is 9% for manufacturing property and 6% for commercial real property. Manufacturing and commercial personal property is assessed at 10.5%. Millage rates are site-specific and can be obtained from Dorchester County Economic Development.

Unlike many states, South Carolina exempts all inventories (raw materials, work-in-progress, and finished goods), all intangible property, and pollution control equipment from property taxation.

A partial property tax exemption (abatement) may be available to manufacturing, research and development, corporate headquarters, office, and distribution facilities meeting certain requirements.

Fee in Lieu of Taxes

Qualifying companies may also be able to negotiate a fee in lieu of property taxes ("Fee-in-Lieu" or FILOT), which can greatly reduce their property tax liability. This incentive is offered at the discretion of local governments. This 20-year incentive creates significant savings for companies by lowering the assessment ratio (from 10.5 percent to as low as 6 percent) and locking in the millage rate.