South Carolina Court of Appeals’ Opinion

Court of Appeals The South Carolina Court of Appeals published one opinion. In Dorchester County Assessor v. Middleton Place the Assessor appealed the Administrative Law Court’s order affirming the finding of the appeals board that Middleton Place is entitled to retain the “agricultural use'” classification for eleven parcels of land that the Assessor attempted to reclassify for the 2012 tax year.

This Court examined the definition of agricultural property as defined in SC Code Section 12-43-230(a) and the South Carolina Code of Regulations provision 117-1780 that addressed the application of the property tax laws to agricultural property and how property may qualify as agricultural use property. Pursuant to the regulation, “[r]eal property must meet the requirements for agricultural real property of Code Sections 12-43-220(d), 12-43- 230, and 12-43-232 in order to be classified as agricultural real property.”In cases in which the real property is committed to more than one use—one being agricultural and the other being unrelated to agriculture—the agricultural use “must comprise the most significant use of the property in order for it to be classified as agricultural real property

The Court found that the Assessor’s effort to reclassify the eleven parcels was erroneous because Middleton Place would be entitled to retain the agricultural use classification under section 12-43-232(3)(e). Accordingly, the Court affirmed the rule of the ALC.

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