Doing Business in the City

City Services for Businesses : Doing Business in the City of Aiken

Fire

Fire Services

Aiken has an Insurance Services Organization (ISO) Class 2 Fire Department rating. This rating means that your fire insurance premiums on your residential or business property, if served by the City, are lower than for cities with higher ratings. Fire service costs are paid from real property taxes for in-city residents. Properties outside the city, but within our service area, pay fire service fees based on the property value if it also has city water service. If the property does not receive City water service, then a flat fee is charged.

Fire Safety Regulations

Fire sprinkler systems are required if your building exceeds 15,000 square feet, with more than two floors, or is a multi-family residential unit (apartments) with four or more units.

For assistance regarding sprinkler requirements, call our Fire Suppression Division at 803-642-7620.

Fire and Crime Prevention Programs

Our Department of Public Safety offers many programs to assist local businesses. These programs address both crime and fire prevention. We can offer training sessions for shoplifting prevention, fire prevention safety, fire safety plans, crime reporting, or other areas of concern related to law enforcement, fire suppression, or first response services.

We advise businesses to supply Public Safety with emergency contact numbers. To provide Public Safety with emergency contact information, please call our dispatch supervisor at 803-642-7682.

 

Taxes

Property Taxes

Property taxes are a continuing concern of residents and businesses. We strive for the lowest possible property taxes.

Our current millage rate is 62 mills. We levy one of the lowest rates in our state. How does this compare with taxes in other states, and how do you compute your taxes?

In South Carolina, cities do not prepare property value appraisals. The Aiken County Tax Appraiser determines real and personal property values. This appraisal serves as the tax rate market value for all property in our state. The State also sets assessment ratios for real and personal property:

  • 4% for residential property
  • 6% for commercial and rental property
  • 10.5% on commercial furniture and fixtures
  • 10.5% on industrial property.

Note: Our State has discounted the inventory tax, and has offered other incentives and variations for industrial rates, depending on the business investment amount.

The Aiken County appraisal of your property, the applicable assessment ratio, and our city millage rate (62 mills), determines your property taxes:

(Appraised Value) x (Assessment Ratio) x (Millage Rate) x .001 = City Taxes Payable

If a business property is valued at $250,000, you would pay at a 6% assessment rate. City taxes would be calculated as follows:

$250,000 x 6% x 62 x .001

If you take time to compare, you will find that Aiken has relatively low property tax rates. Also, our businesses and residents receive outstanding service value for the tax dollars they pay.