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The state is CA; L.A. County to be specific.

I bought a manuf. home and paid cash. The home is located in a very nice, quiet rental community; IOW the home sits on rented land.

At closing I had to pay a $117.00 registration fee to the county on the home. It is my understanding this this is an annual fee. I have no problem with that.

I don't own the land so I don't directly pay a property tax; it it levied to me via my rent payment. I have no problem with that as long as the owner of the property doesn't gouge the renters under the pretext of property tax increases.

We have only lived here 3 months and the complex of 100 homes has had some improvements. The electrical power company has upgraded all homes from 50 amp service to 100. The owner of the complex has resurfaced the streets. Also during the period, 2 or 3 homes have moved out (for whatever reason) and new homes have been put in place and that leads me to my question.

Does anyone know how this kind of rental property is assessed by the county tax assessor? Is it strictly based on the land or the land and what's on it? IOW, is my home (or new homes coming into the community) adding to the value of the rental property?

Best regards,
Duane





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Prop 13 limits annual real estate tax increases. Resurfacing existing roads would likely be a repair and not subject to reassessment.

Are you certain that you are not going to receive a real estate tax bill for the value of the home? A relative was looking at mobile homes a few years ago. At the time "older" mobile homes were registered with the DMV. They paid annual registration fees. Newer mobile homes were assessed as real property. The home owners and not the land owners are responsible for the property taxes on the mobile homes. Laws could vary by county.

Debra
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Debra,

Thank you for your reply.

Please don't take this the wrong way, but I find it hard to believe a mobile/manuf. home on rental property can be assessed as real property to the owner of the home.

I frequently lurk over at TMF's "Buying/Selling A Home" board, and while this subject is only lightly touched on from time to time, have come away with the impression that a mobile/manuf. home is considered to be more "personal" property (like a car) vs. "real" property (a traditional house/condo, etc.).

As I think I said in my OP, I already paid a "registration fee" to the State of CA. Nowhere in my closing doc's is there any mention of property tax impoundments, etc., as one would normally see in a traditional home purchase. Nada.

Somehow "me thinks" your relative misunderstood something. I dunno! That's why I posed the question.

But, thanks again for sharing your thoughts.

Best regards,
Duane



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I frequently lurk over at TMF's "Buying/Selling A Home" board, and while this subject is only lightly touched on from time to time, have come away with the impression that a mobile/manuf. home is considered to be more "personal" property (like a car) vs. "real" property (a traditional house/condo, etc.).

You're talking about two different purposes here: Lenders and taxing agencies. It's very possible for them to look at mobile homes from different points of view.

Lenders see the mobility possibility and therefore treat them like cars. Tax agencies see people living in them and tax them like houses. They are not mutually exclusive interpretations. Each of these organizations is free to look at mobile homes in their own way, without regard for what the other is doing.

I think Debra is right. In California, mobile homes (unless they're really old and registered with the DMV) will get a property tax bill from the county. That bill will be separate from the bill for the mobile home park land it sits on.

--Peter
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Peter,

Thank you for your comments.

To be clear, I paid cash for the home so I don't know what a lender's view of the property has to do with my original question.

But if, as you and Debra suggest, I'll receive a property tax bill from the county based on the value of the home and also one from the land owner that the home is located on, for my prorated share of what it costs the land owner in taxes hidden within my rent bill ..........

Something doesn't seem right right with the "picture I'm seeing." Based on what you a Debra said, isn't that double taxation? And being a renter, I don't get to see the actual bill the land owner receives and then passes my share off to me.

I wonder how it works for people who build structures (restaurants, fast food places, etc.) on land "for sale or lease" and opt to lease?

I'm not being argumentative; just trying to understand.

Best regards,
Duane
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But if, as you and Debra suggest, I'll receive a property tax bill from the county based on the value of the home and also one from the land owner that the home is located on, for my prorated share of what it costs the land owner in taxes hidden within my rent bill ..........


The property taxes for the land and any structures can be separate. If you receive a tax bill directly, the landowner only receives a tax bill for the land. If it is old enough to pay personal property tax through the DMV, then the DMV is paid and no real property tax bill is issued.

Below are from the Santa Clara County's assessor FAQ's. Your county assessor may have similar information available.

Debra

4. Under which circumstances would my mobilehome automatically become subject to local property taxes as opposed to in-lieu license fees?
If your mobilehome was originally purchased new on or after July 1, 1980, it was automatically subject to local property taxes. Also if the license fees on your mobilehome, regardless of when it was originally purchased became delinquent on or before May 31, 1984, your mobilehome was automatically converted to the local property tax system. (Delinquent license fees no longer cause automatic transfer to local property taxation.)



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5. Are there any advantages to changing from in-lieu license fees to local property taxation?
There may be advantages, but each case must be evaluated individually.

One possible advantage is that property taxes are payable in two annual installments. You also may be entitled to the $7,000 homeowner's exemption or other exemptions administered by the County Assessor. In addition to County exemptions, you may be eligible for the tax assistance and postponement program offered by the State of California.

Finally, it is important to note that mobilehomes subject to local property taxation are exempt from any sales or use tax. Therefore, you may enhance the marketability of your mobilehome by voluntarily converting it to local property taxation prior to selling it.

Once you convert to local property taxation, however, you cannot revert back to vehicle license fees.


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6. How do I find out if I am entitled to the homeowner's exemption?
Information regarding homeowner's and other exemptions can be obtained by e-mailing, calling or mailing the office of the County Assessor.


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7. What additional tax assistance programs are offered by the state?
The State of California administers programs that provide property tax assistance and postponement of property taxes to qualified homeowners and renters who are 62 or older, blind, or disabled. For information on the State's Homeowner or Renter Assistance Program, call the Franchise Tax Board at (800)852-5711. For information on the Property Tax Postponement Program, call the State Controller at (800)952-5661.


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8. How can I change taxation of my mobilehome from license fees to the local property tax system?
You can request a voluntary conversion to local property taxes by calling (800)952-8356 or writing to: State of California, Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD), P.O. Box 2111, 6007 Folsom Blvd., Sacramento, CA 95810.


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9. If my mobilehome currently is subject to local property taxation, can I request reinstatement of vehicle license fees?
No. Once mobilehomes have been changed to local property taxation, it is not possible to reinstate vehicle in-lieu license fees.


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10. If I buy a used mobilehome subject to local property taxes, how do I get the title transferred to my name?
Mobilehome title issuance is administered by the State's Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD). That department cannot transfer title of a used mobilehome subject to local property taxes without a tax clearance from the county tax collector of the county in which the mobilehome is situated. If there are any taxes owing, they must be paid before a Tax Clearance Certificate can be issued.

NOTE: Remember that this type of title transfer applies only to mobilehomes not on permanent foundations. If your mobilehome is attached to a permanent
foundation, title transfers are handled by the County Recorder in the same manner as for conventional homes.


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11. If I purchase a used mobilehome or modify my mobilehome by construction, will I have to pay supplemental taxes?
It depends on what type of taxes you currently are paying. Mobilehomes that are subject to local property taxation are subject to supplemental taxes. Mobilehomes that are subject to vehicle license fees are not subject to supplemental taxes thru HCD, however may be subject to supplemental and annual taxes for the addition. Contact the County Assessor for additional information.


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12. How is the amount of my mobilehome property taxes determined?
The amount of property taxes on your mobilehome is determined in accordance with the State Law and is limited to $1 per $100 (1%) of assessed value of your mobilehome, except for certain direct assessments applied by cities and districts and special taxes approved by local voters.

The County Assessor determines the assessed value of your mobilehome, which is generally the cash or market value at the time of purchase. This value increases not more than 2% per year until the mobilehome is sold, at which time it must be reassessed. If your mobilehome is parked on land that you own, the land will be assessed and taxed separately.


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13. Do I have any recourse if I disagree with the valuation placed on my mobilehome by the assessor?
Yes. You may take the matter up with the Assessor to see if that office will change the valuation. Additionally, the Board of Supervisors has established an Assessment Appeals Board for the purpose of resolving valuation problems. Additional information regarding appeals can be obtained by calling (408) 299-4321.


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14. What happens if I fail to pay my mobilehome property taxes on time?
If you do not pay the first installment of your annual tax bill at the Tax Collector's office by 5 p.m. on December 10, or payment is not postmarked by that time and date, then that installment becomes delinquent, and a 10% delinquent penalty on the unpaid taxes is incurred. If you fail to pay the second installment at the Tax Collector's office by 5 p.m. on April 10, or payment is not postmarked by that time and date, it also becomes delinquent and incurs the 10% penalty plus a $10 cost. Likewise, if you fail to pay any supplemental tax bill installment by the applicable delinquency date, the same penalties accrue as for delinquent annual taxes. There is no provision for an installment plan of redemption for delinquent mobilehome property taxes.

As soon as an installment becomes delinquent, the County has the right to take any of the following steps to collect the unpaid taxes and penalties on a mobilehome:

File a Certificate of Tax Lien for record with the County Recorder. This is a 10-year lien against all personal and real property owned by the assessee, which may be renewed every 10 years until the tax is paid.
Initiate seizure and sale of the mobilehome at a public auction.
File a lawsuit.
Obtain a summary judgment.
If the taxes remain unpaid on July 1, a $35.00 transfer fee is charged to transfer the account for collection and an additional penalty of 1½% of the unpaid taxes is added on the first day of each month until paid.

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But if, as you and Debra suggest, I'll receive a property tax bill from the county based on the value of the home and also one from the land owner that the home is located on, for my prorated share of what it costs the land owner in taxes hidden within my rent bill ..........

Something doesn't seem right right with the "picture I'm seeing."


To borrow from the late, great Waylon Flowers, "Put your glasses on, Maude!"

You're treating property tax as some distinct portion of those things that the "ground" owner would consider in setting your lot rent. While any intelligent lessor would do so, the amount of real estate tax being paid on the tax has no effect on your tax situation. You get no deduction for any part of rent, including that part that's paying the owner's real estate tax. (Some states do, I believe, offer some sort of renters' credit, but there's nothing on the Federal level, and I don't remember any such item in CA.) If the mobile home owner signed a lease saying that (s)he'll pay rent and additionally reimburse the property owner for real estate taxes, it's still rent for tax purposes. (One must be liable under law for a tax in order to deduct it.)

Whether the mobile home in question is subject to pseudo real estate taxes or personal property taxes, the income tax effect on the owner is the same. Both are deductible on Schedule A.

As for assessment and reassessment information, your county assessor's office is the best source for information.

Phil
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You're treating property tax as some distinct portion of those things that the "ground" owner would consider in setting your lot rent. While any intelligent lessor would do so, the amount of real estate tax being paid on the tax has no effect on your tax situation. You get no deduction for any part of rent, including that part that's paying the owner's real estate tax.

Not entirely true. Ground rent is sometimes deductible on Schedule A as mortgage interest. Maryland is one state where this is true, there may be others. (See IRS Pub. 936, Home Mortgage Interest Deduction, www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p936.pdf).

Ira
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First, I would like to thank all the kind Fools who responded to my question.

I did some checking and I will be assessed a property tax for the purchase price of the home but not the rental land it sits on. OK, fair enough, after all I do benefit for services provided by the county; police and fire protection, etc.

But that leads me to another question. A traditional home/condo, etc., typically appreciates in value due to improvements made to the property and the surrounding community, generally speaking. When the tax assessor does his "thing" the tax bill comes. If the tax bill is out of line, a homeowner can protest the bill and if lucky, can get a reassessment. I been there and dun 'dat.

A manuf. home, on the other hand, is typically recognized as
depreciating in value over time. How the heck does the tax assessor tax a manuf. home in a rental community where older homes are moving out and new ones are coming in? I'm not asking for "expert" answers here, just some Fool thoughts.

Best regards,
Duane
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1.) Manufactured homes are also covered under prop 13. Unless "remodeled", the tax basis appreciation is limited to 2% per year. The newer homes moving in will not change your basis.

2.) You have the right to contest an assessment. It would be possible to show current market value, using comps from sales homes of comparable year and size.

Debra
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Thank you Debra! Your response provides me with a whole lot of questions "swimming" around in my mind. :)

Best regards,
Duane
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