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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.


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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