Mobilehomes in California are taxed either through the local property tax system administered by the county in which the mobilehome is situated or by payment of vehicle "in-lieu" license fees to the State.
Before July 1, 1980, mobilehomes that were not on permanent foundations were treated as motor vehicles and were taxed just like automobiles or trucks through the Department of Motor Vehicles. Mobilehomes affixed to the land on a permanent foundation have always been taxed in the same manner as conventional homes. In 1980 the State Legislature adopted the "Mobilehome Property Tax Law", which provides for a system of taxing all new and most used mobilehomes purchased on or after July l, 1980 in a manner similar to conventional homes.
All new manufactured homes purchased after June 30, 1980, and those on permanent foundations, regardless of age, are subject to property tax. As with single family homes and other real property, the assessed value of manufactured homes may be increased by no more than 2% annually, unless there is a change in ownership or new construction.
How are Mobile homes Assessed
Upon acquisition, Mobile homes are assessed at the “Fair Market Value” of the mobile home including any accessories (skirting, carport, included appliances, etc.). This value does not include the site or land value, which is often a component of the purchase price. The site value is the intrinsic value that one park has when compared to another. More desirable parks are more expensive than less sought after parks.
As most mobile homes are bought and sold based upon not only the quality and age of the mobile home, but also based upon the location and amenities of the park, the Assessor has the difficult task, per State Law, of separating the mobile home value from the site value. This is a complex appraisal and the State Board of Equalization provides assessors with extensive guidelines on how to value these homes.
Those guidelines provide cost tables for mobile homes that include the cost per square foot. They also provide costs for accessories. Appraisers use these tables to arrive at a replacement cost new for an individual mobile home. The Assessor’s Office then uses another set of depreciation tables that takes into account the age of the mobile home and accessories, as an older mobile home is worth less than a new mobile home. This resulting calculation is known as replacement cost new less depreciation, or RCNLD, and become the basis for the factored base year value (FBYV). The Assessor’s Office also considers issues mobile home owners consider when buying or selling such as; what kind of roof does the home have, does it have a carport or garage, does it have a deck, does it have any extras, like skylights or a walk in closet?
Temporary Reductions in Assessed Value (Proposition 8)
For every year after the first year, the Assessor compares what is called the factored base year value (FBYV) and replacement cost new less depreciation (RCNLD). The Assessor then enrolls the lesser of these two values. This is considered an automatic proposition 8 that is done every year. The factored base year value is made up of the base year value multiplied by the California Consumer Price Index (CCPI) factor provided by the State Board of Equalization.
If you think your mobile home is being taxed on a value that is higher than its market value, as of January 1, mail a Prop 8 temporary relief form (below) or contact the Assessor's Office, and ask for a review form. Assessment Review Requests must be submitted to the Assessor's Office no later than August 1 of the current assessment year. After August 15, taxpayers are advised to file an assessment appeal with the Clerk of the Board.
To learn more about Proposition 8 and how to apply for a temporary reduction go to www.sccassessor.org/prop8.
Manufactured homes built and sold before June 30, 1980 can be voluntarily transferred to the local assessment roll or remain on the in-lieu tax system administered by the State Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD). They can be reached at (805) 549-3373 or (800) 952-8356. However, once converted to the local assessment roll, mobile home owners can not switch back to the vehicle license fees.
Due to enacted legislation, the purchase of a mobile home park by the current residents will not constitute a change in ownership for property assessment purposes, and will not result in a reappraisal. Roll values will not be increased, except for the normal 2% maximum inflationary factor.