Manufactured Homes - Frequently Asked Questions
Are manufactured homes the same as mobilehomes?
Although they may generally have the same meaning, for California property taxation purposes, the term mobilehome is now obsolete and was changed to manufactured home in Revenue and Taxation Code section 5801 in January 1992. However, the term mobilehome park remains a correct term for a community of manufactured homes.
How are manufactured homes taxed in California?
Manufactured homes in California are generally subject to two taxes:
- Sales tax or use tax at the time of sale or resale, and
- Either the annual local property tax or the annual vehicle license fee, which is also called an in-lieu fee.
If your manufactured home was originally purchased new on or after July 1, 1980, it was automatically subject to local property taxes. If purchased new prior to that date, you or the prior owner could voluntarily convert the annual vehicle license fee to local taxation.
The general property tax rate throughout California is limited to 1 percent of a property's assessed value. However, depending upon where your manufactured home is located, there may be other taxes or fees necessary to pay off any voter-approved general obligation bonds or other indebtedness which could result in a slightly higher overall property tax rate. You should contact your county auditor-controller's office to determine if any of these other taxes may apply to your manufactured home. Contact information for county auditor-controller's offices.
In-Lieu License Fees
Paid to Housing & Community Development
Local Property Tax Paid to the County Tax Collector's Office
|First sold prior to 1977||
|First sold between January 1, 1977 and June 30, 1980||
|First sold on July 1, 1980 and following||
Exceptions to Non-Taxable Category
- All manufactured homes voluntarily converted to local property tax.
- All manufactured home on a permanent foundation approved under Health and Safety Code Section 18551.
- All manufactured homes subject to in-lieu fees that were delinquent for 120 days or more between July 1, 1980 and October 1, 1984, and which were not reinstated by December 31, 1986.
My manufactured home is currently licensed by the California Department of Housing and Community Development. Are there any advantages to converting to local property taxation?
There may be advantages, but each case should be evaluated individually. One possible advantage is that property taxes are payable in two annual installments. You may also be entitled to the $7,000 Homeowners' Property Tax Exemption or other exemptions administered by the county assessor. It should be noted, however, that if you receive the Homeowners' Exemption, you cannot apply for the Renters' Credit on your California State Income Tax return. Additionally, manufactured homes subject to local property taxation are exempt from any sales or use tax upon resale. Therefore, you may enhance the marketability of your manufactured home by voluntarily converting it to local property taxation prior to selling it. Once you convert to local property taxation, you or any subsequent owners cannot revert back to vehicle license fees.
How can I change the taxation of my manufactured home from license fees to the local property tax system?
You can request a voluntary conversion to local property taxes by contacting the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) and the county assessor. Find HCD contact information. Once manufactured homes have been changed to local property taxation, it is not possible to reinstate the vehicle in-lieu license fees.
If I purchase a manufactured home or if there is new construction on the home, will I have to pay supplemental taxes?
Manufactured homes that are subject to local property taxation are subject to supplemental taxes. Manufactured homes that are subject to vehicle license fees are not subject to supplemental taxes.
What happens if I fail to pay the local property taxes due on my manufactured home on time?
If you do not pay the first installment of your annual tax bill by 5 p.m. on December 10, then that installment becomes delinquent, and a delinquent penalty on the unpaid taxes is incurred. If you fail to pay the second installment by 5 p.m. on April 10, it also becomes delinquent and incurs a delinquent penalty. Likewise, if you fail to pay any supplemental tax bill installment by the applicable delinquency date, the same penalty accrues as for delinquent annual taxes. There is no provision for an installment plan of redemption for delinquent manufactured home property taxes.
The typical requirements regarding delinquent accounts for manufactured homes are outlined below. However, the local jurisdiction where the manufactured home is located should be contacted to ensure that the specific requirements of the local jurisdiction are met.
As soon as an installment becomes delinquent, a county has the right to take any of the following steps to collect the unpaid taxes and penalties on a manufactured home:
- 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.
- Initiate seizure and sale of the manufactured home at a public auction.
- File a lawsuit.
- Obtain a summary judgment.
How does the county assessor determine the value of my manufactured home?
Manufactured homes are subject to Proposition 13 under which the county assessor determines the base year value of a manufactured home, which is generally the market value at the time of purchase. Thereafter, annual increases to the base year value are limited to the inflation rate, as measured by the California Consumer Price Index, or 2 percent, whichever is less. Any new construction will have its own separate base year value. When the manufactured home is sold, it will be reassessed at its current fair market value and a new base year value will be established. If your manufactured home is located on land that you own, the land will be assessed separately. If you live in a tenant-owned mobilehome park, a different valuation rule may apply.
The basic structure is assessable. Also assessable are all accessories, including, but not limited to: awnings, fences, windbreakers, storage cabinets, heaters, carport, water coolers, cabanas, porches, and skirting.
Section 5803(b) of the Revenue and Taxation Code specifically provides that the assessed value of a manufactured home on leased or rental land is not to include any value attributable to the particular site where the home is located. Thus, the county assessor must not increase the value because of positive site influence nor decrease the value because of negative site influence.
I am considering placing my existing manufactured home on a permanent foundation. How will this affect the valuation of my property?
Once the manufactured home has been installed on an approved permanent foundation, the entire manufactured home and all attached accessory improvements become assessable as real property and are valued in the same manner as a conventional home. The home is no longer classified as a manufactured home.
I received my local property tax bill, and I disagree with the valuation placed on my manufactured home by the county assessor. What can I do?
If you have evidence that your property is being overassessed, you should contact the county assessor's office and ask for a review and discuss your concerns with an appraiser. A list of contact information for all California county assessors' offices.
If there is still a difference of opinion about the value of your property after discussion with the county assessor's staff, you may formally appeal the assessed value of your property with your county assessment appeals board by filing an Assessment Appeal Application form with the Clerk of the Board of Supervisors in the county where your property is located. Many counties provide online applications on their website. A list of contact information for all California Clerks of the Board offices.
Information regarding the appeals process. From there, links for filing deadlines, the Assessment Appeals Manual, a video discussing the appeals process, frequently asked questions, and other publications are available.
Do I have to file a Change of Ownership Statement following the death of the owner if the manufactured home was held in the decedent's trust?
Yes. Whenever there is any change in ownership of real property or of a manufactured home, the transferee must file a Change in Ownership Statement with the county assessor in the county where the manufactured home is located. If the property is subject to probate proceedings, the Change in Ownership Statement must be filed prior to or at the time the inventory and appraisal is filed with the court clerk.
In all other cases in which an interest in real property is transferred by reason of death, including a transfer through a medium of a trust, the Change in Ownership Statement must be filed with the county assessor by the trustee, if the property was held in trust, or the transferee within 150 days after the date of death. A list of contact information for all California county assessors' offices.
Does a change in ownership occur when the residents purchase a mobile home park?
Due to legislation found in Revenue and Taxation Code 62.1, the purchase of a mobile home park by the current residents might not constitute a change in ownership for property tax assessment purposes, and therefore might not result in a reappraisal. The specific requirements of transferring a park to the tenants are described in section 62.1.
After the initial transfer of the park to the tenants, any subsequent purchaser that acquires an interest in the tenant-owned mobilehome park must file a Preliminary Change of Ownership Report within 30 days of acquisition with the assessor of the county where the manufactured home is located. Contact information for all California county assessors' offices.
I own a manufactured home. Do I qualify for a Homeowners' Exemption?
Yes. To be eligible for the Homeowners' Exemption, a person must own and occupy a dwelling as a principal place of residence on the January 1 lien date. The exemption applies to qualified manufactured homes assessed for local property taxation purposes. If manufactured homes are subject to the vehicle license fee, the exemption can be applied to land, accessories, and/or other improvements for the manufactured home that are owned by the person claiming the exemption. Information regarding Homeowners' Exemption can be obtained by calling the county assessor's office where the manufactured home is located.
A person who owns a manufactured home subject to local property tax on rented land is eligible for either the Homeowners' Exemption or the Renters' Credit, but not both.
I am a disabled veteran. Am I entitled to the Disabled Veterans' Exemption on my manufactured home?
Yes. The first $100,000 or $150,000 of the full value of a manufactured home may be exempted from local property taxation if the manufactured home is owned by a blind or disabled veteran, or the veteran's unmarried surviving spouse, with the exempt amount depending on the annual income of the veteran. For additional qualification requirements for the Disabled Veterans' Exemption, please go to: http://www.boe.ca.gov/proptaxes/dv_exemption.htm.
In addition, the first $20,000 or $30,000 of a manufactured home's market value may be exempted from the vehicle license fee if the manufactured home is owned and occupied as a principal place of residence by a blind or disabled veteran. The exempt amount depends on the household income of the veteran. Information regarding the Disabled Veterans' Exemption can be obtained by calling the county assessor's office where the manufactured home is located.
I still have questions about manufactured homes. Where can I find more information?
If you still have questions, you may call the County-Assessed Properties Division at 1-916-274-3350.