Legislative Update: MHCO Wins Major Concession on Abandoned Home Back Taxes

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Last week MHCO met with representatives of the Oregon county tax assessors and successfully negotiated the elimination of abandoned home back taxes.

For those you who have been following this issue – earlier this year MHCO set out to make significant changes to ORS 90.675 that requires community owners to pay the back taxes owed on an abandoned home if they want to purchase the home and keep it in their community.  After a lengthy series of meetings with MHCO, the counties agreed to cancel unpaid back taxes on abandoned manufactured homes.

There remain technical issues, but the main hurdle – eliminating the tax obligation – has been resolved.  Here are the details of the agreement –

 

  • No cap on the amount of back taxes to be cancelled.

 

  • The landlord will need to file an affidavit/form (MHCO will work with the county tax assessors on the form which ultimately will be posted on MHCO.ORG). 

 

  • The affidavit/form will state:

 

  • That the landlord has sold or will sell the MH to an unrelated buyer;
  • The buyer will live in the MH in the park;
  • The sale is an arms-length transaction;
  • The amount of the sale price, along with the total of the landlord’s claims or costs against the manufactured home, limited to unpaid back rent, sale costs (per ORS 90.675 (13) (a) consists of the reasonable or actual cost of notice, storage for a reasonable period, and sale; presumably this includes attorney fees, but only to do these tasks), and any improvements done by the landlord to the manufactured home as part of the sale.
  • The landlord may deduct from any sale proceeds the cost of storage (typically space rent) only for a reasonable period, as necessary to complete the abandonment process, to make any repairs necessary to make the manufactured home saleable, and to sell it.
  • The landlord will pay any county warrant fees required for the cancellation
  • The landlord will pay any amount from the sale in excess of the landlord's costs (unpaid rent, sale costs, improvement, etc.) to the county for unpaid taxes.  The landlord will be allowed to keep any excess over the unpaid back tax amount.

        

Later this month there will be further discussions on the details regarding the affidavit and other potential legislative issues.  As with all previous landlord-tenant coalition bills the participants in the negotiations reserve the right not to make a final commitment until the final draft is on the table.  Depending on what is or is not in that final agreement will determine MHCO’s final position.  A lot can happen between now and the final draft of a bill – but today we are very happy that we have made significant progress in changing a very onerous statute that impacts every community owner who ends up wanting to buy an abandoned home in their community.

 

Thanks to everyone from MHCO who worked on these negotiations.  We will keep you posted on legislative developments as move in to the post election/pre legislative world.  Stay tuned!