Legislative Update November 2014 - Unpaid Taxes Abandoned Homes and More ...

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The Manufactured Housing Landlord Tenant Coalition met earlier this week to continue negotiations on a variety of issues.  Here is a summary of what is moving, what is not and what still needs to be discussed as we prepare for the 2015 Oregon Legislative Session.

Abandoned Manufactured Home and Back Taxes

The coalition further discussed the abandoned home “ back tax” issue that MHCO negotiated with the Oregon Tax Assessors earlier last month.  The Oregon Department of Revenue expressed concerns about the agreement specifically as it impacts tax revenue from the Oregon Senior Deferral program.  The Oregon Department of Revenue typically has liens on 40 abandoned homes a year.  Moving forward the coalition will need to identify back taxes that are owed to the State of Oregon and back taxes owed to Oregon Counties.  We hope to have proposed language addressing this issue ready next month. 

One additional concern expressed by a MHCO Board Member was clarification of when the community owner acquires the title of the abandoned home.  Community owners will be reluctant to make the necessary improvements in an abandoned home if there is any question regarding the transfer of title.  The general consensus is that this needs to happen early in the process and be defined in statute.

Overall we are pleased that all parties remain committed to eliminating the community owner’s responsibility to pay back taxes on an abandoned home. 

Changes to Annual Special Assessment on Park Residents and Community Registration Fee

As we have mentioned in earlier Legislative Updates, several Oregon counties are adopting a policy of not collecting taxes on homes valued less than $16,000 (ORS 308.250).  This compounds the problem of taxes accumulating on homes in a community that ultimately are abandoned and it impacts the funding for the Manufactured Communities Resource Center (MCRC) that is funded by a $6 per resident annual special assessment.   MCRC is also funded thru a $25 registration fee paid by each manufactured home community in Oregon.  Since many Oregon counties are no longer collecting taxes on these homes the issue the coalition faced was how to collect the special assessment paid by the community residents.  MHCO’s on going concern regarding this issue was the potential of community owners being forced by statute to collect the special assessment for the Oregon Department of Revenue.  The compromise reached by the coalition is to raise the residents to $10 per resident and increase the registration paid by manufactured home communities $25.  The coalition decided to dedicate $1.50 for each account collected to the county tax collector to offset it’s costs to collect the special assessment  The additional $2.50 paid by each home and the additional $25 paid by each community would be dedicated to making up the lost revenue as a result of counties not collecting property taxes on homes valued less than $16,000.

Changes to 30-Day Notice of Eviction

Over the past five months we have been discussing changes to the 30-Day notice to allow for an expedited eviction when a resident continues to violate community rules and regulations or the rental agreement.  MHCO saw this as a way to help residents when their “peaceful enjoyment” in the community was violated.  The Oregon State Tenant Association (OSTA) – who negotiates on behalf of residents did not agree and where concerned about managers using this as a tactic to harass residents.  OSTA voted against any changes to the 30-day eviction statute – so this issue is dead at least for the 2015 Legislative Session.  MHCO would like to revisit the issue at another time.

Conflict of Interest Between Resident and Community in Home Sales

The coalition ran out of time to discuss this issue.  Further discussions were scheduled for next month.

To be continued next month ….

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