Hundreds of Clark County mobile home owners may qualify for property tax relief
Vancouver, Wash. – A small but mighty mobile home bill passed this past winter and goes into effect on June 11. Clark County Treasurer Alishia Topper today announced just under 500 Clark County property owners may benefit from the legislation she and fellow county treasurers championed this past session.
“I am thrilled HB2512 passed unanimously through the House and Senate this year, and was signed into law by Governor Inslee,” said Topper. “This new law has the potential of helping low-income mobile and manufactured homeowners by waiving past interest and penalties owed, saving their homes from auction.” The treasurer’s office team is ramping up communication and outreach efforts to inform those who may qualify.
Dawniel Miller, Clark County delinquent tax collector said, “The implementation of the penalty and interest waiver will make a huge impact on mobile home owners who qualify. One example is a mobile home owner who owes $9,800 in taxes and an additional $13,763 in penalties and interest. If this owner qualifies for this waiver, “the property tax bill would reduce the amount owed from almost $24,000 to $9,800.”
Until this week, if the owner of a mobile or manufactured home missed a property tax payment due date, the law required county treasurers to move immediately to start the distraint process and sell the property at public auction to cover the taxes, interest and penalties owed. “This was unfair treatment toward mobile and manufactured home owners, when real property owners are given three years to make good on their tax payments,” said Topper.
All real and personal property in Washington is subject to property tax, unless a specific exemption is provided by law. Personal property includes tangible property, such as motor vehicles or manufactured homes. Real property includes all land, buildings, structures, or permanent improvements on land, permanent fixtures on land, standing timber, or water rights.
Mobile and manufactured homes have become an affordable home ownership option for people with lower-incomes as the median home price continues to increase across the state.
Changes to the law
Mobile homes and manufactured homes where the title has not been eliminated will not be subject to distraint until three years after the date of first delinquency.
County treasurers must waive outstanding interest and penalties on delinquent taxes due from the title owner on a mobile home or manufactured home if the property is subject to an action for distraint and:
- the title owner meets certain low-income thresholds, as verified by the county assessor;
- the title owner occupies the mobile home or manufactured home as their principal place of residence;
- the title owner or their agent is paying the delinquent base taxes owed on the year or years for which the outstanding interest and penalties are being waived and submits a complete application at least 14 days before recording of distraint documents; and the title owner has not previously received this same waiver on the property.
“We want to keep as many homes out of foreclosure and distraint as possible,” said Topper. “If a mobile home owner in Clark County earns less than $53,348 and has fallen behind on their property taxes, it is my commitment to ensure an application for a waiver of interest and penalties is available and a tax specialist is ready to assist with payment plan options.”