BILL REQ. #:  H-0786.1 


State of Washington61st Legislature2009 Regular Session

By Representatives Rolfes, Priest, Miloscia, Ormsby, Nelson, White, Morrell, Liias, Green, Simpson, and Appleton

Read first time 01/23/09.   Referred to Committee on Finance.

     AN ACT Relating to a property tax exemption for manufactured/mobile home communities; adding a new section to chapter 84.36 RCW; and creating a new section.


NEW SECTION.  Sec. 1   (1) The legislature finds that:
     (a) Manufactured/mobile home communities provide a significant source of homeownership opportunities for Washington residents. However, the increasing closure and conversion of manufactured/mobile home communities to other uses, combined with increasing manufactured/mobile home lot rents, low vacancy rates in existing manufactured/mobile home communities, and the extremely high cost of moving homes with manufactured/mobile home communities close, increasingly make manufactured/mobile home park community living insecure for manufactured/mobile homeowners.
     (b) Many homeowners residing in manufactured/mobile home communities are low-income and senior citizens, and are, therefore, those residents most in need of reasonable security in the siting of their manufactured/mobile homes because of the adverse impacts on the health, safety, and welfare of residents forced to move due to closure, change of use, or discontinuance of manufactured/mobile home communities.
     (c) The preservation of manufactured/mobile home communities:
     (i) Is a more economical alternative than providing new replacement housing units for residents displaced from closing manufactured/mobile home communities;
     (ii) Is a strategy by which local governments can meet the affordable housing needs of their residents;
     (iii) Is a strategy by which local governments planning under chapter 36.70A RCW may meet the housing element of their comprehensive plans as it relates to the provision of housing affordable to all economic sectors; and
     (iv) Should be a goal of all local governments.
     (2) It is the intent of the legislature to encourage and facilitate long-term security of tenure for manufactured/mobile homeowners by providing this voluntary opportunity for manufactured/mobile home community owners to take advantage of a tax exemption in return for a commitment to maintain their manufactured/mobile home community as such for a minimum of ten years. This voluntary commitment and tax exemption benefit must be accompanied by a commitment to comply with chapter 59.20 RCW, in particular RCW 59.20.130, 59.20.135, 59.20.200, and 59.20.300.

NEW SECTION.  Sec. 2   A new section is added to chapter 84.36 RCW to read as follows:
     (1) Subject to the conditions in this section, real property that constitutes a manufactured/mobile home community is exempt from taxation.
     (2) Beginning with the first year a property owner claims the exemption under this section, a property owner's charge for the rental of any mobile home lot or manufactured home lot may not increase by more than the percentage change in the consumer price index for the prior calendar year.
     (3)(a) Upon a cessation of use under which an exemption has been granted under this section, the county treasurer must collect all taxes that would have been paid had the property not been exempt during the seven years preceding, or the life of such exemption, if less, together with interest at the same rate and computed in the same manner as delinquent property taxes. Taxes due under this subsection are also subject to a penalty of ten percent.
     (b) The provisions of (a) of this subsection apply only when ownership of the property is transferred or when any of the property loses its exempt status. The additional taxes and penalties under (a) of this subsection does not apply if the cessation of use resulted solely from:
     (i) Transfer to another property owner for a use that also qualifies for an exemption under this section;
     (ii) A taking through the exercise of the power of eminent domain, or sale or transfer to an entity having the power of eminent domain in anticipation of the exercise of such power;
     (iii) Official action by an agency of the state of Washington or by the county or city within which the property is located which disallows the present use of such property;
     (iv) A natural disaster such as a flood, windstorm, earthquake, or other such calamity rather than by virtue of the act of the property owner changing the use of such property; or
     (v) Transfer to an agency of the state of Washington or the city or county within which the property is located.
     (4) The general requirements and conditions of RCW 84.36.812, 84.36.813, 84.36.815, 84.36.820, 84.36.825, 84.36.830, and 84.36.845 apply to this section.
     (5) For the purposes of this section, "manufactured home," "mobile home," and "manufactured/mobile home community" have the meanings provided in RCW 59.20.030.

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