Mobile Home Frequently Asked Questions
Mobile homes in California are taxed either through the local
property tax system administered by the county in which the mobile home
is situated or by payment of vehicle "in-lieu" license fees to
Before July 1, 1980, mobile homes that were not on permanent
foundations were treated as motor vehicles and were taxed just like
automobiles or trucks through the Department of Motor Vehicles. Mobile
homes affixed to the land on a permanent foundation have always been
taxed in the same manner as conventional homes. In 1980 the State
Legislature adopted the "Mobile home Property Tax Law", which
provides for a system of taxing all new and most used mobile homes
purchased on or after July l, 1980 in a manner similar to conventional
homes. This pamphlet describes this new system of taxing mobile homes.
- What is a mobile home?
- A mobile home is a structure, transportable in one or more sections,
designed and equipped to contain one or more dwelling units, and to be
used with or without a foundation system. Specifically any trailer coach
that is more than eight feet wide or forty feet long, or one that
requires a permit to move on the highway is considered a mobile home.
- I have a recreational vehicle (RV), is it considered a mobile home?
- No. Recreational vehicles, as well as buses and prefabricated housing
units, are not considered mobile homes.
- My mobile home is sitting on a permanent foundation on my property - how will it be taxed?
- For purposes of taxation, mobile homes affixed to the land on a
permanent foundation are not considered "mobile" homes, but
are viewed instead as modular housing, and have always been taxed in the
same way as conventional homes.
- If your mobile home is not attached to a permanent foundation, for
example, if your mobile home is in a mobile home park please read on.
Throughout the remainder of this pamphlet, the term "mobile
home" refers only to those that are not on permanent foundations.
- Under which circumstances would my mobile home automatically become
subject to local property taxes as opposed to in-lieu license fees?
- If your mobile home was originally purchased new on or after July 1,
1980, it was automatically subject to local property taxes. Also if the
license fees on your mobile home, regardless of when it was originally
purchased became delinquent on or before May 31, 1984, your mobile home
was automatically converted to the local property tax system.
(Delinquent license fees no longer cause automatic transfer to local
- Are there any advantages to changing from in-lieu license fees to local
- There may be advantages, but each case must be evaluated
- One possible advantage is that property taxes are payable in two
annual installments. You also may be entitled to the $7,000 homeowner's
exemption or other exemptions administered by the County Assessor. In
addition to County exemptions, you may be eligible for the tax
assistance and postponement program offered by the State of California.
- Finally, it is important to note that mobile homes subject to local
property taxation are exempt from any sales or use tax. Therefore, you
may enhance the marketability of your mobile home by voluntarily
converting it to local property taxation prior to selling it.
- Once you convert to local property taxation, however, you cannot
revert back to vehicle license fees.
- How do I find out if I am entitled to the homeowner's exemption?
- Information regarding homeowner's and other exemptions can be
obtained by calling the office of the Humboldt County Assessor at (707)
445-7663 or writing to:
Humboldt County Assessor
825 5th Street, First Floor
Eureka, CA 95501
- How can I change taxation of my mobile home from license fees to the local
property tax system?
- You can request a voluntary conversion to local property taxes by
calling (800)952-8356 or writing to: State of California, Department of
Housing and Community Development (HCD), P.O. Box 2111, 6007 Folsom
Blvd., Sacramento, CA 95810.
- If my mobile home currently is subject to local property taxation, can I request reinstatement of vehicle license fees?
- No. Once mobile homes have been changed to local property taxation,
it is not possible to reinstate vehicle in-lieu license fees.
- If I buy a used mobile home subject to local property taxes, how do I get the title transferred to my name?
- Mobile home title issuance is administered by the State's Department
of Housing and Community Development (HCD). That department cannot
transfer title of a used mobile home subject to local property taxes or
direct charges by fire districts or other fees without a tax clearance
from the county tax collector of the county in which the mobile home is
situated. If there are any taxes or other fees owing, they must be paid
before a Tax Clearance Certificate can be issued.
- NOTE: Remember that this type of title transfer applies only to
mobile homes not on permanent foundations. If your mobile home is
attached to a permanent foundation, title transfers are handled by the
County Recorder in the same manner as for conventional homes.
An application for a Mobile Home Tax Clearance Certificate is available for download as an Adobe PDF: mhtxcl.pdf
- If I purchase a used mobile home or modify my mobile home by construction,
will I have to pay supplemental taxes?
- It depends on what type of taxes you currently are paying. Mobile
homes that are subject to local property taxation are subject to
supplemental taxes. Mobile homes that are subject to vehicle license
fees are not subject to supplemental taxes thru HCD, however may be
subject to supplemental and annual taxes for the addition. Contact the
County Assessor for additional information.
is the amount of my mobile home property taxes determined?
- The amount of property taxes on your mobile home is determined in
accordance with the State Law and is limited to $1 per $100 (1%) of
assessed value of your mobile home, except for certain direct
assessments applied by cities and districts and special taxes approved
by local voters.
- The County Assessor determines the assessed value of your mobile
home, which is generally the cash or market value at the time of
purchase. This value increases not more than 2% per year until the
mobile home is sold, at which time it must be reassessed. If your mobile
home is parked on land that you own, the land will be assessed and taxed
- Do I have any recourse if I disagree with the valuation placed on my mobile
home by the assessor?
- Yes. You may take the matter up with the Assessor to see if that
office will change the valuation. Additionally, the Board of Supervisors
has established an Assessment Appeals Board for the purpose of resolving
valuation problems. Additional information regarding appeals can be
obtained by calling (707) 445-7663, or writing Humboldt County Assessor,
825 5th Street, First Floor, Eureka, CA 95501.
- What happens if I fail to pay my mobile home property taxes on time?
- If you do not pay the first installment of your annual tax bill at
the Tax Collector's office by 5 p.m. on December 10, or payment is not
postmarked by that time and date, then that installment becomes
delinquent, and a 10% delinquent penalty on the unpaid taxes is
incurred. If you fail to pay the second installment at the Tax
Collector's office by 5 p.m. on April 10, or payment is not postmarked
by that time and date, it also becomes delinquent and incurs the 10%
penalty plus a $20 cost. Likewise, if you fail to pay any supplemental
tax bill installment by the applicable delinquency date, the same
penalties accrue as for delinquent annual taxes.
- As soon as an installment becomes delinquent, the County has the
right to take any of the following steps to collect the unpaid taxes and
penalties on a mobile 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, which may be renewed every 10 years
until the tax is paid.
- Initiate seizure and sale of the mobile home at a public auction.
- File a lawsuit.
- Obtain a summary judgment.
Should you have any further questions about Tax Clearance
Certificates or payments, please contact the Humboldt County Tax Collector at (707) 476-2450.
Questions regarding assessed values or
exemptions should be addressed to the Humboldt County Assessor at (707) 445-7663.