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Multnomah County Board of Commissioners cuts taxes on manufactured homes to protect affordable

September 22, 2022

The Multnomah County Board of Commissioners on Thursday, Sept. 22, unanimously agreed to reduce property taxes for manufactured residence owners whose housing stability is threatened by rising actual property values.

“This resolution does a lot,’’ mentioned Chair Deborah Kafoury. “It lowers taxes. It addresses a disproportionate and inequitable financial burden. And, it’s going to assist folks be extra steady and secure in their housing by preserving the price of owning and living in a manufactured residence reasonably priced.

“It may really feel like a small tweak to our tax structure, but it’s going to make a real difference for thousands of households in Multnomah County.”

The effort to maintain manufactured homes affordable for folks with low or fixed incomes dates back greater than a decade, as County Commissioners worked with legislators to ease tax burdens for individuals who personal their manufactured house however not the land beneath. Under state statute, all property is taxable, and manufactured homes are taxed as private property unless otherwise exempt. 

Previously, taxes had been canceled on manufactured houses valued at $38,000 or much less. But if a property valued at even $1 above $38,000, that owner would face a full annual tax invoice of as a lot as $1,000. Rising values threatened to push increasingly owners over that $38,000 threshold.

On Thursday, the Board accredited exempting the primary $50,000 of value and levying taxes only on the quantity above $50,000.

That will make a difference for residents, stated Commissioner Susheela Japayal, who introduced the resolution ahead with Commissioner Lori Stegmann.

The common median income for a manufactured home’s proprietor is simply $38,000, compared to $73,000 for different County residents, Jayapal said. Owners of those houses extra prone to be individuals of color, to talk Spanish at home, work in low-wage jobs and be single parents. They are also among these hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We’re decreasing taxes for the people who want that relief the most,” Japayal mentioned.

There are 4,917 cellular houses in Multnomah County. County Assessor Michael Vaughn mentioned all of these owners would profit. The common value of a manufactured house is $40,740, with the median worth about $29,280. Stegmann stated the values present the decision modifications could have a meaningful impact now and nicely into the long run as values rise. It would significantly benefit East County, the place extra individuals live in manufactured properties.

“Absolutely there is more we can do, we must do, but this may be a nice step,” Commissioner Stegmann said. “We are moving and we’re making a significant difference.”

Commissioner Jessica Vega Pederson agreed.

“The more I study this, the more I’m supportive,” she said.

When Vega Pederson was a state representative, she mentioned, a housing advocate as soon as advised her a manufactured home was both the primary place folks live when they come out of homelessness or the final place they reside earlier than they turn out to be homeless.

“We need to verify we’re protecting this useful resource,’’ Vega Pederson said.

The exemptions accredited Thursday would scale back tax revenue collected by Multnomah County by $350,000, and as a lot as $3 million in complete across taxing districts. 

“The benefits to the folks impacted shall be profound and can greater than make up for any lack of income right here. And this may be a piece of a much bigger puzzle alongside the continuum of homelessness to permanent housing,” said Commissioner Sharon Meieran.

Cameron Herrington, program supervisor at the nonprofit Living Cully Coalition, submitted written testament supporting the resolution. 

“Mobile home parks provide some of the most reasonably priced housing in Multnomah County,” Herrington wrote. “This measure will help ensure that low-income residents are capable of keep in their homes and benefit from the tight-knit communities that mobile home park residents forge with their neighbors.”

Chair Kafoury famous this was just one step toward a extra reasonably priced group.

“These are really vulnerable individuals and something we are in a position to do to help them keep in our properties and not find yourself in homelessness is price our time,” she stated.

 

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