By Brian Augusta, Legislative Lobbyist
We have mixed news from the Capitol about GSMOL’s 3-bill package. As we reported in a prior update, AB 587 (Chau) became a 2-year bill earlier in the year. (The bill is very much alive, and we will renew efforts to find a workable solution in the fall.) With AB 587 parked for the year, that left us with two bills that were moving forward this year: SB 477 (Levya) and SB 419 (McGuire).
Good news bad news: First the bad news, SB 477, which would have expanded the state’s property tax postponement program to include mobilehomes, was held in the Assembly Appropriations committee late last week. That means that the bill is now dead. GSMOL is exploring options for ensuring that homeowners who owe property tax and cannot pay have options.
The good news: SB 419, which would clarify rules governing the sale of mobilehomes, has been SIGNED BY THE GOVERNOR!! Thanks to everyone who helped out by asking their legislator and/or the Governor to support this bill!!
Click on terms shown in blue for a definition.
GSMOL sponsored bills
SB 419 (McGuire)
Status: September 9 – Approved by Governor. Chaptered by Secretary of State. Chapter 288, Statutes of 2015. Improves the process for selling your home. Would update and clarify the rules about realty signs and open houses. Would also increase transparency for buyers and sellers regarding park standards for admission of new buyers to live in the park, by requiring clear disclosure of the park’s income and eligibility requirements.SB 477 (Leyva)
Status: August 18 – Held in Assembly, dead for this year. Last year, AB 2231 (Gordon) re-enacted the State Property Tax Postponement Program, which provides property tax assistance to senior and disabled households. However, in reinstating the program, AB 2231 removed mobilehome owners from eligibility for the program. This bill would ensure that mobilehome owners are also eligible to apply for property tax deferment, by re-establishing mobilehomes in the newly re-enacted program. This will ensure that a homeowner who is in need, can get assistance paying their property taxes, and not risk losing their homes to a tax sale.
AB 587 (Chau)
Status: AB 587, GSMOL’s bill to reform the registration and titling system in California, has enjoyed strong bi-partisan support throughout the process so far. However, with deadlines nearing, the author and GMSOL have decided to make the bill a two-year bill, in order to give ourselves more time to work through some of the complicated legal and practical issues involved in the bill. This means that the bill will pause for now but action on it will resume next year.Tens of thousands of homeowners (possibly hundreds of thousands) do not have clear title to their manufactured home. This means that many homeowners do not actually own their home in their name, potentially leading to thousands of dollars in unpaid fees, taxes and/or penalties, and the inability to transfer your home when the time comes to sell. In many cases, the outstanding fees or taxes (and accompanying penalties) may have accrued before the person took ownership. The bill will provide relief to these homeowners for unpaid taxes and penalties in exchange for bringing title current. The bill will also establish a system for the future, to minimize the sale of homes without title being properly transferred.
Other bills of interest
AB 682 (Williams)
Status: September 10 – Sent to Governor. Would ensure that homeowners who do not have current title to their home can still participate in the PUC pilot program that will convert select sub-metered parks to direct service from the utilities. Under current HCD rules, HCD cannot approve the hook up to a home where the current owner does not have title in his or her name. This bill would ensure that those homeowners can still be hooked up to the new utility service. Learn More…
No Position Yet
AB 999 (Daly)
Status: September 16 – sent to the Governor. This bill, sponsored by WMA, would allow for the summary removal of an abandoned mobilehome where the home is considered a nuisance or has a value of less than $15,000. Learn More…
SB 434 (Allen)
Status: Last activity on this bill was in July. This bill would deal with a situation in LA County in which the County Assessor claims that homeowners are avoiding paying local property tax by building large homes around older mobilehomes that are still paying annual registration fees to HCD. Learn More…
SB 244 (Vidak)
Status: August 11 – Approved by the Governor. Chaptered by Secretary of State. Chapter 176, Statutes of 2015. Current law, enacted in 2012, allows a park owner to obtain an injunction against a homeowner who is violating a park rule or regulation, rather than seeking to evict the homeowner. That law would “sunset” (meaning it would no longer be active) at the end of this year. SB 244 would remove the sunset date, and make this provision permanent. Learn More…