State Creates Central Data Base to Track Manufactured Housing Tax Information

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Under a new state law -- supported by the manufactured housing industry -- the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs will maintain a central data base where tax assessor-collectors can go to determine if all taxes have been paid before an ownership change occurs.

A new Texas law -- supported by the manufactured housing industry -- will provide more safeguards for consumers as well as benefit state taxing authorities by creating a "one-stop resource" for manufactured home title searches.

Under the newly enacted reforms, tax assessor-collectors can go to a central data base for all tax information on a home to determine if all taxes have been paid before an ownership change occurs. The data base will be maintained by the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs http://www.tdhca.state.tx.us.

There are about 760,000 manufactured home owners in Texas. About 110,000 of those homes have been declared to be real property and are taxed as an improvement to the land on which the home is located.

"Previously, this information was available only on a county-by-county basis," said Kevin Ketchum, executive director of the Texas Manufactured Housing Association http://www.texasmha.com. "There is now one place to go to determine if any tax liens exist."

Consumers gained additional protection with a requirement that tax collection on resale of manufactured homes rest with the persons actually owing the tax. In the recent past, taxing authorities sought payment from unsuspecting buyers instead of those who created the tax debt.

"We support the collection of all property taxes," Ketchum said. "We just believe that they should be paid by the people who owe them."

The Legislature also added requirements that all new salespersons receive ethics and regulations training as part of securing an initial license and standardized the consumer protection disclosure form.

"These legislative mandates further strengthen the decisive changes taken in 2003, when the manufactured housing act was overhauled," Ketchum noted. "We believe these reforms will trigger a turn-around in the state's only unsubsidized, affordable housing market."

CONTACTS:    

Kevin Ketchum, 512/459-1221

Mike French, 512/459-1221        

Terry Young, 512/917-9042

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Kevin Ketchum
Texas Manufactured Housing Association
512-459-1221
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