County losing revenue due to delinquent mobile home owners

Published 9:02 am Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Property owners, beware– if you have a mobile home sitting on your property, you should make sure it is properly registered and the property taxes are paid on it, or those property taxes will be added to the landowner’s property tax bill, according to Crenshaw County Revenue Commissioner Sherry McSwean.

“We have many people living in manufactured housing in the county who may not even realize that they are responsible for paying property taxes on that mobile home just like any other building, business, or structure,” she said.

McSwean said that once mobile home owners pay their property taxes, they then receive a decal that is to be placed in their window to let people know they are in compliance with the law.

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“We also have a lot of property owners who allow relatives or friends to place a mobile home on their property, and may not know that the mobile home must be registered and the taxes paid on it as well,” she explained. “If the taxes on the mobile home are not paid, we will assume that the mobile home belongs to the original landowner, and he or she will be billed for the taxes,” McSwean said.

She added that some owners of manufactured houses will come to the Revenue Commissioner’s office and register their mobile home, pay the registration fees (which are the equivalent of property taxes), but they won’t return the following year to pay the property taxes that are then due.

“Property taxes on manufactured homes must be paid annually just like any other home, building, or structure,” McSwean said.

To register your mobile home, owners must bring in a bill of sale as well as a title if it is a 1991 or newer model, to the Revenue Commissioner’s office in the Crenshaw County courthouse.

The Revenue Commissioner’s office sends out notices every Oct. 1st reminding owners that property taxes are due, McSwean said; delinquent notices are then sent out in January.

“We will be glad to help anyone and answer any questions they may have in order to help them through this process,” she said. “But we have some people who have been sitting on property without paying taxes for up to 10 years in this county.”

McSwean said that if you own the mobile home but not the land and you are 65 years of age or over, or if you are disabled, then you are exempt from the registration fees; however, mobile home owners still must pay the $5 issuance fee for the decal.

“If they are delinquent in paying their registration fees, they have then forfeited their over-65 exemption or disability exemption for that particular year,” she explained.

“Some people have even been told things such as if they take the axles off, they won’t have to pay property taxes, but that’s just not true,” McSwean said. “It’s better to be in compliance with the law than to be charged the penalties in addition to the regular property taxes.”

For more information, contact the Revenue Commissioner’s Office at 335-6568, Ext. 231-234.