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State Shoots Residents in the Foot. A New Tax Just for Mobilehome Residents? SB3066. The MRL Protection Program Act, heads to the Governor's Desk.

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SB3006 This bill would enact the Mobilehome Residency Law Protection Act. Beginning July 1, 2020, the bill would establish the Mobilehome Residency Law Protection Program within HCD. It is funded by a forced tax on mobilehome tenants, without an opt out. GSMOL is backing the new tax on its members.

The bill has passed both houses and is headed to the Governor's desk. Efforts are underway to educate the Governor about the imprudence of this measure, which is funded by park residents, of referral services. But Park residents well know who to summon for assistance. Referral services, legal aid, bar association, non-profit organizations, are all reaming with lawyers. Referral? It imposes a superfluous burden on those who can least afford it. And there is no exemption for happy residents. Every homeowner pays. It is unclear to many, why "GSMOL" (Golden State Manufactured Home Owners League) is trying to heap more taxes on its members.

The bill requires park owners to pay $10.00 per lot, which may be passed through to the tenants as a further tax on mobilehome tenancies. There is no opt out for happy and satisfied residents. That possibility appears to be shunned. The legislative presumption is that everyone should collectively pay in providing services to a few, based on the possibly insulting premise that tenants have no way to contact a lawyer.

In return for collective payment from park residents, HCD is to provide assistance in resolving and coordinating the resolution of complaints from homeowners relating to the Mobilehome Residency Law, as provided (not just the Mobilehome Parks Act). The bill would require the HCD to refer matters within its jurisdiction to its Division of Codes and Standards and authorize it to refer matters not within its jurisdiction to the appropriate enforcement agency.

Cherry-picking: The further requires HCD to select complaints for evaluation under the program, as provided. The bill would require the HCD to contract with one or more "qualified and experienced nonprofit legal services providers" and, if a complaint submitted to the program is not resolved during a 25-day period for negotiation between management and the complaining party, the bill would require the referral of complaints selected for evaluation to an appropriate enforcement agency or one of those nonprofit legal services providers, as provided.

The bill would require park owners to provide specified information to HCD within 15 business days from the postmark date or electronic transmission of a request for that information and require the imposition of a noncompliance citation of $250 for each failure to comply.

Mobilehome Resident Tax, Without Opt-Out: Beginning January 1, 2019, the bill would require HCD to assess upon, and collect from, the mobilehome park an annual registration fee of $10 for each permitted mobilehome lot. Owners may pass this fee on to the homeowners within the park.

In this example here, it appears the legislature disregards the needs of satisfied residents served in the well-operated mobilehome communities throughout the state. As though the possibility of happy residents who may want to "opt out" do not exist. Is everyone ensconced in a relative state of misery? Based on my 40 years of representing park owners of all kinds, it is just the opposite. A scant few are scripted to be unhappy. But here, the tail is wagging the dog. The legislature and perhaps some residents need a villain as a cohesive force to solidify social action. The park owner is the wrong target. And at a needless cost to the protected class. Inflicting this self-imposed remedy at the heavy burden put on the overwhelming numbers of satisfied residents is merely tilting at windmills.

The WMA seeks a veto to protect park residents from this tax.

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