BILL TO KEEP SENIORS AND DISABLED RESIDENTS IN THEIR HOMES PASSES COMMITTEE; SB 1130 ADDS MOBILHOMES TO PROPERTY TAX RELIEF PROGRAM

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East County News Service

April 11, 2018 (Sacramento) -- Legislation authored by Senator Connie M. Leyva (D-Chino) that will help keep California senior, blind and disabled residents in their homes if and when they encounter financial difficulties passed from the Senate Governance and Finance Committee earlier today with strong bipartisan support.

SB 1130 would specifically add mobilehomes to a state property tax postponement program so that low-income senior citizen, blind and disabled manufactured home owners would be eligible to apply for postponement of their property taxes.  The Property Tax Postponement Program, first enacted in 1977, originally provided property tax relief to eligible senior citizens, and was later expanded to include blind and disabled persons.  Under the program, eligible Californians could defer payment of property taxes by requesting that the State Controller pay the deferred amount to the county. The State Controller recovers payment by securing a lien on the property, ensuring repayment of deferred property taxes with accrued interest upon sale of the home, when the title changes hands, or when the homeowner has died or moved.

“SB 1130 will help to keep seniors and disabled Californians in their homes at a time when they need that help most,” Senator Leyva said.  “As I represent approximately 20,000 residents in over 120 mobile home parks in the 20th State Senate District, I was disappointed to learn that mobilehomes were not included in the recently reinstated program. SB 1130 will correct that omission so that eligible manufactured home residents do not risk losing their home when they have trouble paying their property taxes.”

As sponsor of the legislation, California State Board of Equalization (BOE) Vice Chair Fiona Ma, CPA notes the importance of helping to keep low-income Californians in their homes.

“Seniors and disabled persons barely getting by on meager incomes should not have to also worry about losing their homes. As leaders in California, our responsibility is to represent all those in need, regardless of the type of home they have. We need to include manufactured homes in the Property Tax Postponement Program again to ensure those that need us most do not lose their homes on our watch,” said Board of Equalization Vice Chair Ma.

Funding for this successful program was cut during the economic downturn and subsequent budget cuts.  The program itself was suspended as part of cost-cutting measures during state budget negotiations in 2009.  The Legislature approved reinstatement of the Property Tax Postponement Program in 2014, though it removed mobile homes from eligibility in the process, leaving mobile home owners—many of whom are lower income seniors, blind and/or disabled—vulnerable to a tax sale of their homes.

SB 1130 will next proceed to the Senate Appropriations Committee for consideration.