Government Interference & Theft


#1

Friends -

My park pre-dates the local city that has grown up around us here in Oklahoma. When I purchased the park my attorneys and the former owner, etc. all said I was ‘grandfathered-in’ and exempt from the town’s new zoning (and other) rules like having to have paved roads and larger lots (my newer competition that came into existence after the town was established has to conform to these rules).

The town has just passed a resolution requiring a $30 fee per new home brought into the park so they can inspect the home and look at the title. This is total BS, the town has nothing to do with the titling process (the DMV does that). Basically my local town just wants to steal $30 from me for each home I bring in.

So my question is, is it possible to fight this sort of theft? The City never told me about this resolution, never allowed me to provide input on it. If they have the right to charge $30 per home this year, what would keep the city from raising their theft amount to $3,000 per home next year?

Any advice?

-Jefferson-


#2

Does your area tax mobile homes?

If so, it may be the local city argument that homes have been moved and sold without the taxes being paid to the locale from which it left.

I don’t like the fee either. In my case they already hit us for a few hundred bucks in inspections, then the come up with “Storm water fees” per property within the city limits.

It all boils down to a tax by another name.

Fighting city hall will likely make you more angry and older but if you have it in you, more power to you. I get exhausted too easily by red tape perhaps.

Tony


#3

Jefferson,

My county recently passed the same BS to hit the builders when building was hot. They call it an impact fee. We all know its nothing more than a tax and revenue generator ($1,100.00 per home). It was not till after it passed that I found out it included manufactured homes. There was a loophole, since my MHC was already established I will not have to pay any new fees on any new or used homes I bring in on already established lots but if I open a new lot then I pay the fee. Best of luck.

Sam


#4

Your time & money are more than likely better spent fighting another battle.

Make it an uneven $35.00 & buy a dozen donuts, and go build rapport.

If you get these folks on your side, they will, well, be on your side, so to speak.

$30. is not enough to make enemies over, & will not buy 10 gallons of gas now.

Donuts, not just for law enforcement anymore (sorry Tony).

$.02 , mine, Ricky Lee


#5

Jefferson,

I’ll trade you - our “impact fees” just went from $13,000 per lot/home to $15,000 per lot. Yep - doesn’t matter if you put in a $7,000 used single-wide or a $4,000,000 mansion - same impact fee. Ernest used to call this “government extortion”. My lot improvement budget including government extortion fees is currently $30,000 per site - this means I need to sell new double-wides for $60,000 just to break even!

Karl


#6

as am I and these impact fees are a necessay evil here.

When I moved here in 2002 impact fees were $1100. Bad enough they are now $9,420. It is theft by ant other name.

Karl is right…you can build a 5M home or place a 5K mobile on an undeveloped lot and the impact fee is the same…it is a VERY regressive tax.

We had a young couple in our office in December and they were so excited. Their parents had kicked in 30K for a very nice 1 acre lot in a killer subdivision for a wedding gift. This story doesn’t end well I’m afraid. Before they buy and place a home on this lot they had these expenses:

  1. $9,420 Impact Fee

  2. $9,700 price for well, septic, power pole

  3. $2,310 for concrete driveway apron from road.

  4. $980 for permits.

Or 22.5K!!! And this with a “free” lot. The home they wanted was 29.9 K delivered and set and this doesn’t include skirting, A/C hookups, steps or decks, landscaping. They had 10K cash and we tried for two weeks to finance them to no avail even with co-signers with mid 700 scores.

Any Bank was willing to finance once the home was placed and fully occupied but all vendors and ourselves needed to be paid prior to placement of home.

The lot is on the market in today’s paper for 25K cash and hasn’t sold in 5 months.

This impact fee in your area will grow…ours started at $155 in 1996. Lee County here in Florida has the highest at 22K and this is going up to 24.5K in 4 months.

Good Luck Jefferson,

Greg


#7

What’s worse is the politicians that stand up and scream that they are doing everything in their power (whatever the heck that means) to provide “affordable housing.”

Yet when they tax/steal/fee us the same to set up a trailer or a McMansion, we as investors have to decide where our true profit is.

Yes, for many of us here, we are going to try for mobile homes but think what a true developer would do. Would they put that same money into a trailer to make 10’s of thousands of dollars profit or into a McMansion for 100’s of thousands of dollars in profits?

Next we take a gander at what the economy and real estate market is doing. The market slows, foreclosures go up, banks run scared or their own decisons and blame it on everyone but themselves.

Suddenly all these builders with 100’s of thousands of dollars into a developement of a lot and home are unable to sell. Spec built homes sold like hotcakes here for years. These homes would literally sell above asking price, with mulitiple offers before they were finished.

Now there are quite a few builders here sitting on spec built homes they cannot unload. A good friend of mine has been sitting on several million dollars worth of completed, spec built homes he has not been able to sell for over a year.

While I do not spec(ulate) when I develop, I have about had enough of the fees and hassles most have described here, last me a lifetime. Too much headache for so little profit.

I have one development deal that I will probably retire with and still barely do better than break even all because they city decided to consider our are for annexation. This means we are in the “Extended Territorial Jurisdication” of the city. We are not in the city. We do not receive any benefits of this status. We do however now have to use all their rules anyways. Guess what they don’t want? Mobile home park where we bought this one.

And yet… they all got elected because they were in favor of “doing everything they can” to provide for affordable housing.

Maybe we should put a McMansion on it and name it after a politician.

Tony


#8

but is the exact story here in marion county Florida. Our BOC (board of county commissioners) consist of two premier home builders and 3 real estate brokers.

They have done everything possible to get folks out of mobiles on land and into concrete block homes.

In lake County they finally made it illegal to place any singlewide home on private land. Even 16X80’s. Folks that have 'em can keep 'em but they can not be replaced with a singlewide. Within 5 years it will be the same with doublewides. 26% of the county live in mobile homes so they are moving slowly so as not to anger large groups of voters all at once.

There are well over thirty MHP’s in Florida being closed down due to HBU. The taxing authorities would much rather see 150 condos on this land than a 150 space Park. One project has 24 of these condos as “mandated low income housing”. They are ground floor units and sell for $375-$425K each with $375 per month association fees. My question was who are these homes affordable to? To qualify for a 400K loan and association fees of $375K per month with 20%down you would have payments of $2300 per month Principal, Interest, and Association Fees. Add in Insurane and Property Taxes add another 1K minimum so a loaded housin payment of $3300. A person would need net monthly income of 7K and less than 15% of this County has this income.

This means these homes are being built for wealthy, out of State folks looking for a retirement home. It prices local folks out of the market altogether. The County loves the higher taxes so this dynamic is continuing and accelerating. Not a good thing at all for young folks just starting out or for folks on fixed income displaced from the original Park used to paying $375 per month lot rent.

We will continue to place mobiles on land and either rent out or sell on Contract…there will always be a demand for this type of housing…even in Florida.

Greg


#9

In little old sunny Paso Robles CA it would cost you just short of $50K for sewer, water, impact fees, and plan check. I love paying less than a $1000. NC