City public sewer/water billing per vacant pad?

I’ve noticed this now on a couple parks which makes the business insolvent. What happened is that tax strapped cities/counties in WA decided that it was ok to bill for every pad in the park, even vacant ones. There is a bill that the MHP association/lobby is trying to pass here in WA that outright makes it illegal unless a pad is filled with a renter. Are you guys seeing the same things in your parks?

No, not in the markets we’re in (Great Plains and Midwest).

I have a park in south texas- in a spot where there is much ‘winter texan’ activity. Snowbirds that head to the texas coast with RV’s and ‘park models’. They have enacted an additional monthly tax via the water department. Each occupied lot is charged $10 per month as a surcharge to our master meter bill. Each month we must provide a rent roll of sorts, show how many lots are occupied. We passed this on to the tenant in the billing, but it is a change from other places we have parks.I understand the fee / tax though. There is a surge for half of the year. This requires additional resources to produce water (infrastructure) and additional personal. It is not like you hire water operators as seasonal employees. So my take on the the surcharge is sort of like a toll… they need some way of making the master meter people pay a fair share for the part time occupants. 

I have spoken to a number of municipalities regarding this issue, and you might want to see if they will not charge you if you would cap the sewer line from vacant homes and lots.

The tax man cometh and the city wants to see your rent roll? At what point is $10 insufficient since in the valley there are thousands of seasonal RVs Governmental agencies have nation wide meetings as to find new ways to tax and discuss how to implement new TAXES. As long as park owners pay and feel comfortable passing it onto their customers there will be many more fees and taxes since government like picking on an easy mark that show little resistance. Slowly but surly taxes, fees, licensees etc. will be major problems facing parks and yes it will affect the bottom line. In Texas the taxes are .2 the selling price or on a $300,000 home the taxes are $6,000 per year, in Ar. !$1,200, Ok. $2,500 for the same house. .

Carl,The city requires each month we provide a list of occupied lots. I think as park owners- if we were really honest about the property tax rates we pay it would be clear in most areas we are a huge drain on the system. Mixed in your property taxes are the fees it takes to operate schools and other projects at the city, county or state level. So take schools. A $1,000,000 park might house 30 kids going to school. To get the same 30 kids living in a regular neighborhood you might be looking at $4,000,000 of real estate value. That places a unfair burden on the home owners compared to the park owners. If you look at taxes broken down as a function of how many residents are supported by the taxes paid, well as park owners we have very little to stand on. In Colorado I pay more property taxes on my house, then my 40 space park in Colorado. My house has 2 kids, my park has 30 at least. While I do not advocate for higher taxes, more fees etc… We know as our city’s, county’s and states age there are costs to running them. If we go back to the valley, is it really that unfair for the snowbirds to pay an extra $10 per month to help support the services they require? Its .30 per day. Costs more to send mail. It is like a use fee as I see it, a toll. I will not be surprised in the future to mobile home parks singled out unless the homes become taxed under a method other than the DMV. Either way- if people are to pay a fair share- it will be a pass through or a direct tax, which- does not solve the problem in the valley which has a huge number of RV sites.

Jim, what is difficult we have parks with NO children and the park owner pays and the mobile home owner pays school taxes. Yes as a citizen we need good schools but as Detroit schools prove with perhaps the highest cost per students the gradation rate is less than 30% which than questions the usage of taxpayers money since their accountability at times is poor. My comments are basically government ALWAYS WANTS MORE and as park owners we need to be careful we are not easy prey for new or increased taxes. Passing on cost to our residents has its limits and in certain cases can harm poorer residents since their are cheaper places like section 8 housing that are promoted by our wasteful government.

Carl,In general I agree with what you have stated, but again things are way more complicated than your making the out to be. Detroit might look like an easy target, but really. The challenges in Detroit stem from the population and productivity peaking in the 1950- while now it has over 1,000,000 fewer residents. The reason for that void is a very complex, and not very popular topic.Back to the point of taxes though- our government is not very good at spending our tax dollars, and feeding the beast is not a good solution. As a country we should be on a diet, but I fear the population in general is more interested in receiving benefits than being fiscally responsible. If the congress would need to apply the same safe act to its own borrowing, it would not qualify.