Bill to tax Malibu’s mansionized mobile homes advances in California

Wed Apr 22, 2015 8:34pm EDT
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By Sharon Bernstein

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (Reuters) - Some residents of California's expensive Malibu seaside community have turned mobile homes into luxury dwellings that, because they are technically vehicles, are not assessed for property taxes.

A bill advancing in the state legislature seeks to close that loophole.

"They have been able to avoid taxation by pretending it's a mobile home when it's not," said Los Angeles County Tax Assessor Jeffrey Prang. "It's wrong."

The bill, which unanimously passed a state Senate committee on Tuesday, would require mobile home owners who build foundations around their trailers to register them as personal property rather than as vehicles.

The requirement would only apply to new construction.

Malibu's Paradise Cove and Point Dume Club mobile home parks are holdovers from long before the coastal community became a jet-setters beach paradise.

As prices rose along the beach, these parks on bluffs high above the ocean became more expensive, eventually becoming tony themselves.

Over time, the mobile homes were upgraded with high-end architectural details, and some spread over as many as three tiny lots with foundations dug around the mobile chassis to hold them up.   Continued...