Kosciusko County could rescind mobile home taxes later this year

Mobile homes (with wheels) would no longer be taxed under a proposal currently being considered by Kosciusko County Council. Homes are seen in Westhaven Estates west of Warsaw. News Now Warsaw photo by Dan Spalding.
By Dan Spalding
News Now Warwaw

WARSAW — Many mobile home owners in Kosciusko County may soon no longer have to pay taxes on their residence.

That’s because a new state law allows counties to opt out of collecting taxes for mobile homes that are still on wheels and considered personal property rather than real property.

County Treasurer Michelle Puckett said many officials around the state have been lobbying for the change for years and that she expects many counties to take advantage of the new law.

“Thirty five percent of our mobile homes do not pay their taxes on an annual basis,” Puckett said. “That’s part of the reason why this legislation had so much momentum.”

She said there are more than 8,000 judgements certified through court and another 18,000 judgements sought through collections in Kosciusko County.

“There’s a lot of work and time that goes into assessing, tracking, taxing, collecting — or not collecting — for these mobile homes,” Puckett said.

She also notes the existing judgements would not be off the hook and that the county will continue to seek payment if and when the ownership of the homes are made.

Kosciusko County Council discussed exempting mobile homes under the new law last week. They meet Thursday night, but Puckett said council can not take action until the law takes effect on July 1.

She said she’s unsure how the council will vote, but said she was encouraged to bring it up in July.

She believes it will be considered in early July.

Taxing units in the county would lose out on about $400,000 mobile home tax revenues if the county chooses to exempt mobile homes.

The county receives about $60,000 annually that is placed in the general fund.

Reconsidering after making a change in policy is also something council members need to consider.

“It’s a tough decision because once they make it, it’s going to be very, very difficult to reverse that at any time because when you lose track of all the mobile homes and owners, it would be very difficult to un-do,” Puckett said.