Manufactured home park residents enjoy the benefits of low cost homeownership, but as long as they are forced to rent the space on which their home sits, they remain vulnerable. That’s why HPP has supported the work of North Country Foundation (NCF) to assist these MH resident communities in converting from investor ownership of these parks to resident-controlled cooperatives.
In 2009, NCF asked for HPP’s help. The Paul Revere and Sunrise MH cooperatives were both being adversely affected by the way the counties and the Minnesota Department of Revenue were interpreting a state law designed to give MH park cooperatives the benefit of homestead tax status. The state’s interpretation essentially denied all MH park cooperatives the benefit of homestead status, despite the clear intent of the Legislature to provide otherwise. HPP filed suit in Tax Court on behalf of the residents of both cooperatives. Meanwhile, the Department of Revenue inserted language in the omnibus tax bill during the legislative session which essentially adopted their interpretation of the law. When HPP and its allies discovered the language, we were able to successfully persuade the Tax Committee to remove the language. As a result, the Revenue Department finally agreed to sit down with NCF, HPP and the residents to try to resolve the issue. What came out of that was new legislation adopted by the Legislature which provides what the residents have wanted the same kind of beneficial homestead tax treatment for MH park coops that other Minnesota homeowners enjoy.
The two lawsuits are still moving forward, but at least we know that for the future, this problem as been fixed. In the case of the Paul Revere Coop, this can mean a savings of up to nearly $20,000/year.