Under Tennessee Law, mobile homes are assessed as real property, as an improvement to the land where that mobile home is located, whether on property owned or leased by the mobile home owner or on a lot or pad in a mobile home park where the owner is renting or leasing a space. A key date to remember is January 1st, which is the statutory “date of assessment.” Because by definition a mobile home is “moveable,” the possibility exists that it could be located in more than one jurisdiction during any given year. To prevent it from being assessed for taxes by multiple jurisdictions, a mobile home is assessed in the county where it is physically located on January 1st, no matter how long it remains on site after that date.
The mobile home owner is responsible for paying property taxes on the mobile home, regardless of its location. Because the mobile home is assessed as an improvement to their property, the mobile home park owner will receive a tax bill that includes the taxes for all mobile homes in their park. However, the mobile home owner is responsible for paying the taxes attributed to their mobile home. At the park owner’s discretion, this can be done in a lump sum or included in the monthly collection of any rents or dues.
Mobile homes owned by non-resident, active duty service personnel in Tennessee on military orders are considered “personal property” in accordance with the Soldiers and Sailors Civil Relief Act, and therefore are exempt.
In December of each year, the Assessor of Property furnishes each mobile home park owner in the county a report form to list all mobile homes located in their park as of January 1st. It is the duty of the mobile home park owner to correctly list each mobile home by make, model, size, original cost, etc. and return that report, along with certification of any military exemptions, to our office no later than April 1st.
While the purchase price can be one indicator of value for a particular mobile home, the amount paid does not necessarily equal the market value. Considerations such as repossessions, sale prices and discounts, family sales, and sales where land or furnishings are involved, often make the purchase price unreliable as the fair market value of a mobile home.
Our office is responsible for equalizing values and making uniform assessments of all mobile homes in the jurisdiction. The values assigned for tax purposes are developed using uniform standards for quality, size, and depreciation. If a mobile home is properly listed (age, size, etc.), the results will approximate the current market value, but more importantly, they will ensure a fair and equal assessment for every taxpayer who owns a similar mobile home.