Ed Hooper bill aims to lower costs for mobile home buyers
TALLAHASSEE, FLA. 10/15/19-Sen. Ed Hooper, R-Clearwater, listens to a presentation during the Senate Health Policy Committee meeting, Tuesday at the Capitol in Tallahassee. COLIN HACKLEY PHOTO

At the top of the list is a sales tax exemption for mobile home purchases.

Affordable housing is a major topic of discussion every Legislative Session, though much of the time the conversation is centered on sweeps and raids of Sadowski trust fund money.

With natural disasters and increasing home prices compounding the lack of affordable housing in the state, the conversation heading into the 2020 Legislative Session has been on making sure those trust fund dollars are used for their intended purpose.

Gov. Ron DeSantis recommended as much in his 2020-21 “Bolder, Brighter, Better Future Budget,” released in November, which recognized that “while Florida’s economy remains strong, finding affordable housing can still be a challenge.”

As in his first budget, DeSantis called on lawmakers to fully fund workforce and affordable housing programs. That amounts to $387 million in the 2020-21 spending plan.

But there are strategies lawmakers are considering to alleviate housing prices. A bill filed by Clearwater Republican Sen. Ed Hopper (SB 818) would make several changes to the cost of owning a mobile or manufactured home.

At the top of the list is a sales tax exemption for the domiciles. Under current law, the entire purchase price of a mobile home is subject to sales tax, which can add up quick for such a large purchase.

Hooper’s bill would make it so buyers only have to pay sales tax on half of the purchase price of a mobile home. And, if the mobile home is intended to be permanently affixed to a lot, then the exemption would cover the full purchase price.

The bill also shakes up Florida Mobile Home Act to allow mobile home parks more agility to adapt to changing business conditions, protect their community residents, and provide transparency to future residents and homebuyers.

The bill is scheduled to be heard when the Senate Innovation, Industry and Technology Committee meets on Jan. 13.

Staff Reports

One comment

  • B Stonebridge

    January 14, 2020 at 8:19 am

    SB 818 will help with the initial purchase of a mobile home buy reducing sales tax…….it does not do anything for monthly rent or rental increases. However the negative impact to Fl 723 destroys any legal protection a home owner on rented lot have. Residents sign a Prospectus initially….some residents have lived under their prospectus for years. That is the agreement. Corporate owners are required to follow certain procedures if/when there are any changes….period. If this bill passes the State of Florida will be removing my rights under 723. This bill has very little effect on affordable housing. If the park owners want changes to 723 let’s be very transparent about specific changes and not back door them with SB818

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