Dickens Moans, but Equity Lifestyle Properties had already done the right thing

bay-indies-manufactured-home-community-els-creditheraldtribune-posted-daily-business-news-mhpronewsWhen two Sarasota Florida area manufactured home communities had their tax appraisals, property owner Equity Lifestyle Properties (ELS) appealed the stiff jump in what the county Value Adjustment Board wanted. The appeal was successful. It saved Bay Indies MHC residents some $96,000 according to the HeraldTribune. The nearby Lake Village land lease community also won their appeal in a similar challenge, saving residents there about $105,000 in taxes that are normally passed through to the home owners. At Bay Indies, taxable value per the county rose from $38.5 million to $47.5 million, or about a 23.5 percent. At Lake Village, the value has supposedly increased from $11.4 million to $19.5 million, or 71.5 percent. This sparked ELS’ ultimately successful appeal. But that might have been missed if the only facts brought to light were the allegations of Ishbel Dickens. “The homeowner loses out every time,” says Dickens, executive director of the National Manufactured Home Owners Association (NMHOA), based in Seattle. “When owners pass along the taxes, rents go up, creating the illusion that income and the value of the park has gone up…It creates its own dilemma. Their homes aren’t increasing in value. They’re decreasing more in value as the rent goes up. The homeowner is trapped.” Dickens says. But the facts of the case betray Dicken’s allegation, as ELS not only appealed, but won. Reasonable community property owners want to make it as easy as possible for residents to afford their home-site, so there is a significant degree in the commonality of goals between residents and community owners.  Groups  like NMHOA either misunderstand – or some community owners alleged, deliberately distort – that common interest in resident well being, in order to keep and attract more members. Unfortunately, too often in the media only hear or report one side of the issue, at least in this case, facts presented painted a picture that a discerning person can better understand. ##

(Photo credit: HearldTribune)

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