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Sales tax change could have 'huge impact' on mobile home buyers

Posted January 2, 2014

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— All it takes is a drive through rural North Carolina to see that mobile homes are a big part of the state’s landscape. Census figures show North Carolina ranks fifth in the nation for the percentage of residents who live in them. But this year, buyers might come away with sticker shock, thanks to the impact of a higher sales tax.

The change was part of the General Assembly's tax overhaul, passed last year. It lowers personal and corporate income tax rates but boosts sales taxes on a number of goods and services, including manufactured homes.

Mobile homes have long been popular among low-income earners, and critics say they're the ones who will be hurt the most.

The owners of Vision Homes in Fayetteville say a four-bedroom double-wide costs about $80,000. Before the new year, buyers would have paid no more than $600 in state sales taxes on it. Now, the amount jumps to $3,800.

Before the tax overhaul, the state capped mobile home sales taxes at $300 for a single-wide and $600 for a double-wide. Under the new law, all caps are off.

“It’s a huge impact,” said Carla Emmons, with Vision Homes. “I think it’s going to have a terrible impact on what I consider the blue-collar worker.”

The change could also impact her business. A higher tax charge could mean fewer people opting to go mobile.

“How do we know what the next year is going to hold, because $2,000 to $3,000 is a lot of money for somebody just to wake up and say, ‘Sure, I’ll pay that extra,’” Emmons said.

Potential buyer Samuel Jones said the new law won’t deter him.

“It doesn’t steer me away. I just have to make sure this is what I want,” he said.

Manufactured homes also include modular homes. They were taxed at 2.5 percent and had no caps. They, too, are now taxed at 4.75 percent. That is the state's general sales tax rate, so the new law aims to simplify things and apply that rate across the board.


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  • admin39 Jan 3, 2014

    Mobile homes are death traps. They should be outlawed. The go up in flames in seconds and can't withstand a gust of wind from a spring storm.

  • cybertazet Jan 3, 2014

    Not everyone that lives in a trailer is trailer trash.... Ive seen more trailer trash coming from regular homes. I live in a trailer and I dont act this way. So before you open your mouth and show your ignorance, you need to be educated on proper comments. Some of us can not afford the luxury of a home.
    That doesnt make us bad people. I would rather live in a nicer trailer than in an apt complex that isnt taken care of by the landlord. "They should have done this thirty years ago and we wouldn't have so many of these "trailers" and all the "issues" that come along with them."

  • REPUBLICAN HANS Jan 3, 2014

    They should have done this thirty years ago and we wouldn't have so many of these "trailers" and all the "issues" that come along with them.

  • farm Jan 3, 2014

    Why are y'all saying that people that live in mobile homes are poor. Just because some live within their means does not equal being poor.I know that some are but come on.... Who are the judgmental elitist?

  • brrrrabbitt Jan 2, 2014

    Skinning poor people in mobile home so stick built home owners can get the big fat mortgage deduction that mobile home owners do not have the income to qualify for.

  • GovernmentMule Jan 2, 2014

    When rolled into the mortgage its a very small extra amount, and now they pay under the same rules as everyone else that owns a home. It's called 'skin in the game'.

  • BSEE Jan 2, 2014

    I lived in one when I started out. Nothing wrong with them and I did not get hit by a tornado either. Just leave people alone. They can make an informed decision for themselves.

  • mfarmer1 Jan 2, 2014

    we need to cut spending, and lower the taxes.

    I don't think McCrory will be re-elected.

  • soapbox Jan 2, 2014

    "I will never understand why anyone who is not a millionaire would vote republican." - jonara

    Me neither!

  • brrrrabbitt Jan 2, 2014

    Yes! Vote Republican! They won't raise your taxes. HaHa. Turns out both parties are the same. A disappointed Republican.