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County of Madera


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Valuation of Manufactured Homes (Not on a Permanent Foundation) For California Property Tax Purposes

A frequently asked question regarding Manufactured Homes (Mobile Homes) assessment is why the Assessor appears to ignore sales price when establishing assessed value. The methodology used to appraise Mobile Homes, Modular Homes and Manufactured Homes comes directly from the California Revenue and Taxation Code as interpreted by the State Board of Equalization (BOE). The Board establishes guidelines and parameters for assessors to follow in order that an appraisal made by the Madera County Assessor's Office will be consistent with those of the other 57 counties in the state. Some pertinent rules and regulations set forth by the Board are noted below.

The general basis of our valuation methodology can be found in Revenue and Taxation Code Section 5803(b). Any changes in the law concerning the appraisal of Manufactured Homes that you would like to see should be addressed to your California Legislative Representative and NOT to the County Assessor, as we have no authority to do other than what the law specifies.

The following excerpts are taken from both a State Board of Equalization's Letter to Assessors No. 93/35, dated July 7, 1993, and from Revenue and Taxation Code.¹

Section 5803(b) of the Revenue and Taxation Code specifically provides that the assessed value of a manufactured home located on rented or leased land is not to include any increase or decrease in value attributable to the particular site where the manufactured home is located. Section 5803(b) reads:

"The Legislature finds and declares that, because owners of manufactured homes subject to property taxation on rented or leased land do not own the land on which the manufactured home is located and are subject to having the manufactured home removed upon termination of tenancy, 'full cash value' for purposes of subdivision (a) does not include any value attributable to the particular site where the manufactured home is located on rented or leased land which would make the sale price of the manufactured home at that location different from its price at some other location on rented or leased land.

In determining the "full cash value" of a manufactured home on rented or leased land, the assessor shall take into consideration, among other relevant factors, cost data issued pursuant to Section 401.5 or sales prices listed in recognized value guides for manufactured homes, including, but not limited to, the National Automobile Dealers Association's Manufactured Housing Appraisal Guide.

Among the general provisions governing interpretation of the Revenue and Taxation Code is Section 16. This section provides in part that "shall" means it is mandatory.

Letter to Assessors No. 93/35 goes on to state that, "The effect of the site upon the sale price of a manufactured home can be either positive or negative." Section 5803 (b) states that the full cash value of a manufactured home excludes any value attributable to the particular site. Thus, the assessor must not include any 'add-on' value for positive site influence in the assessment of the manufactured home."

Moreover, in situations where negative site values exist, it is the site, not the manufactured home, that is entitled to a reduction in value. Such negatively impacted sites cannot command the same rental level as comparable sites that do not face the same adverse consequences. As a result, the manufactured home owners pay reduced rents for the negative sites, but they should pay proportional taxes on the manufactured homes, per se, because the homes perform as constructed without any decrease in value."

Letter to Assessors No. 93/35 also discusses the three traditional approaches to valuation: Replacement Cost, Comparable Sales, and the Income Approach. It concludes that:

"Clearly, of the approaches to value described above, the replacement cost approach, using an indicator from a recognized value guide plus the value of all manufactured home accessories, buildings and structures (this includes items such as skirting, awnings, cabanas, storage cabinets, porches, flatwork, carports, garages, storage sheds, and landscaping, etc.) best provides the assessor with a value free of site value. Obviously, this approach is also best in ensuring compliance with the legislative directive to consider the value indicated by a recognized value guide."

In recognition of the mandatory requirements of Section 5803(b), the Madera County Assessors Office uses the following cost guides to arrive at a value conclusion:

  • State Board Of Equalization Assessor's Handbook Section 531.35
  • National Automobile Dealers Association's (NADA) Manufactured Housing Appraisal Guide
  • Marshall & Swift Residential Cost Handbook for Manufactured Housing.

We believe that the use of the above guidelines is the legally correct method of determining the assessed value of Manufactured Homes for property tax purposes.

¹ LTA 93/35 is available in its entirety at

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Contact the Assessor

200 W. 4th Street
Madera, CA 93637
Fax: (559)675-7654
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Office Hours: 8:00am to 5:00pm

Assessor's Department Staff Spotlight

Jacquelyn Nieves - Assessor Staff Spotlight

J. SPOTLIGHT_20141009_140906 How long have you worked for the County? 7 1/2 years
What do you like most about your job? Serving the community and working with great people.
Why did you decide to work for the County? I saw an awesome opportunity for learning, growth and advancement.
What is your most memorable accomplishment during your County career? Becoming a valued employee and being entrusted with a wide variety of responsibilities.
When I'm not at work you can find me...Engrossed in some art project, cooking, sewing, and doing community work with my congregation.
What was your first job?  I was a waitress in a Chinese restaurant in Los Angeles.
What is your favorite food? Always chocolate!
What is your favorite kind of music? My husband and I DJ'd for a few years, so I love variety - especially good dance music in-the-mix!
What is your favorite sports team? I'm more into art than sports, but I enjoy watching a good game with great friends.
If you were to travel anywhere in the world for a dream vacation, where would it be? To Uruguay, South America with my husband to see where he grew up and meet his family.
Where do you see yourself in five years? Happily retired, close to my parents and family in Arizona.

General County Contact

General County Contact
200 W. 4th Street
Madera, CA 93637
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Use this number to get general information about the County or County departments.  

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