Montana Administrative Register Notice 42-1013 No. 23   12/06/2019    
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In the matter of the adoption of New Rule I pertaining to mobile home exemption ownership determination






TO: All Concerned Persons


1. On January 3, 2020, at 11:00 a.m., the Department of Revenue will hold a public hearing in the Third Floor Reception Area Conference Room of the Sam W. Mitchell Building, located at 125 North Roberts, Helena, Montana, to consider the proposed adoption of the above-stated rule. The conference room is most readily accessed by entering through the east doors of the building.


2. The Department of Revenue will make reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities who wish to participate in this public hearing or need an alternative accessible format of this notice. If you require an accommodation, please advise the department of the nature of the accommodation needed, no later than 5 p.m. on December 13, 2019. Please contact Todd Olson, Department of Revenue, Director's Office, P.O. Box 7701, Helena, Montana 59604-7701; telephone (406) 444-7905; fax (406) 444-3696; or todd.olson@mt.gov.


3. The rule as proposed to be adopted provides as follows:


NEW RULE I  MOBILE HOME EXEMPTION OWNERSHIP DETERMINATION (1) As provided in 15-6-241, MCA, certain mobile homes, manufactured homes, or housetrailers are exempt from taxation.

            (2) An owner of three or more mobile homes, manufactured homes, or housetrailers that meet the criteria for the exemption may only receive the exemption on two units with the lowest appraised values, as determined by the department. All non-exempt units remain taxable according to 15-6-134, MCA.

            (3) For purposes of determining ownership in (2), the department shall aggregate properties with similar names and addresses as one owner when the properties reasonably appear to be owned by the same individual(s) or entities. Examples of when similar names and addresses would be aggregated as one owner include properties held under:

            (a) an individual's current legal name;

 (i)  a former legal name, maiden name, and married name;

 (ii) an abbreviated or derivative of a legal name (e.g., Bob for Robert);

 (iii)  nicknames; and

 (iv)  an individual's assumed business name, if applicable; and

 (b) a business entity's name and assumed business name.

            (4) Unique or unusual circumstances of similar ownership will be evaluated by the department on a case-by-case basis.

            (5) This rule is effective for tax years beginning after December 31, 2019.


            AUTH: 15-1-201, MCA

            IMP: 15-6-134, 15-6-241, MCA


REASONABLE NECESSITY: The department proposes to adopt New Rule I to implement 15-6-241, MCA, created by Senate Bill 204 from the 2019 Montana Legislature. The new statute provides an exemption from taxation for mobile homes, manufactured homes, or housetrailers that possess certain attributes in age, value, and classification.

The department proposes to cross-reference statutory authority in (1) regarding the exemption's eligibility requirements, which the department contends is advisable for the benefit of the reader.

The department proposes (2) which confirms the exemption's limitations and clarifies how the department will apply the tax rate for any non-exempt units. The department believes there are taxpayers who own more than three mobile homes, and providing the process and authority for the non-exempt units is necessary for inclusion in rule.

The department proposes (3) to state how the department will review variances in individual and business entity names for determination of ownership and application of the exemption under 15-6-241, MCA.  Resolving variances in how assets are titled is necessary because individuals commonly do not title assets identically and (3) describes the general methodology of how the department intends to complete the task of name aggregation.

The department proposes (4) to provide in unique or unusual circumstances of ownership, the department will review ownership on a case-by-case basis. This provision is necessary because the department believes that unique circumstances may arise that the department could not contemplate, and not providing a means of resolution could be problematic for both the taxpayer and the department.

Lastly, the department proposes (5) to provide an applicable year reference which is current department practice and necessary to advance the applicability of the rule to the entire tax year.


           4. Concerned persons may submit their data, views, or arguments, either orally or in writing, at the hearing. Written data, views, or arguments may also be submitted to: Todd Olson, Department of Revenue, Director's Office, P.O. Box 7701, Helena, Montana 59604-7701; telephone (406) 444-7905; fax (406) 444-3696; or e-mail todd.olson@mt.gov and must be received no later than 5:00 p.m., January 10, 2020.


5. Todd Olson, Department of Revenue, Director's Office, has been designated to preside over and conduct the hearing.


6. The Department of Revenue maintains a list of interested persons who wish to receive notices of rulemaking actions proposed by this agency. Persons who wish to have their name added to the list shall make a written request, which includes the name and e-mail or mailing address of the person to receive notices and specifies that the person wishes to receive notice regarding particular subject matter or matters. Notices will be sent by e-mail unless a mailing preference is noted in the request. A written request may be mailed or delivered to the person in number 4 above or faxed to the office at (406) 444-3696, or may be made by completing a request form at any rules hearing held by the Department of Revenue.


7. An electronic copy of this notice is available on the department's web site at www.mtrevenue.gov, or through the Secretary of State's web site at sosmt.gov/ARM/register.


8. The bill sponsor contact requirements of 2-4-302, MCA, apply and have been fulfilled. The primary bill sponsor was contacted by email on November 5, 2019 and November 20, 2019.


9. With regard to the requirements of 2-4-111, MCA, the department has determined that the adoption of the above-referenced rule will not significantly and directly impact small businesses.



/s/ Todd Olson                                              /s/ Gene Walborn                                        

Todd Olson                                                   Gene Walborn

Rule Reviewer                                              Director of Revenue


Certified to the Secretary of State November 26, 2019.

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