New Mexico Tiny House Bill Passes 66-0

Update: This is a horrible bill that now seems aimed at sabotaging the tiny house movement or at the very least exploiting the popularity of tiny houses with excessive taxes.

”Rep. Candie Sweetser (D-Deming) recognized the emergence of the tiny house industry, with her bill to define and allow assessors to review tiny homes. Monday night, her HB 512 passed unanimously by a vote of 66-0.

Tiny homes arrived on the scene in recent years as a creative way for people to live sustainably and own a home without the burden of unmanageable mortgage payments.

“I think this is the beginning of giving tiny homes an avenue to move forward in New Mexico,” Rep. Sweetser said. “This bill facilitates options for New Mexicans who are looking to live in tiny homes.”

Tiny homes have expanded housing opportunities for young people and low income individuals, and have also been proposed to help address homelessness across the country. This bill will begin to address concerns of tiny house contractors and New Mexicans seeking to create a market for alternative housing options. This bill has the potential to support a new industry in the state, creating new jobs in the process.”

Los Alamos Daily Post

Special thanks to Alex and Gail for sending this story to me.

23 thoughts on “New Mexico Tiny House Bill Passes 66-0”

  1. Wow,NM always used to be a progressive state in their views on personal freedom and rights. Have i been lost in the twilight zone or did i just wakeup from a cryogenic sleep. What the hell happened over the past decade?

  2. It was inevitable. Tiny houses were in a legal gray area; these always disappear and get replaced by burdensome white areas or illegal black areas. Accordingly, this bill imposes on Tiny Houses the same regulatory bureaucratic nightmare that regular houses are subject to. That’s all politicians know how to do: make rules. It never occurs to them that too many rules stifle human potential and economic output, because most of them are former lawyers or insurance agents or doctors, and live their whole lives in heavily-regulated worlds. They see this stuff as normal, when in fact it is deeply disruptive to the health of their society (and why everyone hates law, insurance, and going to the doctor).

    Unfortunately, there is no political party in the USA that’s really interested in rolling back these kinds of rules. They’re not flashy or easy to score political points by opposing, so they stick around forever. Republicans make a big stink about it but seemingly only want to get rid of the regulations that are actually important, and Democrats never saw a regulation they didn’t like.

  3. THis bill is MIND BOGGLING!

    Thank you to Ann for all your research and sharing with us.

    Thank you to Owen and Disgruntled for your own truth telling.

  4. It took about 15 seconds of searching online to find the TEXT of New Mexico’s HB 512.

    The VERY FIRST thing the bill does, after defining terms is TAX TAX TAX.

    “7-14-3. IMPOSITION OF MOTOR VEHICLE EXCISE TAX.–An excise tax, subject to the credit provided by Section 7-14-7.1 NMSA 1978, is imposed upon the sale in this state of every vehicle, except as otherwise provided in Section 7-14-7.1 NMSA 1978, park model recreational vehicles and manufactured homes, required under the Motor Vehicle Code to be registered in this state. To prevent evasion of the excise tax imposed by the Motor Vehicle Excise Tax Act and the duty to collect it, it is presumed that the issuance of every original and subsequent certificate of title for vehicles of a type required to be registered under the provisions of the Motor Vehicle Code constitutes a sale for tax purposes, unless specifically exempted by the Motor Vehicle Excise Tax Act or unless there is shown proof satisfactory to the department that the vehicle for which the certificate of title is sought came into the possession of the applicant as a voluntary transfer without consideration or as a transfer by operation of law. The excise tax imposed by this section shall be known as the “motor vehicle excise tax”.”

    The second thing the bill does? TAX Tiny Houses AGAIN!

    This time instead of Motor Vehicle Taxes, they’re going to stick people with higher Personal Property Taxes.

    You have to read the bill carefully in this section because there’s a lot of double negatives going on. They list items that are exempt from being exempted from personal property taxes. Anything to confuse the taxpayer.

    The third thing the bill does? Tells how to valuate Tiny Houses for the purposes of? You guess it. TAXATION!

    “A. Property subject to valuation for property taxation purposes under this article of the Property Tax Code shall be valued by the methods required by this article of the Property Tax Code whether the determination of value is made by the department or the county assessor. The same or similar methods of valuation shall be used for valuation of the same or similar kinds of property for property taxation purposes.

    B. Unless a method or methods of valuation are authorized in Sections 7-36-20 through 7-36-33 NMSA 1978, the value of property for property taxation purposes shall be its market value as determined by application of the sales of comparable property, income or cost methods of valuation or any combination of these methods. In using any of the methods of valuation authorized by this subsection, the valuation authority:”

    So, New Mexico wants it’s money (it’s really our money, but they think it’s theirs. Watch out folks.

    The forth thing the bill does, tells how to valuate more Tiny Houses for Tax Purposes, but I’m not going to quote from this part, this comment is way too long already, and I’m not done.

    The fifth thing the bill does? LEVY FINES for people that don’t tell the government they have a Tiny House. Yes, taxpayers must report themselves to the authorities so that they can come and take their money, or else they’ll take even more money.

    “D. Any person who intentionally refuses to make a report required [of him] under this section or who knowingly makes a false statement in a report required under this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be punished by the imposition of a fine of not more than one thousand dollars ($1,000).

    E. Any person who fails to make a report required [of him] under this section is liable for a civil penalty in an amount equal to five percent of the property taxes ultimately determined to be due on the property for the tax year or years for which [he] the person failed to make the required report.

    F. Any person who intentionally refuses to make a report required [of him] under this section with the intent to evade any tax or who fails to make a report required [of him] under this section with the intent to evade any tax is liable for a civil penalty in an amount equal to twenty-five percent of the property taxes ultimately determined to be due on the property for the tax year or years for which [he] the person refused or failed to make the required report.

    G. The civil penalties authorized under Subsections E and F of this section shall be imposed and collected at the time and in the manner that the tax is imposed and collected. In order to assist in the imposition and collection of the penalties, the assessor having responsibility for determining the value of the property shall make an entry in the valuation records indicating the liability for any penalties due under this section.”

    The sixth thing the bill does is require government departments to report citizens to other government departments the very moment a citizen makes one mistake so multiple government departments can descend upon the citizen and levy more fines and taxes.

    They also input a provision to make sure the government can put a lien on the citizen’s property so they can take money from the citizen if they ever try to sell their Tiny House.

    The seventh thing the bill does is “we’ll be nice about how we take citizen’s money from them” section. They’ll arrange installment payment plans so that the government can squeeze every penny over months and years.

    The eighth thing the bill does is require certifications and registrations, all costing fees, of course.

    I’m getting too depressed to keep counting the ways the New Mexico government is out to take money from Tiny House owners.

    That doesn’t mean New Mexico is done taking money, though.

    They now require “Transport Permits” just to be able to move a Tiny House (and that will be another fee, of course).

    Here’s another quote from the bill that sounds just DANDY for anyone that wants freedom: ” The department shall prescribe the size, shape and content of all temporary registration permits, demonstration permits and transport permits authorized by this section. A temporary registration permit, demonstration permit or transport permit is not valid until affixed to the vehicle for which it is validated in a manner prescribed by the department.”

    So… if you want to move a Tiny House through New Mexico, it has to be SIZE SHAPE AND CONTENT that New Mexico tells you it has to be. If you want to use a slightly different shape, or use different materials, too bad.

    You can ONLY move a Tiny House using a vehicle licensed as a COMMERCIAL VEHICLE. So, unless you own a commercial vehicle, you cannot tow your own house.



      • Thanks again Ann. In hindsight, I should have tracked this down and read it before posting just like I did the tiny house code that came out recently.

        • It’s a day later, and I’ve calmed down a little, but only a little. Reading the text of this bill really ticked me off yesterday. Sorry for my very long rant.

          There is a small bit of hope left.

          This bill has only passed the NM House. It has not passed the New Mexico Senate, nor has it been signed by the Governor.

          There’s still time to rally New Mexico citizens to defeat it.

          That is, if there are enough New Mexico citizens paying attention that care.

          A REAL BILL that was designed to support Tiny House owners would:

          1. Ban minimum square footage limits in local zoning laws. HB512 does NOT. If a citizen wants to live in a 100sqft house on a permanent foundation, why should ANY government FORCE them to live in something bigger?

          2. Make it EASY for a tiny house owner to tow their own home, with whatever vehicle they own that has enough get up and go to get the job done. HB512 does the OPPOSITE.

          3. Prohibit state and local governments from dictating the size shape and content of a tiny house. HB512 does the opposite.

          4. Provide TAX INCENTIVES for owner builders to pull themselves up by their own bootstraps enabling citizens to get off the government dole. HB512 does the opposite and TAXES Tiny House owners out of their own homes, and back on government assistance. It’s also pretty clear from many clauses in the bill that it’s focused on big commercial companies building houses for insane prices and stupid high profits. Not that there’s anything wrong with a company making a profit, but HB512 appears to be written to force citizens to buy some mass produced toxic box instead of building it with their own tools and their own two hands, with the help of friends and family.

          5. Encourage use of reclaimed, salvaged, recycled, and natural materials. If you read between the lines, it’s pretty clear that the intention of HB512 is written to do the opposite and force Tiny Houses to be built with only commercial products that are also taxed.

          6. Be written BY REAL TINY HOUSE OWNERS, and not be written by LOBBYISTS bribing politicians to write garbage bills like HB512. No doubt those LOBBYISTS wrote this bill to make it easier to RIP CITIZENS OFF.

          There’s a list of a few ideas off the top of my head. I’d be interested to see what others think of those I’ve listed, and if anyone has additional ideas to make a GOOD bill.

          It’s NOT too late to DEMAND something better.

          • Thanks Ann. I agree with your ideas. However, I doubt if they care. Politicians are politicians. Once in a great while you’ll find one or two half way honest ones, but that’s about it. That’s why the country is in the state it’s in. The country has been sold out to special interests like these dodgy characters are doing. Their intention is very clear to me. They don’t care for lower income folks. When they’re done taxing these things they’re going to cost nearly $100,000. Seriously, who’s going to buy something so small for that price? I guess some retirees might buy them. And maybe writers, etc. who want a home office. But this bill does practically nothing to address the current housing crisis.

            One really bad aspect of this bill is it would greatly complicate moving tiny houses cross country from CA, TX and CO.

          • The speed limit is posted so some people don’t drive 80 in the snow. Most people would not but might drive 80 on a sunny day.
            Now they can not.
            Regulations that help those that can not help themselves put a speed limit on others lives.
            Please don’t put a speed limit on tiny houses.
            Any regulation will restrict freedom.
            If you want lawful build within regulations if you want freedom do not invite the regulators into our ability to build how/what we want.
            Freedom should not be relegated to regulation.

          • I agree, but I think gov will soon crack down on highway safety at least. There are already reports of swerving tiny houses in wind storms and trailers bouncing off the trailer hitch. Eventually there will be an accident and very likely legislation will appear in every state to ban the transport of tiny houses that are not built up to official standards.

          • fluoridation, low IQ, and overpopulation. I prefer to find a hidden cranny and build it into a nook. The whole driving your house thing is just silly. Get an RV… Speed limit, must slow down…

    • Wow, thanks so much for finding the text. This is a horrible bill. That’s why all 66 bureaucrats so eagerly voted for it. It seems they don’t want tiny houses in NM at all. This makes sense because it competes with the current property taxation system. Their true intent is to make it so costly that tiny house people either stay away from NM or submit to the current system (which is not working for many millions of lower income people). So I will quickly edit my praise for Rep. Sweetster and call her out for a lousy bill. Thank you Ann. And thanks to ‘Slightly Disgruntled’ — the commenter whose suspicion/instinct about this bill was spot on.

    • To live within the law, these days, is to be an equal paying member of lawful tax chattel. If they can’t recoup perpetual incomes from our consumption they will tax our means to legally escape it. It is a non-overconsumption tax/fee to feed the bureaucracy.

      • Your comments do seem to accurately sum up the mess our society is in. It works well for those at the top of the pyramid but is totally unsuitable for the masses at the bottom.

        • The American dream is to persuade citizens of other countries to become immigrants and they get incentives to sign into the social security and tax slavery system.
          Those born as Americans are owned by the state as per birth certificate and it is only tax till death unless they are propagandizing to calm an uprising…
          America was great upon inception but was steadily burdened by external factors until it became a corporation of the crown as “the United States of America” and commonwealth was no more.
          Every town, city, state, and country is run and registered as a corporation.
          A corporation does not care for individuals as its goal is to grow and perpetuate itself.
          The USA of today is not inherently “bad” per se but to think of it as it is represented/misrepresented is to avoid the reality of the situation and denial only helps it perpetrate its will upon its owned populace.
          You as I can be as free as we want in any country since the world is as we make it. – You might just not want to broadcast your success to those that want to bleed you dry or count on those that live off of your tax dollars to not tax you is all…

  5. welcome to the land of taxes, regulations, and paid permits and inspections tiny people.
    another innovation goes from a fringe freedom to an over-popularized pay-to-own bank and commerce regulated commodity.

    • Meanwhile I keep promoting DIY dirt cheap housing and homesteading. Another article should be coming tomorrow for details on $2,000 DIY tiny/small houses.

      • Mine was $1500 with 90% Home Depot and 10% Amish bought (reclaimed) materials but yeah, $2k is much better than the YouTube average $40K for 800sqft…
        Some will benefit but that chance is fleeting quickly as soon the desert will be a littered trailer court of $50,000 tiny houses with backyards of shallow trenched sewage pipes (or back filled shovel burials of holding tank dumps) waiting to pollute everyone in the next flash flood.

        • Maybe, we’ll see. I try to see the bright side also. A LOT of people are seriously hurting right now and new regulations like these give people more options.

          • Take a look at standing rock then think about whether the people in NM have more care, appreciation, or depth about the situation. The water they were saving from oil pipelines is now flooded with their litter and human waste.
            Our society has a people problem and zoning keeps us all piled up on top of each others baggage as we live, breath, and habitate in each others refuse.

          • That’s why I encourage people to live in rural areas. At least there are fewer people to deal with and in general less pollution.

          • Right, I get that, but then city dwellers decide tiny houses for $50k, are trendy, and move to the country where they continue to litter and don’t understand the impact they or their poo has on their surroundings…
            They are fancy fish out of water and they are the cause for this bill and for our need to protect nature with regulations.
            Let them stay in the city and let them think tiny houses are beneath them so we can stay free and unencumbered.

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