Business Owner Urges Legislature To Rethink Modular Tax - - The News for South Mississippi

Business Owner Urges Legislature To Rethink Modular Tax

By making the case for modular, a Gulfport business owner hopes to convince state law makers that lowering the tax is the right thing to do. Although it not yet official, Governor Haley Barbour has said he plans call a special session on modular housing.

In the last special session, legislation to reduce the tax never left a house committee. Business owner Edward Callison believes the hold up is a lot of misconceptions about what "modular" means. 

Crews put together a modular home Tuesday at Becky Sue's Gallery of Homes for Edward Callison. He hopes to show potential customers the difference between this house, which can withstand 140 mile winds, and a manufactured home.

"Manufactured home basically comes in on a frame. It has a HUD label with has been inspected by the Housing and Urban Development," said Callison. "Where a modular carries all the inspections that the 2003 building codes that were adopted by all the counties and cities around just like a stick built, site built house."

At a price of about $78 a square foot, Callison believes going modular is a viable solution for the housing crisis.

"I think modular is going to be the answer because its fast and its fairly inexpensive," he said. "We do have a problem right now in that in a site built house you pay no tax, on a manufactured home you only pay 3 percent tax. On a modular it's just like going to Wal-Mart and buying a fan. You're paying 7 percent and that's very unfair to the person who is trying to recover from the storm."

Although the factory built houses come with appliances and the interior already complete, Callison says these homes aren't cookie cutter.

Callison said, "We have all different styles. We've got the ranch style. We've got the Cape Cod two-story.  We're drawing a house right now to go on the beach in Gulfport that will be the old Antebellum style house. It will look just about like the house that she lost."

Although standard modular homes are built to withstand 140 mile per hour winds they can be custom ordered to hold up to 160 miles per hour.

by Danielle Thomas

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