B-170954, NOV. 19, 1970

B-170954: Nov 19, 1970

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WE CONCUR WITH YOUR VIEW THAT THE TRANSFER FEE OF $35 IS SIMILAR TO AN ASSUMPTION FEE FOR AN EXISTING LOAN AND THUS NONREIMBURSABLE UNDER BUREAU OF THE BUDGET CIRCULAR NO. WE ALSO AGREE THAT THE CLAIMED SALESMAN'S COMMISSION OF $131.46 IS NOT A PROPER SUBJECT FOR REIMBURSEMENT AS SECTION 4.2A OF REVISED CIRCULAR NO. WE ARE ALSO IN ACCORD WITH YOUR DETERMINATION TO DENY REIMBURSEMENT FOR DELIVERY CHARGES OF $300 FOR THE HOUSE TRAILER. WAS BASED ON A CLARIFICATION OF SECTION 4 OF CIRCULAR NO. SO AS TO INDICATE THAT THE REIMBURSEMENT OF EXPENSES AUTHORIZED FOR RESIDENCE TRANSACTIONS (PURCHASE AND SALE OF RESIDENCES) WAS INTENDED TO INCLUDE THE PURCHASE AND SALE OF TRAILERS USED AS RESIDENCES.

B-170954, NOV. 19, 1970

CHANGE OF OFFICIAL STATION - PURCHASE OF MOBILE HOUSE TRAILER - REIMBURSABLE FEE DECISION ALLOWING REIMBURSEMENT FOR CALIFORNIA MOTOR VEHICLE TAX AND TITLE TRANSFER FEE INCURRED IN THE PURCHASE OF A MOBILE HOUSE TRAILER INCIDENT TO CHANGE OF OFFICIAL STATION FROM NORTH FORK, CALIF., TO GREENVILLE, CALIF. BOTH THE MOTOR VEHICLE USE TAX AND THE TITLE TRANSFER FEE MUST BE CONSIDERED TAXES INCIDENT TO THE ACT OF TRANSFERRING TITLE (AND THUS REIMBURSABLE) AND NOT PROPERTY TAXES ON THE ARTICLE ITSELF.

TO MR. D. W. RAAKA:

WE REFER TO YOUR LETTER OF SEPTEMBER 24, 1970, YOUR REFERENCE 6540, REQUESTING A DECISION AS TO WHETHER THE ENCLOSED VOUCHER OF MR. VERN L. NEAL, AN EMPLOYEE OF THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE, FOREST SERVICE, FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF ENUMERATED ITEMS IN CONNECTION WITH A RESIDENCE TRANSACTION INCIDENT TO A CHANGE OF OFFICIAL STATION IN NOVEMBER 1969 FROM NORTH FORK, CALIFORNIA, TO GREENVILLE, CALIFORNIA, MAY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT.

THE RECORD INDICATES THAT MR. NEAL, UNABLE TO LOCATE A HOUSE IN GREENVILLE, CALIFORNIA, PURCHASED A MOBILE HOUSE TRAILER IN SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA, FROM GREAT WESTERN TRAILER SALES AND INCURRED CERTAIN EXPENSES FOR WHICH HE CLAIMS REIMBURSEMENT.

WE CONCUR WITH YOUR VIEW THAT THE TRANSFER FEE OF $35 IS SIMILAR TO AN ASSUMPTION FEE FOR AN EXISTING LOAN AND THUS NONREIMBURSABLE UNDER BUREAU OF THE BUDGET CIRCULAR NO. A-56, SECTION 4.2D, REVISED JUNE 26, 1969, AS BEING A FEE DETERMINED AS PART OF A FINANCE CHARGE UNDER THE TRUTH IN LENDING ACT, TITLE I, PUBLIC LAW 90-321, AND REGULATION Z, SECTION 226.4, B-168870, FEBRUARY 13, 1970.

WE ALSO AGREE THAT THE CLAIMED SALESMAN'S COMMISSION OF $131.46 IS NOT A PROPER SUBJECT FOR REIMBURSEMENT AS SECTION 4.2A OF REVISED CIRCULAR NO. A -56 EXPRESSLY DENIES SUCH COMMISSION IN CONNECTION WITH THE PURCHASE OF A RESIDENCE AT THE NEW OFFICIAL STATION.

WE ARE ALSO IN ACCORD WITH YOUR DETERMINATION TO DENY REIMBURSEMENT FOR DELIVERY CHARGES OF $300 FOR THE HOUSE TRAILER, AS THE REIMBURSEMENT UNDER THE COMMUTED RATE SYSTEM FOR TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS PRECLUDES FURTHER REMUNERATION.

AS TO THE CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF MOTOR VEHICLES USE TAX AND TITLE TRANSFER FEE, YOU REFER TO DECISIONS B-164078, 47 COMP. GEN. 687, MAY 28, 1968, AND B-166958, 49 COMP. GEN. 15, JULY 9, 1969, AND ASK WHETHER THESE ITEMS SHOULD NOW BE CONSIDERED UNDER SECTION 4 (RESIDENCE TRANSACTIONS) INSTEAD OF SECTION 3 (MISCELLANEOUS EXPENSE ALLOWANCE) OF CIRCULAR NO. A- 56, REVISED. THE DECISION OF MAY 28, 1968, HELD THAT THE CALIFORNIA USE TAX ON THE PURCHASE OF A TRAILER SHOULD BE REGARDED AS A PART OF THE MISCELLANEOUS EXPENSE ALLOWANCE, WHEREAS THE DECISION OF JULY 7, 1969, ALLOWED REIMBURSEMENT OF A BROKERAGE FEE IN THE SALE OF A TRAILER AS AN EXPENSE INCIDENT TO A RESIDENCE TRANSACTION. OF COURSE, THE LATTER DECISION, AS YOU POINT OUT, WAS BASED ON A CLARIFICATION OF SECTION 4 OF CIRCULAR NO. A-56, JUNE 26, 1969, SO AS TO INDICATE THAT THE REIMBURSEMENT OF EXPENSES AUTHORIZED FOR RESIDENCE TRANSACTIONS (PURCHASE AND SALE OF RESIDENCES) WAS INTENDED TO INCLUDE THE PURCHASE AND SALE OF TRAILERS USED AS RESIDENCES.

SECTION 4.2D OF THE CIRCULAR PROVIDES FOR THE ALLOWANCE OF EXPENSES FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF MORTGAGE OR TRANSFER TAXES. THIS, IN EFFECT, IS A REIMBURSEMENT FOR AN EXCISE TAX ON THE ACT OF TRANSFERRING THE TITLE AND RIGHTS OF OWNERSHIP, NOT A PROPERTY TAX UPON THE ARTICLE ITSELF. SHOULD BE NOTED THAT THE CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF MOTOR VEHICLES USE TAX IS ALSO NOT A PROPERTY TAX, BUT AN EXCISE TAX, FOR REVENUE PURPOSES, DOUGLAS AIRCRAFT CO. V JOHNSON, 13 C2 545, 90 P2 572, 575 (1939). IT MAY BE SAID TO BE A NECESSARY INCIDENT TO THE REGISTRATION OF THE TRAILER SO AS TO MAKE IT LEGALLY HABITABLE AS A RESIDENCE AS WELL AS A PREREQUISITE TO THE EXERCISE OF THE RIGHTS OF OWNERSHIP IN THE PROPERTY. IN VIEW THEREOF SUCH USE TAX IS TO BE REGARDED AS A CHARGE OR FEE SIMILAR TO A TRANSFER OR MORTGAGE TAX AND THUS A PROPER OBJECT FOR REIMBURSEMENT UNDER SECTION 4 OF THE CIRCULAR RATHER THAN SECTION 3.

WITH RESPECT TO THE $3 CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF MOTOR VEHICLES TITLE TRANSFER, THIS WOULD ALSO FALL WITHIN THE PURVIEW OF SECTION 4.2D AS A TRANSFER TAX; IT BEING A TAX UPON THE ACT OF TITLE TRANSFER TO EVIDENCE OWNERSHIP RIGHTS OVER CERTAIN PROPERTY, AND MAY BE REIMBURSED.

WE RESUBMIT THE VOUCHER TO YOU FOR CERTIFICATION FOR PAYMENT IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE AFOREMENTIONED DETERMINATIONS.