Friday, April 15, 2005

Legislative Update on Issues in Nevada and Washington State

Escapees E-News Release

Legislative Update on Issues in Nevada and Washington State

Nevada Senate Bill 412 was introduced into the Nevada Senate to stop overnight RV parking on any public parking lot in the state. The bill was sponsored by campground owners, and they were backed up during committee testimony by representatives of the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC). SB 412 was considered by the committee on government affairs, but due in part to the overwhelming negative response from RVers, it appears that the bill will die in committee. According to a report in the Nevada Appeal, committee Chairman Warren Hardy, R-Las Vegas, stated: "That's a local government issue. I don't think the state should be involved in it."

The Washington State Legislature has been considering two bills dealing with taxation of RVs. HB 1871 proposed that all motor vehicles, including motorhomes and travel trailers, be charged an annual fee of 1.5 cents per pound of vehicle empty weight. SB 6016, a similar bill, was introduced in the Senate, calling for an annual vehicle fee of $20 to $30 and an additional 1.5 cents per pound annual fee for all vehicles. While this is not an RV-only tax, it would add up to a very substantial amount for owners of large vehicles, and RV owners would be contributing a bit more than their fair share, depending on their vehicle’s weight. The House bill appears to have stalled in committee, and the Senate bill has been substituted by a new bill that no longer calls for the 1.5 cents per pound annual fee.

Unfortunately, we’ve just learned of two other bills in the Washington State Legislature that create similar unfair taxation. House Bill 2312 will add a flat $75 per year tax on motorhomes. Senate Bill 6103 calls for a weight tax on motor homes based on dry weight. That weight is multiplied by 150%, and then a table is used to determine the yearly tax. As the bill is currently written, a 15,000-lb. motorhome would be taxed $200 and a 20,000-lb. Motorhome would be taxed $287. It is imperative that Washington State residents contact their state representatives immediately if they wish to prevent passage of these bills.

Your emails and phone calls continue to make the difference in both of these states! We will continue to watch these bills and also will stay on the alert for any other RV-unfriendly legislation and keep you posted. Thank you for adding your voice to ours in support of these issues!

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