Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Under a Big Sky, They Turn RVs Into Dodges

MISSOULA, Mont. — In addition to its wide-open skies, roaming grizzlies and world-class fly fishing, Montana has another lure for Californians: the prospect of a tax dodge.

Much to the displeasure of California law enforcement officials, Montana has become a haven for motor home owners who prefer not to pay the Golden State's sales tax when they buy their costly coaches. Montana has no sales tax, and recreational-vehicle aficionados are taking a break from their road maps and AAA Trip-Tiks to set up shell corporations in the state.

Doing so allows them to take advantage of loose registration laws — without having to set foot in Montana — and shave perhaps $20,000 off the cost of a luxury motor home. Enough Californians are doing it to support a cottage industry in Missoula, where a dozen or so people make a living creating tax avoidance plans for RV owners. Full Story...

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