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For the second time in two months, a coalition of RV enthusiasts and industry associations has waged a successful e-mail campaign to defeat attempts by legislators in Washington state to impose tax increases on RV owners.
In the latest victory, RV enthusiasts succeeded in persuading Washington legislators to back away from a proposal to extend the state’s weight-based commercial truck tax to motorized RVs. Had it been approved, motorhome owners would have faced annual taxes of several hundred dollars, depending on the weight of their vehicle.
“I believe that the Internet made it possible for us to wage a timely battle plan,” said Bob Gummersall, the state government affairs committee chairman for the Family Motor Coach Association (FMCA). “We could not have done it without having the ability to e-mail our members when action was required.”
FMCA has been fighting proposed RV tax hikes in Washington along with the Good Sam Club, the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA), the Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA) and the Airstream owners group, Gummersall said.
Sue Bray, executive director of the Good Sam Club, said it’s critical for RV owners to work together to fight discriminatory legislation. “Obviously, the state needs to raise funds for roads and other transportation issues, but RVers should not have to bear the burden through unfair taxes and fees,” she said.
In March, FMCA, RVIA, RVDA, Good Sam, the Airstream owners group and other organizations worked together to defeat a controversial RV excise tax proposal that, if implemented, would have forced Washington state RV owners to pay an annual 0.8% excise tax on the fair market value of their vehicles.
Washington legislators said the tax was needed to revive Washington’s cash-strapped state parks. But RV commercial and consumer groups successfully argued that the burden of financing Washington’s state parks should not fall solely on the backs of RVers.