A Montana legislator who owns an RV campground has introduced legislation to triple the cost of licensing RVs in Montana.
The proposed law also would add a license surcharge of $500 to $1,000 to RVs over 35 feet, according to the weekly newspaper Hungry Horse News, Columbia Falls.
The bill, by state Rep. Dee Brown, owner of Canyon RV and Campground, Coram, is aimed at out-of-state RV buyers who take advantage of Montana’s tax structure by creating state-sanctioned Limited Liability Corporations (LLCs) to escape paying sales tax when buying RVs and being charged low plate fees when registering them.
“They use our tax laws for their own benefit,” Brown said. “I want to get a few more bucks from the people who are buying the biggest rigs in the business and putting them under corporations in Montana.”
FreedomRoads LLC, a Chicago-based RV retail chain, recently announced that it has hired a lobbyist to try to repeal the law altogether. FreedomRoads Chairman and CEO Marcus Lemonis termed the practice a “form of tax evasion.”
Brown’s bill does not address the issue of LLCs being formed to own motorhomes by people who don’t live in Montana. Rather, license plate fees for a motorhome less than two years old would increase from $250 to $750, regardless who owned the vehicle.
In addition, the legislation would add an annual surcharge of $500 for motorhomes 35 to 40 feet long and $1,000 if they are longer than 40 feet.
The bill would allow Montana residents to recover two-thirds of the fees as credits against their personal income taxes. She said that about 7,000 LLCs are registered owners of motorhomes in Montana.