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Indiana RV dealers again will press the Indiana General Assembly to restore an exemption that excluded out-of-state buyers from paying Indiana’s 6% sales tax.
“There are some dealers who are operating in the red this year, at least in part because of the sales tax changes,” said Mark Bowersox, director of recreation vehicles for the Indiana Manufactured Housing Association/Recreation Vehicle Indiana Council (IMHA-RVIC). “We believe most of the legislature supports a full exemption. There are a few hard line people who want to see some statistics first.”
Bowersox and about 15 dealer and manufacturer representatives met with four northern Indiana legislators July 28 to press their case.
A follow-up meeting is likely in August after statistics are gathered on the effect that repealing the exemption may have had on 2004 sales compared to 2003.
Until 2004, Indiana law didn’t require RV dealers to collect taxes on sales made to out-of-state buyers. The circumstance gave Hoosier dealers an advantage over dealers in other states.
In 2004, in the midst of a financial crisis, Indiana budget makers repealed the exemption, and some dealers in northern Indiana reported that sales fell by as much as 40%. The advantage had been particularly keen in northern Indiana where more than 60% of all RVs are manufactured.
During its 2005 session, Hoosier lawmakers partially restored the exemption.
Bowersox said the whole exemption should be restored, and that many lawmakers agree. “We intend to provide the statistics to the few naysayers about what the repeal of the exemption did to sales,” Bowersox said. “I think we are going to be able to reopen the discussion, but it will depend on a few key people if anything is going to be done about it.”