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Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) staffers were working late into the evening last night (Feb. 11) with the Congressional delegations from Indiana, Oregon and Iowa – in particular Rep. Joe Donnelly, D-Ind., Rep. Peter A. DeFazio, D-Ore., Sen. Evan Bayh, D-Ind., and Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa – in a quest to have RVs treated more like new cars and light trucks in the final version of the stimulus package, whereby the sales and excise tax on the purchase of new vehicles up to $49,500 is deductible.
It was not immediately clear this morning whether the compromise package contains any of the industry’s requests.
“I’m afraid to say what really happened until everything is published,” said Dianne Farrell, RVIA’s vice president of government affairs. “If we didn’t get in this bill, we can keep trying. There are other vehicles out there.”
Meanwhile, the association sent a letter to Obama Wednesday afternoon thanking him for his visit on Monday to Elkhart, Ind., and lobbying for the friendly tax treatment for new RV purchases.
The letter stated in part, “We strongly support a provision in the Senate stimulus bill that provides a tax deduction for sales and excise tax on new vehicle purchases. A modest modification to this proposal to include recreation vehicle purchases will help stimulate vehicle demand, economic recovery and growth.
“We are encouraging conferees to retain the vehicle purchase tax incentive and to make it applicable to RV purchases as well. We hope that your considerable influence can help bring about this change.”
The letter reiterated the economic fallout caused by the RV industry’s decline. RVIA’s letter stated that since last summer, “manufacturers, suppliers, and dealers have reduced their manpower by 53%. At least 220,000 Americans are now out of work due to the depressed RV market.”