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Winnebago CEO Mike Happe with Sen. Joni Ernst

Winnebago CEO Mike Happe joined the RV Industry Association’s federal affairs team on Tuesday (Jan.8) to advocate for campground modernization and expansiona recreation infrastructure title and a fix to the RV floorplan tax issue.

RVIA News & Insights reported that the team first met with RV Caucus Co-Chair Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA) who has been a consistent supporter of the RV industry and its priorities. Discussion covered a range of topics but focused on the need to fix the floorplan interest deductibility issue. Ernst agreed to reintroduce the Travel Trailer and Camper Technical Corrections Act, a bill that will ensure that towable RVs are included in the floor plan interest financing deductibility provisions of the Tax Cuts and Job Act.

There was more good news to come out of a meeting with the Chief of Staff for Senate Caucus member Senator Tina Smith (D-MN) who said he thought there might be potential for a bill focused on tax extenders that could include the floor plan tax language. Smith’s office was also very interested in expanding rural broadband, an issue that has a lot in common with the effort to expand broadband in certain areas on public lands.

The team also met with senior staff in Senator Martin Heinrich’s (D-NM) office who expressed a strong interest in moving a recreation title as part of any potential infrastructure package. This meeting also included much discussion about the new RV Technical Institute (RVTI) and what kind of support and collaboration the Senator and the state of New Mexico might provide.

“The work being done at the federal level by the RV Industry Association is so important for the entire industry,” said Happe. “And it was clear from our meetings that we have Members of Congress who are willing to support fixing the floorplan tax issue and interested in working with the RV Industry Association and ORR on including a recreation title in any infrastructure package or other appropriate legislation.”