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Campground Owner Walks Tightrope on Tax Issue

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July 2, 2012 by   - () Leave a Comment

Bob French has found himself stuck in the middle of a quagmire over whether towns should assess tax levies on recreational vehicles at campgrounds.

He’s the owner of Mile-Away Campground in Henniker, N.H., and doesn’t want his taxes to go up. He’s also a town selectman who thinks it’s silly to levy property taxes on RVs, the New Hampshire Union Leader reported.

When the subject of whether to assess campgrounds came up during Board of Selectmen meetings last fall, French always recused himself and sat in the public gallery, according to meeting minutes available on the town’s website.

In August, the board agreed to have Town Assessor George Hildrum begin an inventory of campgrounds to comply with a 1999 state Supreme Court ruling that established criteria for taxing trailers. On Sept. 20, the board voted, 4-0, to stop Hildrum’s inventory and not tax campgrounds, believing that recreational vehicles were not permanent, taxable structures.

Steve Hamilton, director of the Property Appraisal Division of the state Department of Revenue Administration, attended the board’s Oct. 18 meeting and told selectmen otherwise, according to town meeting minutes. Selectmen voted, 4-0, to begin assessing recreational vehicles and travel trailers for 2012, according to the minutes.

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