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TACO Intervening on Behalf of Campgrounds

April 1, 2013 by   - () Leave a Comment

TACO’s Brian Schaeffer (left) and Ron Hinkle in front of the Texas state capitol building in Austin.

The Texas Association of Campground Owners (TACO) has intervened in the state Legislature to protect campground owners from unfair taxes and fees.

TACO Executive Director and CEO Brian Schaeffer recently testified in favor of House Bill 2152 by Rep. Bill Callegari, which prevents local utilities from applying administrative fees to RV parks unless they are applied equally to all businesses, according to a news release.

“We don’t mind paying what other businesses pay,” Schaeffer said. “Unfortunately, some utilities are charging parks an administrative fee for each campsite. At this rate, a fee of $10 per site for a 100 site RV park is $1,000 a month. That’s double the typical water bill for a park of that size. So this legislation should hopefully put a stop to this unfair targeting of RV park and campground owners.”

TACO also recently intervened to protect campground operators near the San Marcos River from being assessed a new tax.

Senate Bill 280 originally proposed taxing campgrounds to pay for additional policing and trash control efforts along the San Marcos River. But TACO argued that park owners should not be assessed the tax because many of their guests are snowbirds or Winter Texans who do not use the river.

“Our legislative consultant, Ron Hinkle, set a meeting with the office of state representatives and founding TACO member Jim Rowley of Pecan Park Campground, located on the San Marcos River. During the meeting we requested relief on the camping fees portion of the bill,” Schaeffer said, adding, “Sen. Judith Zaffirini introduced substitute language at the hearing that exempted RV parks regarding camping fees.”

Once the language of SB 280 was changed, Schaeffer testified in favor of the bill and memorialized the fact that RV parks and camping fees would be exempt from the new tax should it be implement.

“Fighting for our members at the state capitol to protect their businesses and rights is the number one TACO member benefit,” Schaeffer said. “I am proud to represent TACO members on these important matters.”

Both HB 2152 and SB 280 are expected to move through legislative committees in the coming weeks and eventually face a full up or down vote of the Legislature.

Based in Crowley, TACO represents nearly 400 private campgrounds and RV resorts in Texas. The association was established in 1972 by a group of five campground owners who felt there should be independent marketing and advocacy for the private park industry in Texas. In addition to its legislative advocacy, TACO publishes the RV Travel & Camping Guide to Texas, a significant consumer magazine with a distribution of 250,000, and it hosts www.TexasCampgrounds.com, the most widely used website for RV parks and campgrounds in Texas. The association also promotes Texas campgrounds in over 25 RV shows in the U.S. and Canada.

 

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