TACO’s Reps Testify Before Texas Senate
The Texas Association of Campground Owners (TACO) has testified on behalf of Senate Bill 1268, which would prevent water utilities from arbitrarily assessing fees on RV parks on a site-by-site basis.
The proposed legislation would also make wording changes in Texas laws that would enhance RV parks’ ability to implement evictions, according to a news release.
“This is a very important bill for TACO members,” said Brian Schaeffer, who joined Jim Rowley of Pecan Park Campground in San Marcos in testifying on behalf of the bill before the Senate Subcommittee on Business and Finance.
The proposed bill would make several critical wording changes in Texas laws. Among them it would:
- Establish within the Water Code an updated policy that states that RV parks cannot be singled out for arbitrary per-site administrative fees. “In other words,” Schaeffer said, “RV parks would pay for utilities provided through their master meter just like any other business.”
- Amend several existing states that define an RV park to more accurately reflect “transient guests occupying recreational vehicles; and for which fees are paid at intervals of one day or longer.” “This modification makes the definition more current for modern RV parks and eliminates the impression of ‘trailer parks,’” Schaeffer said.
- Remove the words “recreational vehicle” and “recreational vehicle park” from Texas Property Code Section 94, which deals with manufactured home communities. “This is a concern to RV parks because Property Code Section 94 has undermined RV parks’ ability to implement evictions on the basis of “Theft of Service” or trespassing legislation that TACO has implemented through previous legislative sessions. “Local law enforcement typically handles ‘Theft of Service’ or trespassing complaints as a civil issue and refers RV park operators to civil courts, rather than enforcing the law in the field. The reason they do this is because of Property Code Section 94, since it references recreational vehicles and recreational vehicle parks. This Senate Bill would remove these impediments so that evictions could be expedited,” Schaeffer said.
- Enable park operators to disconnect the utilities of non-paying guests.
SB 1268 is 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 US and Canada.