Government Affairs

Dedicated to keeping members and the camping public up to date on all of the issues affecting the camping industry in New Hampshire.

New Hampshire Campground Owners Association (NeHaCa)
Executive Director: Jeremy Sprince
President: Samuel Bouchie (Woodmore Family Campground)
Legislative Chair: Sylvia Leggett (Roberts Knoll Campground)
Government Affairs: Henry Veilleux (Sheehan Phinney Capital Group)

Who are my NH Representatives?
Click the links to find out:
http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/Senate/members/wml.aspx
http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/house/members/wml.aspx


The House Municipal & County Government Committee voted 19-0 to recommend passage of SB 333 with amendment. As amended, the bill states that recreational vehicles having a valid vehicle registration, and maximum width of 8 feet and 6 inches while being transported, and located at a recreational campground shall not be taxable as real estate. Annually before April 1, each campground owner will be required to provide the local assessing officials with the name and address for each owner of a recreational vehicle on the campground, and shall identify which vehicles have valid registrations and are less than 8 feet 6 inches in width. Campground owners will not be responsible for payment of any taxes imposed on a recreational vehicle located at the campground, unless the campground owner is the owner of the vehicle. The bill will take effect on April 1, 2015. The full House will vote on the bill next week. While we are disappointed that the committee is not recommending passing the Senate version of the bill, it is as far as the committee was willing to go. It was this or nothing. The gains of this bill as compared to doing nothing are 1) campground owners will not be liable for taxes that campers do not pay. 2) campers will have the choice to pay the tax or registration, whichever is cheaper. The registration can be from any state.

 

SB333, along with the park model amendment exempting recreational vehicles 8’ 6” and under from real estate taxes, is the best solution to solve this unfair and inconsistent tax situation imposed on recreational vehicles of our campers.

There is no state statute that governs the taxation of recreational vehicles. Recreational vehicles are not meant to be affixed to property; they should not improve property values.

Registering all seasonal RVs is not the answer; that would only continue to make this situation difficult for campers across the State, especially NH residents.

The link below gives you the names of all committee members!

LINK TO COMMITTEE: http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/house/committees/committeedetails.aspx?code=H18
Click on a committee member’s name for their contact information.

 

Senator Hosmer read the ways and means report and recommendation there was no discussion. The Senate “roll call” vote approved 24 to 0 the passage of the bill which will now move to the House.

 

Your help is needed NOW on SB333 if we are to get support for it in the House Municipal & County Government Committee with the park model amendment and not Rep. Belanger’s registration amendment. We must act this week.

Having all seasonal RVs registered will not help to solve this unfair tax situation of seasonal RVs but will only continue to make this situation difficult for campers across NH. SB333, along with the park model amendment exempting RVs under 8’ 6” from real estate taxes is the best solution. Registering all seasonal RVs is not the answer.

Click on a committee member’s name for their contact information.

 

This is the link to the House Municipal and County Government Committee that is hearing SB333. The link will allow you to click on each member’s name for their contact information.

http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/house/committees

 

The House Municipal & County Government Committee will hear SB 333 on
Tuesday, April 1 at 2:00 p.m.
Rm. 301, Legislative Office Bldg., Concord,

THIS IS A CRITICALLY IMPORTANT HEARING THAT WILL DETERMINE IF SB333 IS TO GO FORWARD IN THE HOUSE FOR A VOTE OF THE FULL HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES.

All are welcome to attend.

 

UPDATE: SB333 Hearing held on Thursday January 29th

Senator Hosmer read the ways and means report and recommendation there was no discussion. The Senate “roll call” vote approved 24 to 0 the passage of the bill which will now move to the House.

 

UPDATE: SB333 Hearing held on Tuesday, January 21st

The continuation of the hearing for SB333 was called to order just after 9 am with a much smaller group of camping professionals present for this meeting. Mr. Hamilton, the Director of the Department of Revenue Administration was called up to speak. He spoke about the present legislation and how it came to be and what it had become since the 1999 court case that actually got all this started. He made the point that his department did not take out a crusade against the campgrounds, but it is ultimately their duty to make sure that the laws which are in place are enforced and lawfully respected and upheld.

With the present law, some communities thought they had the discretion to make exemptions on taxing RVs. He went onto say that he has spent countless hours working with the Campground Association on the issues with this present law and he has been trying to help the communities understand what they can and cannot do in regards to taxing RVs. “We have provided educational info to the NH Assessing Officials.” said Mr. Hamilton. He went on to explain that it is ultimately his department’s job to make sure the assessors understand that exemptions cannot be granted by the local communities, but only at the legislative level or higher.

One Senator asked if in his mind, was there anything in the present law to go after RVs. Mr. Hamilton said no, it was just how the law was written and having the criteria which came from the 4 part test from the 1999 court case. They had to make sure towns were taxing RVs because as Mr. Hamilton explained, that type of exemption does not yet exist in the present law it started with a newspaper article that sparked the issues we are now having.

Other Senators had questions as well, such as, if they want to exempt RVs from being taxed, will this new bill do that? Mr. Hamilton said Yes. The question was also asked, what happens when a camper leaves the campground and the property owner is being held responsible for the property tax bill. Mr. Hamilton spoke about the existing laws addressing those issues and he referred to RSA 75:3 Pro Active notice to the landowner. Mr. Hamilton closed by saying this new bill will leave open other trailers used as storage which are still taxable, which was the origin of the original case.

The committee went into executive session to discuss and vote on SB333. The Senate Ways & Means voted 5-0 to recommend passage. Full Senate vote next Thursday, January 30.

 

NeHaCa Board, NeHaCa Legislative Team, NH Campground Owners/Managers, and Campers

Thank you to everyone who came to support our bill at the SB333 hearing on January 14, 2014. Thank you Henry Veilleux for getting us to this point and keeping us organized on this issue. This is one step on the road to settling this tax issue and resolving a frustration for owners/mangers and campers. Working together, we can reach a successful conclusion and once and for all exempt RVs from real estate taxation in New Hampshire.

SB333 UPDATE

Here is a summary of the hearing on SB333 exempting RVs from being taxed as Real Estate.

At the hearing the NH Campground Owner’s Association presented a bill that if passed into law will essentially exempt RVs of all classes from the real estate tax that has been hitting our campgrounds the last year or so. Many of the campground owners who spoke at the hearing called the present tax law a “Hodge-Podge” and showed very detailed examples of how the new bill needs to be passed right away to correct this very unfair taxing of our seasonal campers. The people who spoke today in front of the senators did an excellent job explaining the true definition of a Recreational Vehicle and then offered great descriptions of the many varieties, shapes and sizes. In all cases it was shown clearly that though these RV’s may sit on the same lot for months or even years at a time, they are not a fixture which like a building cannot be moved. As one owner explained: “Even with a deck and porch attached, they are not screwed to the RV. Nobody would drill things into their RV. Within 20 minutes someone could back up, hook up and pull away with these seasonal RVs which make them movable, not fixed.”

The snag in the bill may be whether the vehicles are registered or not for the road. If an RV is sitting on a seasonal lot for years at a time, the owner of the RV is probably not registering it, so that RV is not movable, but what one park owner said was: “They often ask seasonal RV owners to switch sites, so even the RV’s that are not officially registered for the road are still movable which makes them exempt from being taxable as a fixed building.”

It was also noted that some towns were sending the total tax bill for all the seasonal sites to the RV park owners and then expecting them to go around and collect the money from the seasonal campers.

How the towns were assessing the value of each RV became a whole other topic for discussion. When a camper felt that the town had valued the RV too high they would then have to go to the town offices and show why the value of the RV was set too high. One of the Senators made this comment during the hearing. “We have an obligation to make sure everyone is treated fairly and if these RVs are movable we cannot tax them as real estate.”

There was an assessor who spoke explaining how he would have to go in and set a value to each of the seasonal RV sites. In some cases a site where the campers planted shrubs or bushes, put in stone on the driveway or had a nicely built fire pit would get valued higher because of the upgrades to the site not just the value of the RV.

After 2 hours and a list of people who still wanted to speak, one senator explained that the hearing would need to be adjourned to continue next Tuesday at 9 am.

To be continued – stay tuned.