Senior executives from several Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) member companies met with Sen. Dan Coats (R-Ind.) during his recent tour of Northern Indiana for a roundtable discussion that touched on a number of issues important to the RV industry.
Key topics discussed during the meeting, held Aug. 17 at the Elkhart Chamber of Commerce, were how to spur economic growth to help all business and workers, including those in the RV sector, as well as how cumulative federal and state tax structures, including nexus taxes, affect how the RV industry does business.
Meeting participants also revisited several other important issues raised with Sen. Coats during RVIA’s Capitol Hill Advocacy Day this past June. These included a resolution on the delayed vote to pass the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP); the recommendation that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) replace its ambient air standard for formaldehyde with the CARB/EPA wood product standard; and the adoption of a Rule by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) regarding the RV exemption from HUD manufactured housing safety standards.
“It was a very productive meeting that offered the opportunity for our industry to share and exchange information with Sen. Coats and his staff, “ said Dicor Corp. President Gregg Fore, who also serves as RVIA chairman of the board. “I think he has a good understanding of the issues facing our industry as well as our positions on critical issues.”
In addition to Fore, those attending the meeting were Wilbur Bontrager, chairman, Jayco Inc.; Mark Bowersox, president, RVIC; William Osborne, vice president, custom products, Navistar Inc.; Phil Penn, president, Elkhart Chamber of Commerce; and Ken Slather, CFO, KZRV Inc.
“It was great to have Sen. Coats visit our area to learn more about the RV market and to get to know some of the leaders in the RV industry,” said Bontrager. “He seemed to appreciate and understand the concerns and wishes that were voiced. It is always helpful to have some face time with our political leaders.”