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