RV Rep Pushes to Keep Indiana's 'Home Court Advantage'

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Thor Motor Coach, whose portfolio of brands includes multiple well-known names in the industry, is based in Elkhart. Thor Motor Coach, whose portfolio of brands includes multiple well-known names in the industry, is based in Elkhart.

Two bills working through the Indiana General Assembly are targeting a tax the executive director of the Indiana Manufactured Housing Association says is hampering sales of Indiana-made recreational vehicles. The proposals would give all RV buyers from out of the state an exemption on paying Indiana sales tax. Nine states -- including two of the most important RV sales markets, Michigan and Florida -- currently do not have a reciprocal agreement with Indiana.

Ron Breimier says that needs to change since a significant number of potential Indiana RV sales, and the would-be tax revenue, are going to other places. "People from Michigan, Florida, the Carolinas, Texas, California," he told Inside INdiana Business, "instead of people coming to Indiana and buying their RVs, they are going next door to Ohio, which does not charge a sales tax on out-of-state sales."

Breimier says studies show 2,500 more RVs have been sold in Ohio to residents of the aforementioned states than in Indiana, where it is estimated that 50 percent of all RVs on the road are made in Elkhart County, alone. He says previous attempt to keep what he calls Indiana's "home court advantage" with RV sales have failed, because until now, accurate industry impact data were not available. He cites recent figures that peg Indiana's RV industry at $9.5 billion a year, employing some 22,500 people. Breimier says one Indiana dealer, for example believes the situation is costing him $1 million in annual sales.

Senate Bill 172 has been referred to the Senate Committee on Tax and Fiscal Policy and House Bill 1045 is in the House Ways and Means Committee.

Ron Breimier says too many Indiana RV sales are going to other states.
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