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Some worry a new 9 percent tax on camping will keep people away
Nashua (NH) Telegraph ^ | 2 July, 2009 | Dana Smith

Posted on 07/02/2009 9:52:09 AM PDT by NewHampshireDuo

For five months of the year, Marj Rawls and Janice Pollack make New Hampshire their home.

After selling their house in Harpersville, Ala., 12 years ago and using the money to buy an RV, the two have been traveling all across country – and stop at a little campground in Brookline each summer to enjoy the Granite State.

But after making New Hampshire their home for so many summers, they may start rethinking their travel plans due to the state's newly revised rooms and meals tax.

"We love this area and we love coming here," Rawls said. "But now we might have to think about coming back."

Rawls and Pollack are among the many campers and site owners that are confused and concerned with the new 9 percent tax levied on stays at campgrounds. Campsite rental fees had previously been exempt from the rooms and meals tax.

"I just got a letter telling me to start collecting the taxes and how to do it," said Daniel MacLean, owner of Field & Stream RV Park in Brookline. "You would have thought that they would have a meeting with people in the camping business to talk about it."

Other owners said they received no such notice from the state.

"We haven't got in any contact with anyone," said Barry Charest, owner of Friendly Beaver Campground in New Boston. "It seems very unorganized on the state of New Hampshire and they should have given us some time to adjust."

The change in the tax came about when Gov. John Lynch signed the state's two-year budget Tuesday. It took effect at the start of the state's next fiscal year, which just happened to be the very next day, July 1.

Taxing camping sites, much like the tax a person pays for staying in a hotel room, would bring more money into already lean state coffers, state budget writers hoped. The move may prove shortsighted, camping officials said.

"It seems that the state thinks that there is a pot of gold waiting to be scooped up here," MacLean said. "But they are just going to lose the people who come here."

Many campgrounds fear the 9 percent tax will prevent seasonal campers like Rawls and Pollack, who stay for months at a time instead of just for a few nights, from making the annual trip to New Hampshire. Because their stay is longer, the tax can be hefty.

For example, someone staying at a seasonal site at MacLean's Field and Stream RV Park is now facing another $223 charge on top of the $2,475 they are already paying to stay from May to October.

For campers staying for a weekend, the increase isn't huge – about $10 for a three-day stay – but it can add up over the course of a summer.

"We are trying to reduce the effect on the seasonal camper," said Gregg Pitman, executive director of the New Hampshire Campground Association. "The campgrounds that have the most seasonal camps are most concerned. These seasonal campers are the ones that give the owners the money to get through the winter."

There are more than 130 campgrounds in the state, according to the New Hampshire Campground Owner's Association.

Because camping is a relatively inexpensive way for a family to take a vacation, the demographics of campers are generally young families or retirees on a fixed income, according to MacLean. This tax will cut into the money those families have to spend on food and clothes, he said.

Charest, of Friendly Beaver Campground, agrees.

"It's going to have an effect on the people that can't afford a trip to Disney but want to get out and do a family vacation," Charest said. "If the campers have to pay the tax, they are not going to go to the store and spend a little money on things."

In turn, the decreased spending could affect the surrounding economy, some warned.

"I think what is going to happen is that the tax is going to cut into something else they do," said Jayne Cohen, President of Adventure Bound Camping Resorts, which runs the Yogi Bear's Yellowstone Park in the Lakes Region. "They may stay one less night, or not go out to their favorite restaurant or go out to ice cream. In the short term, the state is going to raise the money they need, but in the long run they are going to lose it somewhere else."


TOPICS: Government; US: New Hampshire
KEYWORDS: camground; nh; rv; summercamp; taxation; taxincrease
Another new tax of which there are and will be a multitude at state and federal levels. With plenty of unintended consequences of course.
1 posted on 07/02/2009 9:52:10 AM PDT by NewHampshireDuo
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To: NewHampshireDuo

Idiots! Vacationing campers reserve in advance and when they are told the cost, Maine and Vermont start looking pretty good.


2 posted on 07/02/2009 9:54:15 AM PDT by AU72
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To: NewHampshireDuo

How do you put a room tax on a piece of ground? Everything else is already taxed.

Theres a reason the taxman is very unpopular.


3 posted on 07/02/2009 9:55:00 AM PDT by driftdiver (I could eat it raw, but why do that when I have a fire.)
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To: NewHampshireDuo

Going camping in Vermont THIS YEAR! The White Mountains are beautiful but the Green Mountains will keep us busy and richer!


4 posted on 07/02/2009 9:55:39 AM PDT by lucky american (Glenn Beck Rocks!!!)
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To: NewHampshireDuo

It doesn’t speak well when only “some” figured out taxes kill business.


5 posted on 07/02/2009 9:55:42 AM PDT by mgc1122
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To: NewHampshireDuo

Camping is not inexpensive if you own an RV or a travel trailer. The sites are usually $25 or more a night, not to mention gas to get there and the cost of a truck to pull the trailer. And the cost of an RV is crazy. Even tent camping is not cheap.


6 posted on 07/02/2009 9:57:07 AM PDT by caver (Obama's first goals: allow more killing of innocents and allow the killers of innocents to go free.)
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To: caver

Next thing ya know they’ll be trying to tax the RVs parked in the Wal-Mart parking lots.


7 posted on 07/02/2009 10:01:12 AM PDT by PeteB570 (NRA - Life member and Black Rifle owner)
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To: NewHampshireDuo

I think Chincoteague VA has 9.5% tax on campsites and there seems to be no shortage of campers. Yearly campsite rental is exempted from the tax. Perhaps an unintended good thing will be campgrounds will be able to let more yearly sites.


8 posted on 07/02/2009 10:01:24 AM PDT by Abby4116
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To: NewHampshireDuo

A few years ago there was a Robin Williams movie called Popeye. One of the character was a tax collector. It seemed every possible activity had a tax on it.

I think we are reaching that point.

The question is when will the people wake up and vote these guys (and gals) out of office.

This will in the long run reduce the amount of taxes collected. Fewer campers, fewer people shopping in the local economy, less taxes collected.

I am not an economist, but I understand the concept.


9 posted on 07/02/2009 10:02:18 AM PDT by CIB-173RDABN (Live like there is no tomorrow but save like you are going to live to be a hundred)
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To: NewHampshireDuo

We all need to go camp on the White House lawn until Urkel is out of office!


10 posted on 07/02/2009 10:03:16 AM PDT by AngelesCrestHighway
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To: NewHampshireDuo
I don't know, an extra 9% to stay at “The Friendly Beaver” might be worth it?
11 posted on 07/02/2009 10:03:30 AM PDT by Beagle8U (Free Republic -- One stop shopping ....... It's the Conservative Super WalMart for news .)
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To: driftdiver

Since it is a room tax, the state is taxing the use of the space in the privately owned vehicle because it is situated in a certain spot. One could conceive of the state attempting to tax the RV’s living space even as it moves above a state highway. Why not?

Question to ponder: When the state owns everything, what is left to tax?


12 posted on 07/02/2009 10:03:45 AM PDT by downtownconservative (As Obama lies, liberty dies!)
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To: Beagle8U

For Marj and Janice, possibly.


13 posted on 07/02/2009 10:05:57 AM PDT by kenth
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To: CIB-173RDABN

OK !Campers stay 3 to 4 months in one place which is almost establishing residency. They use the roads, the facilities, Homeowners pay for with their property tax. Why should someone who is a resident for 4 months not pay some sort of property tax.

By the way I hate taxes too, I am just wondering why some people think they should be exempt from helping to pay for roads and other things they use when they are there.

I can understand the casual traveler not wanting to pay this tax, but if you want to live somewhere you have to contribute.


14 posted on 07/02/2009 10:08:57 AM PDT by Venturer
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To: lucky american

You obviously haven’t been in NH this year. There isn’t anything here but rain, rain and more rain. We are still waiting on Summer.......or Spring for that fact.


15 posted on 07/02/2009 10:09:49 AM PDT by animal172 (Disgusted in Tennessee)
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To: NewHampshireDuo

I would imagine that if you looked at the history, the room tax went up gradually over the years. Throwing in an unexpected 9% tax is a pretty stiff cost increase to impose all at once.

You can see the thinking involved. Raise the tax on visitors and out-of-staters who make up the large majority of campground users. People always prefer to tax someone else. But it will be interesting to see if it backfires on them. Tourism and out-of-state visitors is a big business in New Hampshire.


16 posted on 07/02/2009 10:10:38 AM PDT by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
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To: NewHampshireDuo

“Friendly Beaver Campground?”

Awwww! I was gonna go there this summer! Guess I’ll go to the “Not So Friendly Beaver Campground” in Vermont instead!


17 posted on 07/02/2009 10:11:27 AM PDT by Dr. Bogus Pachysandra ( Ya can't pick up a turd by the clean end!)
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To: NewHampshireDuo

I used to own a motorhome. Now we tent in the woods at various places. Much more fun than an RV park. And the only money we spend is no the gas to get there. You can’t tax “free”.

Yet.


18 posted on 07/02/2009 10:13:38 AM PDT by RobRoy (This too will pass. But it will hurt like a you know what.)
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To: Venturer

>>Why should someone who is a resident for 4 months not pay some sort of property tax.<<

They do. Just as a person who rents a home pays property taxes. It is rolled into the price.


19 posted on 07/02/2009 10:15:46 AM PDT by RobRoy (This too will pass. But it will hurt like a you know what.)
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To: NewHampshireDuo

**the increase isn’t huge**

No it’s not “huge” but that doesn’t mean a ton of “small” tax increases doesn’t add up quickly.

Nickel tax here, a dime, there, eventually you’re talking about a lot of cash!

Moron legislators across the country can’t seem to grasp this simple idea.


20 posted on 07/02/2009 10:16:19 AM PDT by Boiling Pots (B. Hussein Obama: The final turd George W. Bush laid on America)
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To: Venturer
Why should someone who is a resident for 4 months not pay some sort of property tax.

I'm gonna be nice here and assume you are just ignorant of the facts and not some loonie liberal

In any rental property the landlord/owner pays the property tax. The tenants' rent has that expense included in it, so the tenants are indeed paying property taxes through the landlord.

A campground is no different. I hope this helps. I've heard this misguided notion several times over the years and I just couldn't let it stand.

21 posted on 07/02/2009 10:18:00 AM PDT by bankwalker (In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.)
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To: animal172
It was the same deal last summer (at least in late August when I was there visiting my in-laws). On a brighter note, because of the weather, my in-laws property was busting with wild black-trumpet mushrooms. We picked and dried bags full in just the one week I was there. Throw them in a pan with some onion and red pepper with a nice piece of Tilapia... yummy!!!

I also remember 2 or 3 years ago, they had torrential rains in the fall and there literally was no fall foliage season that year... really ruined the fall tourist season.

Still loves me some Lakes region NH. Can't wait to go again in a couple months.
22 posted on 07/02/2009 10:19:30 AM PDT by theknuckler_33
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To: animal172

I live in NH. I should have said I was going camping in Vermont “When it’s stops raining.”


23 posted on 07/02/2009 10:20:00 AM PDT by lucky american (Glenn Beck Rocks!!!)
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To: PeteB570

You probably just gave someone an idea.


24 posted on 07/02/2009 10:21:51 AM PDT by caver (Obama's first goals: allow more killing of innocents and allow the killers of innocents to go free.)
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To: NewHampshireDuo

This is Lynch and the RATS idea of enhancing the “New Hampshire Advantage”.


25 posted on 07/02/2009 10:24:08 AM PDT by Redleg Duke ("Sarah Palin...Unleashing the Fury of the Castrated Left!")
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To: lucky american
Good luck. I'm presently in Lebanon for a while and the sun doesn't seem to visit this part of the State. We've been here a little over 4 months. Part of that time we were in Quechee, VT. I can count the number of good days on two hands. We will be leaving in the middle of August. Except for missing Price Chopper and the Harpoon Brewery , good riddance.
26 posted on 07/02/2009 10:25:25 AM PDT by animal172 (Disgusted in Tennessee)
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To: Venturer
Why should someone who is a resident for 4 months not pay some sort of property tax.

The owner of the campground has already paid property taxes, presumably.

27 posted on 07/02/2009 10:27:07 AM PDT by Travis T. OJustice (I can spell just fine, thanks, it's my typing that sucks.)
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To: Venturer
Why should someone who is a resident for 4 months not pay some sort of property tax.

The owner of the campground has already paid property taxes, presumably.

And the RV or trailer has already had taxes paid, and the vehicle owner has paid fuel tax to get their, never mind the sales tax on the equipment. With the "room" tax, that's 5 taxes for one activity. That should cover it, dontcha think?

28 posted on 07/02/2009 10:28:59 AM PDT by Travis T. OJustice (I can spell just fine, thanks, it's my typing that sucks.)
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To: theknuckler_33

I’ll have to do some research on the mushrooms. Your recipe sounds good. What I don’t eat I can smoke. :)


29 posted on 07/02/2009 10:29:11 AM PDT by animal172 (Disgusted in Tennessee)
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To: animal172

I never see them in the grocery store, but I don’t think they are necessarily rare. They have a pretty strong flavor (especially compared to those plain old white ‘button’ mushrooms you get in the store), but the strong flavor of the mushrooms goes well with the delicate flavor of the fish. Just do a light butter pan-fry, add some lemon juice (fresh if possible), garnish with a little chopped flat-leaf parsley, a nice baked potato on the side and top off with an ice-cold beer or glass of chardonnay and I’m in heaven!


30 posted on 07/02/2009 10:38:08 AM PDT by theknuckler_33
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To: PeteB570
Next thing ya know they’ll be trying to tax the RVs parked in the Wal-Mart parking lots.

Many cities have outlawed that, because they don't get to make money off it.

31 posted on 07/02/2009 10:43:26 AM PDT by 3niner (When Obama succeeds, America fails.)
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To: NewHampshireDuo

I wonder if they couldn’t just write up a land-lease agreement for the duration of the stay to avoid the “rent tax”?


32 posted on 07/02/2009 10:47:14 AM PDT by WackySam (The fact that there are 24 hours in a day, and 24 beers in a case, is not a coincidence.)
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To: NewHampshireDuo

The state of KS came in at 126 million less in tax revenue than was expected. I heard on the noon news that the gov has already done some cutting but there are “revenue enhancements” coming. Oh boy! I wonder which taxes are going up?


33 posted on 07/02/2009 10:48:42 AM PDT by Sunshine Sister
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To: NewHampshireDuo

“You would have thought that they would have a meeting with people in the camping business to talk about it.”

You overestimated your place in the pecking order right there.


34 posted on 07/02/2009 10:54:01 AM PDT by PLMerite ("Unarmed, one can only flee from Evil. But Evil isn't overcome by fleeing from it." Jeff Cooper)
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To: NewHampshireDuo

Don’t forget this tax and all other user/sales taxes is paid for with income that has already been taxed by both the fed gov’t and your local state gov’t (most states, anyway).

So when viewed as a percentage of your income, that 9% tax is really closer to a 15% tax when you look at how many pre-tax dollars you have to earn to pay it.


35 posted on 07/02/2009 10:55:12 AM PDT by wrench
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To: NewHampshireDuo

and the Massachusefication of NH continues...


36 posted on 07/02/2009 11:09:55 AM PDT by Buckeye McFrog
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To: NewHampshireDuo

hey, New Hampshire.....all of us Freepers will come up there and camp in your state and pay four months property tax....IF you let us register to vote in return.

.....nah, didn’t think so.....


37 posted on 07/02/2009 11:11:54 AM PDT by Buckeye McFrog
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To: theknuckler_33

Thanks for the menu. Now, I’ll just find the mushrooms.


38 posted on 07/02/2009 11:31:47 AM PDT by animal172 (Disgusted in Tennessee)
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To: bankwalker

That’s cool. I was just asking.


39 posted on 07/02/2009 12:06:13 PM PDT by Venturer
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To: Venturer

Excuse me but they certainly are paying taxes - they’re paying a nightly fee to use the land. The landowner pays property taxes and business taxes out of the $$ that they collect. Sheesh! Go to DU if you think that these campers should pay more taxes! They aren’t staying for free in the campground.


40 posted on 07/02/2009 12:56:07 PM PDT by 2nd amendment mama ( www.2asisters.org | Self defense is a basic human right!)
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To: Venturer

You don’t think the people that own and operate the camp site pay property tax? I am sure that part of the fee they are paying is going towards the property tax, so your argument is bogus.

When you buy gas you are paying taxes for the construction and maintenance of roads and bridges. At least that is what that tax is for. So anyone that buys gas is paying for the roads. So that argument of yours is also bogus.

I am curious just how much of our income do you think we should “contribute” just to live somewhere? 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% 110% — Is there a total that an individual can pay that would satisfy you? By the time you add in income tax, sales tax, gas tax, auto tax and some I can not think of, we are paying a good portion of our income in taxes already. But again,how much do you think is fair?

We are taxed when we earn the money. We are taxed when we spend what we earned. We are taxed if we want to drive down the street. We are taxed to live in our own homes.

What next, tax for the oxygen we breath.

I agree that we all need to support a certain amount of government and infrastructure. But the process is broken.

Governements are taxing us for things that they should not be doing. If they stopped spending on things they should not be spending on, perhaps they would not need new taxes all the time.


41 posted on 07/02/2009 1:47:02 PM PDT by CIB-173RDABN (Live like there is no tomorrow but save like you are going to live to be a hundred)
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