b'INDUSTRY NEWSTACO Outlines Legislative Efforts, Goals During Webinar TheTexasAssociationofCamp-ground Owners (TACO) sponsored sev-eralbillstoprotectparkoperator interests during the 2021 legislative ses-sion. The Texas legislature only meets once every two yearsJanuary 2023 being the next session. But even though TACO succeeded in shepherding every bill through its cor-responding legislative committee, the dysfunction between Republicans and Democratspreventedthebillsfrom being considered in final floor votes,Brian Schaeffersaid Brian Schaeffer, TACOs executive vice president and CEO. Well need to try again next year,lowing topics:path, Schaeffer said.as well as site service agreements and said Schaeffer, who held a legislative af- AcriminaltrespassandtheftofThe book includes new sections re- notice required to initiate eviction pro-fairs webinar on Oct. 11 in which he notservice law.garding emergency preparedness andceedings, when needed. only outlined TACOs latest legislativeA water billing law. Approved morelegalandregulatorybestpractices,TheTACOLegalHandbookis work but the associations history of leg- than a decade ago, the law prevents util- based on TACOs decades of experienceexpected to be released by year-end. It islative accomplishments and its effortsities from charging parks a per site feehelping park operators address thesewill be available to members through to complete a major update to the TACOfor water service.topics. The book also contains 27 legalthepassword-protectedsideof Legal Handbook, which will be released An electricity sales tax refund law.forms, including TACOs latest recom- https://tacomembers.com/late this year.This law enables parks to obtain refundsmended applications for monthly sites Jeff Crider WCMWeve been very busy on the legisla- on state sales taxes assessed on electric-tive front, Schaeffer told the 40 webinaritysalesmadetoRVerswhocamp attendees, who included both prospec- monthly. tive and existing TACO members.Schaeffer said TACO also successfully For example, during the 2021 session,removed the words RV and camp-TACO sponsored legislation to updateground from Texas Property Code 94, state regulations that prevent water util- which many consider to be the mobile ities from billing private parks for serv- homeowners bill of rights. Removing ice fees for each site, rather than actualRV parks and campgrounds from the usage. Additional legislation was de- code helps avoid confusion regarding signed to prevent utilities from chargingthe appropriate and legally authorized parks for water development fees, suchprocesses for removing RVers or park as those applied to new residential de- guests who havent paid their fees or velopments.TACOalsosponsoredawhohaveotherwiseviolatedtheir separate bill to protect park operatorsagreements with the park. fromclaimsinvolvingtheinherentSchaeffer said TACO members will risks in camping.soon have access to the latest edition of In addition, TACO is working withthe TACO Legal Handbook, which high-the powerful Texas Municipal Leaguelights the best practices park opera-to see if it would support or at least nottorscanfollowfromlegaland oppose legislation requiring Texas toregulatory standpoints. adopt the NFPA 1194 standard as theIn this day and age, we live in a very state standard for campgrounds, RVlitigious society. Were hoping the latest parks and resorts. The idea, Schaefferedition of the TACO Legal Handbook said, would be to establish statewidewill help keep park owners on a good guidelines for the construction of pri-vate parks. Right now, Texas has no such guidelines resulting in cities and counties often lumping RV parks in with mobile home parks or residential developments. TACO is also looking for ways to im-pose an annual cap on property tax in-creasesinTexas,likeCalifornias Proposition 13, which has limited an-nualpropertytaxincreasesinthe Golden State since 1978. Additionally,TACOistryingto countereffortsbytheofficeofthe Texas comptroller, which has been en-couragingTexascountiestoassess their commercial property tax rates based on the businesss estimated an-nual revenue rather than on the value of their real estate, as is common prac-tice. The extraordinary move by the Texascomptrollerhasresultedin someTexasparkoperatorsfacing triple-digit increases in their property tax rates. While Texasparkoperatorsfacea wide range of financial threats by utili-ties as well as state and local govern-ments, Schaeffer said TACO has a long history of legislative achievements to protect park operators bottom line. These include bills involving the fol-WOODALLSCM.comDecember 2022 37'