A report on association efforts to overturn a Missouri Supreme Court decision excusing state residents from paying a local sales tax on RVs and automobiles purchased in other states led a turnout of 58 people representing 17 dealerships during the Missouri Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (Missouri RVDA) State Convention Oct. 21-23 at the Hilton Convention Center at Branson Landing in Branson.

”This was the most widespread turnout that we’ve had,” said Missouri RVDA President Sheri Wheelen, owner of Wheelen RV Center Inc. in Joplin. ”We had twice as many dealers as we had last year.”

Missouri RV dealers, she said, have been fighting for two years to have the law restored to the way it was previous to the court decision, which has allowed out-of-state dealers to advertise the tax savings if an RV is purchased outside the Show Me State.

”If you go to another state to buy an RV or a car you don’t have to pay municipal or county sales taxes,” she said. ”Out-of-state dealers around St. Louis and Kansas City have been advertising that fact.”

Gov. Jay Nixon vetoed a proposed law during the most recent session of the Legislature because he considered it to be a tax increase, she said.

Bill Schnieders, director of legislation for the Missouri Automobile Dealers Association, reported that a new bill has been prepared to overcome the governor’s objections. ”We’ve changed the language so that we now have the correct verbiage to satisfy the governor and get a new law passed overwhelmingly in the next session,” Wheelen said.

Other speakers during the convention included:

• National RVDA President Phil Ingrassia, who updated dealers on issues and new programs.

• Larry Oxenham of the American Society for Asset Protections, who spoke on how dealers can protect their assets.

• Lt. Greg Wheelen from the Springfield Police Department, who spoke on the understanding the younger generation.

• State Rep. Don Phillips, who gave an update on transportation matters in the upcoming General Assembly.

• Tricia Watts, senior superintendent with the Missouri Department of Revenue, who reported on recent titling changes.

• Ed Heitzman, executive director the Missouri Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds.

• Roger and Sheril Veragra of R.H. Powers and Associates Inc. who talked about marketing initiatives.

Wheelen said Missouri RV dealers are particularly interested in Rand McNally’s new smartphone app created in partnership with the national RVDA that will enable RVers to access a listing of nearby RVDA member dealers across the U.S. and Canada.

The app will give RVDA members a leg up on the competition, she said. ”If you are not an RVDA member, you are not going to be represented in this app,” Wheelen said.

During the convention’s business meeting two new members were added to the board — Bruce Griffon of Griffon Trailer Town, Leadington, and Robert Cobb, 47 West Trailers Sales, Troy.