TACO Logo The increased volume and frequency of electronic communications from Texas campground and RV park operators is helping the Texas Association of Campground Owners (TACO) to get the attention of elected representatives in the Lone Star State, according to a press release.

“As park operators become more vocal and more willing to share their comments electronically with legislators, it helps us to focus their attention on the legislation our parks need them to support,” said Brian Schaeffer, TACO’s executive and CEO.

It also helps Ron Hinkle, TACO’s legislative consultant, when park operators respond to the association’s emailed calls for action in which parks are asked to communicate their concerns on specific issues TACO is trying to address through new legislation. In fact, both Schaeffer and Hinkle told park operators attending the association’s Spring Meeting and Trade Show this week that their increasing willingness to share their comments electronically on a variety of issues of concern to RV park operators has helped TACO gain traction on a variety of bills under consideration by the Texas Legislature.

More than a hundred parks have offered comments on pending legislation in recent months, which is helping TACO increase its political influence in the Texas Legislature, Schaeffer said.

For example, park operator comments have been critical in helping to persuade Andrew Murr, R-Kerrville, to support HB 2636, which would help protect campground and RV park operators from liability involving certain types of injuries that take place at a park due to the guests’ own negligence. Hinkle said once Rep. Murr realized he had 24 RV parks in his district and “understood the impact (of the proposed legislation) on TACO members, and HB2636 became an important bill for him to support.”

TACO President Randall Dally and Michael Moore, TACO’s assistant executive director, for their part, have also provided frequent testimony regarding property tax studies, the problematic issues with the current property tax system and its negative effects on RV parks.

Hinkle, for his part, is so well known by lawmakers that anyone who accompanies him to meetings at the Capitol better be prepared to spend extra time meeting and greeting people, Dally said.

“He knows everybody in the Capitol. He is well recognized and trusted,” Dally said, adding, “We have a very good legislative consultant with an excellent reputation.”

Schaeffer said Texas park operators raised over $16,000 during their annual auction at TACO’s Spring Meeting and Trade Show, which is used to support the association’s government affairs program.