Monday, September 30, 2013

Q.  Saw your blog and thought you might be able to help us out with a tax question.  We are new to RV ownership...

We live in VA and own (or rather the bank owns) a park model trailer that is at least semi-permanently in a campground where we rent the land. Much to our surprise, we have gotten 2 bills for personal property taxes from the county of Mathews.  That doesn't make much sense to me? We can only have access to the trailer 6 months a year.  The park model is from 2003. They claim the assessed value is $25,000. The view that we have of the Chesapeake Bay may well be priceless, but the trailer is most certainly over-inflated. 

Does this all sound Kosher to you? 

A.  Actually, it does sound Kosher.  Although I am no expert in property taxes, a park model on a foundation (I believe) is considered real property in most states, and will be taxed as such.  Most RVs, including Trailers, Fifth Wheels and Motor Homes are taxed as personal property through annual license fees. Most states assess a tax partially based on the fair market value (FMV) of the vehicle. I suggest you call up the county assessor and ascertain how they arrived at the FMV. Usually there is some process in which you may apply for relief. Whether or not relief is granted is another topic! Good luck.