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Having To Pay Property Tax on RV in AZ


Wheeldog

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Wow!!! I just got a tax assessment for our 5th wheel in AZ. I was told that if you keep you RV in AZ for more than 6 months it must have AZ plates on it or you will get nailed. I do have valid Alaska plates on it, but apparently the law changed and I now have to get AZ plates.

 

The bad part of this is my 5th wheel is a 1994 Jayco and is valued at between $3,070 and $3,725. La Paz County assessed it for $18,000. My taxes will be $224. I do have an enclosed trailer and pickup with a camper I leave on the spot, but I think the park is only sends in a report for my fifth wheel??

 

I have the forms to contest this, just looking for advise si I do it right. When I get to AZ this fall, I will put AZ plates on everything to avoid this problem next year.

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Welcome to the forum. This is a valuable question, and I'm sure you will get many responses. I have some questions, which others might also be asking.

  1. Is Alaska your state of residence?
  2. Do you have it stationary in an AZ RV park for 6-months?
  3. Do you have it stationary in an Alaska park for 6-months?
  4. Is the state claiming you have to license it because it is domiciled for 6 continuous months in the state, or because you are bringing it in and out of the state over a random 6 months during the year?
  5. How did they discover, or how do they know, you have it domiciled for over 6-months in AZ?
  6. Do you drive to other states, besides Alaska, during the year, which may actually cause you to be out of the state for more than 6-months.?
  7. If the answer to #2 or #3 is more than 6-,months, then I would imagine you would need to have it licensed in both states.
  8. But, then if you are not in either state for the full 6-months (driving to and from, or visiting other states), you might be able to argue for the state of your choice.

An interesting subject, I will be looking forward to what others have to say.

Dan

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Welcome to the forum. This is a valuable question, and I'm sure you will get many responses. I have some questions, which others might also be asking.

  1. Is Alaska your state of residence?
  2. Do you have it stationary in an AZ RV park for 6-months?
  3. Do you have it stationary in an Alaska park for 6-months?
  4. Is the state claiming you have to license it because it is domiciled for 6 continuous months in the state, or because you are bringing it in and out of the state over a random 6 months during the year?
  5. How did they discover, or how do they know, you have it domiciled for over 6-months in AZ?
  6. Do you drive to other states, besides Alaska, during the year, which may actually cause you to be out of the state for more than 6-months.?
  7. If the answer to #2 or #3 is more than 6-,months, then I would imagine you would need to have it licensed in both states.
  8. But, then if you are not in either state for the full 6-months (driving to and from, or visiting other states), you might be able to argue for the state of your choice.

An interesting subject, I will be looking forward to what others have to say.

Dan

Alaska is my state of residence. I leave the trailer year around in AZ it hasn't left that park in several years.. The AZ law says I must register anything left there for more than 6 months in AZ.They know it was there because the park sends in monthly reports of what RV's are there. I had Alaska plates on it, but that won't work anymore. It sounds like they just changed the law recently.

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A little internet digging may have turned up an out for you. I make no guarantees, simply trying to help. From AzDOT.gov, Quote"

  • Trailers with a declared GVW of more than 10,000 lbs (one-time $800 registration fee). If previously registered in another state and the model year of the trailer is less than six years old (fee is reduced to $500), if at least six years old (fee is reduced to $195)."

I'm not sure if this only for trailers, or for RVs too.

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And a printout form NADA Guides dot com will help you disprove their massively inflated evaluation. But I must say I see their point. A trailer that has been in an RV park in their state for "several years" certainly should have been registered in their state. If it were in a storage facility I might try to fight it but it would be hard to prove you aren't set up and staying in Arizona when it's in an RV park.

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A little internet digging may have turned up an out for you. I make no guarantees, simply trying to help. From AzDOT.gov, Quote"

  • Trailers with a declared GVW of more than 10,000 lbs (one-time $800 registration fee). If previously registered in another state and the model year of the trailer is less than six years old (fee is reduced to $500), if at least six years old (fee is reduced to $195)."

I'm not sure if this only for trailers, or for RVs too.

Thanks for the info. I will check into it. I wil get AZ plates when I get to AZ this fall.

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And a printout form NADA Guides dot com will help you disprove their massively inflated evaluation. But I must say I see their point. A trailer that has been in an RV park in their state for "several years" certainly should have been registered in their state. If it were in a storage facility I might try to fight it but it would be hard to prove you aren't set up and staying in Arizona when it's in an RV park.

It always has been if it has plates on it there was no personal property tax. They changed the law, didn't tell anyone about having AZ plates. I don't have a problem paying my fair share......BUT.......when they assessed a 21 year old trailer $3,000 MORE than it cost new......thats your basic "scam". I am including the NADA valuation of my trailer in my report to them.

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You do need to contest the assessed value of the RV, but there is no doubt that legally you are supposed to have it registered in AZ. I don't know how long you have been leaving the trailer in AZ with Alaska plates, but the laws between the states have long held that any vehicle must be registered in the state in which it is "garaged." The term "garaged" is stated as the location it sits when not traveling the highways and the length of time that is varies from state to state, as does the way the laws are administered. There is little doubt that if you leave the trailer in AZ then legally that is where it should be both registered and insured. That same thing is true of the pickup and enclosed trailer.

 

As to the park reporting you, it may be that AZ or county laws require them to do so and that may be what is new, but it is also very common for the county tax assessor to have people who periodically check on all properties to verify the tax rates and that they are also who picked up that your trailer is there illegally under the local laws. It really doesn't matter how you were caught, but if you do not what more problems I would do as Big5er has suggested and also take documents for the truck and trailer with you and take care of it as well. You are absolutely correct that you need to dispute the tax evaluation, but you won't win if you try to avoid paying in AZ unless you remover the vehicles from that state.

 

I suspect that what has happened is that the inspector who contacted you has no idea of the age or value of your RV and he/she simply took the size of it and picked some sort of average price for similar RVs or that size and billed you. Their point was most likely not so much to prove the value of your RV, but to make you aware that they wanted you to pay according to the AZ and La Paz county laws. I'd not be surprised if you find that you can easily get this adjusted if you just contact them and send in a copy of the title for each vehicle so that they know exactly what they are taxing. I would also not wait until you go to AZ but call them now as there may well be penalties involved. It really is not any SCAM by the county government but they just want you to pay your share of taxes under their laws. Keep in mind that you do use their facilities just like the citizens of the county, but only half of the year.

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It sounds like they just changed the law recently.

 

This is not a recent change...it's been this way for as long as I can remember. You just haven't been caught up until now.

 

We had our fifth wheel permanently parked in an RV park for a few years several years ago. We licensed it in Arizona even though we were not Arizona residents. I'm not aware that the RV park sent the state any information about the RVs that were permanently parked there, but they might have. Perhaps this is the recent law change you spoke about...that RV parks must make a report on the RVs permanently parked there? It's certainly not new that such RVs are supposed to be licensed in the state.

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Wheeldog, don't know what to tell but the park we are in Yuma (156 sites)there are and has been trailers parked in there that never leave and have license plates on from all over the US and Canada. The Yuma County tax man has come thru while we are there and all he looks for are park models that haven't paid their yearly property tax or RVs to see if they have an up to date plate from where ever. There are some RVs that don't even have tags.

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Wheeldog, don't know what to tell but the park we are in Yuma (156 sites)there are and has been trailers parked in there that never leave and have license plates on from all over the US and Canada. The Yuma County tax man has come thru while we are there and all he looks for are park models that haven't paid their yearly property tax or RVs to see if they have an up to date plate from where ever. There are some RVs that don't even have tags.

I called the assessors office and asked the lady about it. She told me that before it was ok to have out of state plates before, but La Paz county just made a new statute that required AZ plates for rv's there over 6 months. They set up a whole new department to collect taxes......basically on "snow birds". I am not sure what the law is and am only going by what she said. I know the former manager still lives there but only does there computor work for them now got nailed too. He always told us to keep our plates current and we did keep them current (Alaska).

 

I know one of 1 of the Canadians who has a 5th wheel there got a notice along with his assessment. The notice stated he must contact the assessment office by Aug 27 or he will be fined $150 a day after the 27th. Don't know what thats all about????

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You may want to contact Shaun Loring I am including the link from the "Domicile Knowledge" page from the Escapees website. He is an attorney located at Rainbows End

in Livingston. He has helped many with this exact situation and he may be able to assist you. Shaun Loring He more than likely will not charge you to listen to you explain your situation.

 

When you call tell Meagan who usually answers the phone you have an immediate situation you need help with.

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We were asked for the information (i.e. year, length and manufacture) of our rig at a Quartzsite RV park a couple years ago by the manager who said she would be reporting the information to local tax authorities. Mentioned that she sent in a list of rigs in the park each month. We were only there a month and a half and never heard anything else on the topic.

Later,

J

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You may want to contact Shaun Loring I am including the link from the "Domicile Knowledge" page from the Escapees website. He is an attorney located at Rainbows End

in Livingston. He has helped many with this exact situation and he may be able to assist you. Shaun Loring He more than likely will not charge you to listen to you explain your situation.

 

When you call tell Meagan who usually answers the phone you have an immediate situation you need help with.

Thanks for the info......I will check it out.

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Pinal County in Arizona have to do the same thing. Send a report in once a month when people check in and check out. Information on name, address, type of RV and plate number. All has to be filled out when you check in. The county will go after the RVers who stay longer then 6 months. Have to change plates and drivers license to Arizona.

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At DM Famcamp you must leave the park for at least 24hrs shy of being there 180 days for that same reason. If you make a short trip to anywhere out of state and keep the receipt, they cannot touch you. Nice part of being on federal property is the taxman doesn't get to play there.

 

We had an '04 Cameo that in '08 they valued at 38k! AZ is a tax poor state and is constantly looking for ways to increase taxes. Seems like every year they try to make the BX and Commissary pay sales taxes.

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I'm sure that for each state out there, you would find rules that change with the winds. My parents had a "permanent" site in a campgrounds in Wisconsin for their travel trailer. They weren't assessed taxes until they built on an "add-a-room" and that's when the assessor decided it became permanent.

Todd

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While you need to contest the amount, what some people don't realize is that AZ has very moderate taxes, overall. I think AZ comes in in the lower 1/2 of state taxes. So AZ is not the place to escape RV property taxes, but if you truly live here you do alright. And the law is very clear about having state plates if the rig is here year around.

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