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Taxation w/o representation


ticdusty
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We spend about 4 months in AZ each winter, then when the weather warms we head out.  Our RV park has been told by a local tax assessor office that they need to keep a record of when we are in the park and when we leave.  Seems if we are in the state some number of days, AZ considers us to be residents and wants us to pay taxes.  We don't vote here, but this sounds like a money grab for a state looking to rob us senior citizens.  Anyone else hear of similar ploys?

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I believe all states consider you a resident if you are in the state more than x number of days. Many are 180 days but I think AZ is 270(not sure). If you have medical issues and are staying for that reason I believe that would be an exception, IMO.

I think the days are based on the calendar year and not continuous days, not sure.

 

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28 minutes ago, ticdusty said:

We spend about 4 months in AZ each winter, then when the weather warms we head out.  Our RV park has been told by a local tax assessor office that they need to keep a record of when we are in the park and when we leave.  Seems if we are in the state some number of days, AZ considers us to be residents and wants us to pay taxes.  We don't vote here, but this sounds like a money grab for a state looking to rob us senior citizens.  Anyone else hear of similar ploys?

Sounds like they're doing what most states do, some are more aggressive than others. All states require that you become a resident after spending so many days/months in their state. Some have additional triggers,  that makes you an immediate resident. Anyone who spends extended time living in a state other than the one they call home, needs to investigate the residency & tax laws of that state. All of them want your tax dollars. Sometimes its income tax, sometimes its sales tax. If you buy & take possession of a vehicle, RV, boat within their state, you owe them sales tax. Some states give you so many days to take the newly purchased vehicle outside the state boundary. I'm in Florida on my live aboard sailboat, the state requires marinas to report any out of state boat staying in their marina more than 90 days. 

If you only spend 4 months in AZ and don't fall under any of their other conditions for residency, then you have nothing to worry about. But it should be no surprise that AZ, like most others, wants any tax dollars they're entitled to.

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Whose ambulance and fire services do you use in AZ if needed? Whose hospitals? Who is providing the water you drink, the sewage, the electric, and leisure activities like state parks, lakes, etc. They have a point.

 I agree with JRP. We checked state laws too but were not snowbirds and did not stay in one place more than 2 weeks to 30 days save 3 month wintering stays in Louisiana.

If you know the laws you can stay on the safe side with minimal effort. There are a lot of Southern states and there are a lot of Northern states, right?

;)

Edited by RV_
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We are currently in Pinal county, AZ.  I expect that whatever emergency service we need is funded by the local RV park.  I pay water, sewage, trash, electric with the rent I pay.  I pay the sales tax for whatever i purchase.  If I cannot vote within the state, it seems to be unreasonable to tax me on income or property.  And it is not legal to vote in more than one state.  I suppose I could go home and only RV in my home state.  Kinda silly!

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1 hour ago, ticdusty said:

Our RV park has been told by a local tax assessor office that they need to keep a record of when we are in the park and when we leave.  Seems if we are in the state some number of days, AZ considers us to be residents and wants us to pay taxes. 

 

But the key to this is the number of days you stay. Has anyone told you that you will be expected to pay tax to AZ if you are only there 4 months?  The following is taken from the AZ-DOT website.

Quote
Resident Definition

State law requires that you obtain an Arizona vehicle registration and driver license, immediately if any of the following apply:

  • You work in Arizona (other than for seasonal agricultural work).
  • You are registered to vote in Arizona.
  • You place children in school without paying the tuition rate of a nonresident.
  • You have a business with an office in Arizona that bases and operates vehicles in this state.
  • You obtain a state license or pay school tuition fees at the same rate as an Arizona resident.
  • You have a business that operates vehicles to transport goods or passengers within Arizona.
  • You remain in Arizona for a total of seven months or more during any calendar year, regardless of your permanent residence.
 

 

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9 minutes ago, Kirk W said:

But the key to this is the number of days you stay. Has anyone told you that you will be expected to pay tax to AZ if you are only there 4 months?  The following is taken from the AZ-DOT website.

One of my park neighbors has Oregon plates on their 5th wheel.  They leave it here all year, and they have been told they will have to register it in AZ, or pay AZ property tax.  They are sorting that out.

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1 hour ago, ticdusty said:

One of my park neighbors has Oregon plates on their 5th wheel.  They leave it here all year, and they have been told they will have to register it in AZ, or pay AZ property tax.  They are sorting that out.

According to what Kirk posted if you are in AZ for more than 7 months they expect you to pay for the roads and other infrastructure you are using by paying the taxes for it. They let you use it for free for 7 months, how can you possibly justify complaining about paying for what you are using after that? Sounds more than reasonable to me.

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6 hours ago, ticdusty said:

If I cannot vote within the state, it seems to be unreasonable to tax me on income or property.  And it is not legal to vote in more than one state.

You're missing the point, voting isn't an issue, since you will be a voting resident of AZ once they deem you a resident & begin taxing you.

The only way you would become an AZ resident or any other state(without intending to) is if you don't follow the clearly spelled out rules. Thats not the states fault if someone didn't educate themselves on the rules. Its akin to telling an AZ state trooper, the speed limit in my home state is 80 MPH,  so you can't ticket me here for going 75.  

Likewise, your neighbor must have his head in the sand if he thought any state would allow him to use his vehicle year round in the state without registering it in that state.  Your neighbor may also find out that his insurance company may deny coverage if he didn't inform them that his Oregon vehicle is actually kept in AZ. If he did tell the insur company, then they would have rewritten his policy under AZ requirements and informed him he must register it in AZ. Insurance policy terms & conditions are state specific, an Oregon policy doesn't cover a vehicle permanently used in AZ, part time travel through other states - Yes, but not year round in a different state..

If it surprised you that AZ tax folks were looking over your shoulder, you may also be surprised that insurance companies are now tapped into license plate scanning systems that report where, when & how often a vehicle plate is scanned on public highways.

Edited by JRP
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4 hours ago, ticdusty said:

We spend about 4 months in AZ each winter, then when the weather warms we head out.  Our RV park has been told by a local tax assessor office that they need to keep a record of when we are in the park and when we leave.  Seems if we are in the state some number of days, AZ considers us to be residents and wants us to pay taxes.  We don't vote here, but this sounds like a money grab for a state looking to rob us senior citizens.  Anyone else hear of similar ploys?

You have 7 months you can stay as a visitor in Arizona.  If you are there longer, why shouldn't they consider you a resident?  I think AZ is being extremely generous.   All states have a certain number of days of continuous living at which point you become a resident.   Not a money grab, you are using services, why shouldn't they consider you as a resident?

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You are allowed to own/rent property in a state and not live there.   We have a park model in Arizona, but it isn't occupied over 7 months a year.  Now if we left a car here (as so many do) then we would have to register the car in Arizona.   Again, having a vehicle registered in a state doesn't make you a resident of that state if it is being registered where it is garaged.

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If his fifth wheel is parked and not moved at all he is not using any services, not using the roads etc and shouldn’t have to registered it at all anywhere. If I own a farm and only drive my tractor on my farm land and never on the highway should I have to registered it?  

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3 minutes ago, Twotoes said:

If his fifth wheel is parked and not moved at all he is not using any services, not using the roads etc and shouldn’t have to registered it at all anywhere.

It sounds like AZ is a state that has a personal property tax. 

3 hours ago, ticdusty said:

One of my park neighbors has Oregon plates on their 5th wheel.  They leave it here all year, and they have been told they will have to register it in AZ, or pay AZ property tax.

I have seen park models in Florida that have license plates on them. If my memory is correct, Texas requires trailers to be registered as a vehicle or taxed as personal property like a Mobile Home. I remember some discussion about how the inspection requirement for vehicles prior to registration renewal would affect trailers that were setup permanently in Texas, but do not know what the resolution to that was.

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In my state you can have as many unregistered vehicles as you want you just can't use them on the road. If you have too many you are considered a junk yard.

Any camper left 365 days in a campground is taxed as property. If you keep it registerd you must move it at least once per year and it can't go back to the same camp site. As for insurance my parents take the collision insurance of their class C for the 5 months its parked in TX and the insurance company puts on something for it being stationery. They always call when they get parked so the insurance company knows were it is.

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3 minutes ago, trailertraveler said:

It sounds like AZ is a state that has a personal property tax.

My experience was that AZ has a pretty hefty annual personal property tax on top of vehicle license fee AND a personal income tax.  So there's a pretty good return on investment for getting someone declared to be  a resident. 

By comparison  TX doesn't have a personal income tax nor, do I believe, does it hve an annual personal property tax.  Therefore, there isn't nearly the financial incentive to force people to become residents.  

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3 minutes ago, Lance A Lott said:

In my state you can have as many unregistered vehicles as you want you just can't use them on the road. If you have too many you are considered a junk yard.

You imply (in your second paragraph) that your state is TX.  If that's the case, I can unequivocally state that these rules are not enforced in rural counties such as Aransas, where my town of Rockport is located.  There are numerous nearby properties with multiple unregistered trailers, some of which still bear scars from Hurricane Harvey and which are not registered or roadworthy.

6 minutes ago, Lance A Lott said:

If you keep it registered you must move it at least once per year and it can't go back to the same camp site.

I don't know how the latter part of this sentence could be enforceable particularly with respect to RV parks where people own the sites they occupy.  At the park where we own a site, most of the trailers are registered, but many of them don't go anywhere.  Quite a few of our neighbors keep their trailers parked as "weekend getaways" at the beach.

 

17 minutes ago, Lance A Lott said:

As for insurance my parents take the collision insurance of their class C for the 5 months its parked in TX and the insurance company puts on something for it being stationery

We do something similar but we ensure that all our coverages meet state minimums, so we could take the MH on the road if we had  to.  

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38 minutes ago, trailertraveler said:

I remember some discussion about how the inspection requirement for vehicles prior to registration renewal would affect trailers that were setup permanently in Texas, but do not know what the resolution to that was.

I live in an RV community in TX and am past president of the community. If you have an occupied travel trailer or a park model here that is not registered and licensed, it is then taxed as real property just as a manufactured home is in TX. We have all three here as well as site-built homes. We are a co-op community that was designed following the Escapees co-op park model but we are allowed small homes. As such the community pays the property tax on the land and each lot owner pays for all improvements to that land, be they house, manufactured home, park model, or nonregistered RV. 

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4 hours ago, ticdusty said:

One of my park neighbors has Oregon plates on their 5th wheel.  They leave it here all year, and they have been told they will have to register it in AZ, or pay AZ property tax.  They are sorting that out.

Can they just remove the tags?  If it is on private property I would not think tags are required.  As long as it does not travel on public roads.

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RV, when we were in an RV Park for 13 years here in Yuma County, Foothills area, here is how it worked. We now have our own RV lot and it is a different situation as it is our domicile and residence for 6-7 months

RV Park- Ambulance and fire services- You buy a policy from Rural Metro that provides ambulance and fire protection. If the person does not purchase the policy, Rural Metro bills accordingly and it is high. County does not provide any of this service.

RV Park- Hospital- Yuma Regional Hospital- they get paid regardless of where the folks are from. I will say that without the winter population here, a lot of their new services would never have been established. The winter crowd also brings in jobs for traveling RN's and Doctors.

RV Park- water and sewage- Both services are provided by Far West Water and Sewer. A private outfit. The RV parks pay year round for both those service regardless if sites are full or empty. Water is billed on use..

RV Park- Electric- RV parks own the meters, re-sell power and site renters pay a monthly bill, parks set the KWH rate the renters will pay according to how much they use. The power to the parks is supplied by Arizona Power.

State Parks charge user fees, if lakes are pay for use, then an entrance fee is charged.

With all the sales taxes and fuel taxes paid by the snowbirds, don't get me started.

It sort of reminds me of a number of years ago a cluster created at Myrtle Beach, SC. The state went after the students that came down there for summer jobs at hotels, restaurants, etc. to get South Carolina license plates on their vehicles. Well the restaurant and hotel groups went together and the thought of that crashed and burned over in Columbia.

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We're on the active waiting list for Hondo. There are taxes assessed on the lot which vary depending on the value of the improvements. If we were to stay at the lot for long enough, yes, we would have to get the Foretravel, car, and ourselves licensed in Texas. Yes,we'll have to pay the electrical fees when we're at our lot, but then we would have to do so anyway even if we were just visiting for a day or two.

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