In the heart of Texas, private campground owners and operators have long relied on the Texas Association of Campground Owners (TACO) to champion their interests at the legislative level. Recently, TACO held a webinar, shedding light on their legislative endeavors, the challenges they faced, and the victories they celebrated.
For many private campground owners in Texas, the complexities of government affairs can be daunting. Recognizing this, TACO has consistently prioritized these affairs, as evidenced by their recent webinar attended by close to 50 park operators. The session, led by TACO’s top brass, including CEO Brian Schaeffer and President Randall Dally, provided a comprehensive overview of their legislative efforts and the road ahead.
One of the pressing issues discussed was the challenge of escalating property taxes. TACO had thrown its weight behind bills aiming to standardize property appraisals and cap annual tax increases. However, their efforts met with resistance, leading to a recommendation for park operators to engage tax mitigation firms. Such firms can be instrumental in securing tax reassessments, potentially saving park operators significant sums.
Another focal point was the introduction of uniform building and safety standards across Texas’s private parks. TACO’s support for HB 1286, which sought to adopt national standards for the state, highlighted their commitment to this cause.
While the bill made headway in the House, it faced a roadblock in the Senate. The absence of statewide standards has often left park operators at the mercy of local jurisdictions, which can impose restrictive and sometimes unfavorable regulations. This landscape underscores the importance of associations like TACO, which can rally against such local ordinances, ensuring a fair playing field for all.
Despite these challenges, TACO’s legislative journey wasn’t without its triumphs. They celebrated the passage of the Texas Regulatory Consistency Act, a significant piece of legislation that prevents local bodies from imposing rules on matters already governed at the state level. This act serves as a protective shield for campground owners, ensuring they aren’t subjected to conflicting regulations.
Furthermore, TACO’s legislative victories extended to areas like campground liability and water billing. Their support for bills like HB 2326 and SB 595 showcased their dedication to safeguarding the interests of RV parks and campgrounds. These legislative wins not only provide immediate benefits but also set a positive precedent for future legislative sessions.
The landscape for private campground owners and operators in Texas is ever-evolving. With associations like TACO at the helm, there’s a concerted effort to navigate the intricate maze of legislation, ensuring that the voice of the community is heard.