Texas Law Ends Tax Exemptions on Trailers

Because of a new law in Texas that went into effect January 1, 2002, owners in the state
may be taxed on their travel trailers, in addition to Department of Motor Vehicles license
fees. The new law applies only to travel trailers, not to motorhomes, slide-in campers,
pickups or other RVs. Prior to the enaction of this law, trailers in Texas were taxed
differently from one county to the next. In some cases, counties taxed trailers as real
property but in others they didn’t. Since trailer owners are already paying DMV taxes, they
are paying twice in the counties that levy property taxes. The legislature passed a law in
November 2001 that gave the counties the right to decide if they want to charge property
taxes on trailers. This opened the door for some counties that had not charged property
taxes previously, and now view it as an additional income source. The subject will not be
addressed again until 2003, since the Texas legislature meets only every two years.

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