OHI On Capitol Hill Focused on Issues Important to RV Parks and Campgrounds
June 4, 2024 by OHI Public Affairs Team

[WASHINGTON, DC] June 3, 2024 — Members of OHI (formerly National ARVC) leadership and campground owners are in Washington this week advocating on issues important to RV parks and campgrounds, meeting with more than 30 key members of Congress and strategizing with other associations that share similar goals.

 

The meetings with Congressional offices will be focused primarily on legislation that would lower taxes and fees levied on small businesses, including the Credit Card Competition Act, the Main Street Tax Certainty Act and the Death Tax Repeal Act. In addition, the team is working on draft legislation that would provide a 90-day cure period to allow small businesses to remedy website-based ADA compliance issues before a lawsuit could be filed. 

 

“OHI has been in Washington a lot this summer because these are important issues for RV parks and campgrounds and we have a solid chance of getting things closer to or across the finish line in this upcoming Congress following the November election,” says David Basler, OHI’s Chief Strategy Officer. “As the national organization representing the Outdoor Hospitality Industry, OHI is in a unique position to take advantage of the relationships we’ve built with these members of Congress throughout the years to help move these important pieces of legislation forward, and we’re building new important relationships every day.”

 

One of these new relationships is OHI’s recently announced alliance with the Merchants Payments Coalition (MPC), a group of more than 20 associations in the retail, restaurant and hotel industry united specifically on the passage of the Credit Card Competition Act.

 

The average RV park and campground in the United States is paying thousands of dollars each month in credit card swipe fees—accumulated every time a camper uses a credit card to reserve a campsite online or in person, or purchases goods at the camp store. The Credit Card Competition Act would break up the stranglehold Visa and Mastercard have on creating these fees, which will increase competition, lower fees for businesses like RV parks and campgrounds that run credit-card transactions.

 

Other current legislation OHI is focused on for its members are the Main Street Tax Certainty Act and the Death Tax Repeal Act. 

 

The Main Street Tax Certainty Act would make permanent the 20 percent tax deduction for qualified business income. (Under current law, the deduction expires after December 31, 2025.) The qualified business income deduction has been an important part of the success of RV parks, campgrounds and other outdoor hospitality businesses of all sizes across the country. 

 

Small, independently owned RV parks and campgrounds are often “asset rich and cash poor”, so when a family member passes away, the family is forced to sell off family assets to pay the estate taxes, and no one should be punished for fulfilling the American dream. The Death Tax Repeal Act would repeal the estate and generation-skipping transfer taxes, providing stability and peace of mind to small, family-owned businesses.

 

“As a campground owner, like with any small business, our overall success is greatly impacted by the taxes and fees we have to pay each year, so these are important issues to me and to other OHI members I’ve talked with across the country,” says Ali Rasmussen, co-owner of Spacious Skies Campgrounds, which owns 15 campgrounds in 10 states. “I am proud to be a part of the OHI delegation fighting hard so RV parks and campgrounds like mine can have a say in the current issues surrounding taxes and tax reform, with our sincere intention to be able to put more of our profits back into improving our businesses, hiring the staff required to operate effectively, and focusing on creating even better memorable experiences for our campers.”

 

The OHI public affairs team is also currently working closely with North Carolina Senator Ted Budd’s office to draft and introduce legislation that would provide a 90-day cure period to allow small businesses to remedy website-based Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliance issues before a lawsuit could be filed. 

 

“RV parks and campgrounds across the country are being hit with frivolous lawsuits every day because of website compliance issues they were unaware of and instead of being able to focus on fixing the issue, they are immediately forced into expensive legal proceedings which only serve to line the pockets of lawyers rather than fix issues in the spirit in which the ADA was intended,” says Jeff Sims, OHI’s senior director of state relations and program advocacy.

 

For more information on these issues, sign up for alerts and to get involved in grassroots efforts, visit the OHI Advocacy Center.

 

Representing OHI this week in Washington are: 

David Basler, OHI Chief Strategy Officer; 

Mike Gurevich, owner of Cherry Hill Park, in College Park, Maryland; 

Ali Rasmussen, OHI Board of Directors member, and Founder, CEO and Creative Director of Spacious Skies Campgrounds, which owns 15 campgrounds in 10 states; and 

Matt Rose, executive director of the Indiana Campground Owners Association.

 

In addition to this full week of meetings, OHI representatives are also attending events during RVs Move America Week, an annual RV industry advocacy event hosted by the RV Industry Association.

 

ABOUT OHI 

OHI (formerly National ARVC), the leader in the Outdoor Hospitality Industry, is the only national association dedicated to representing the interests and needs of private RV parks and campgrounds across North America. We are deeply committed to providing our more than 3,000 members exclusive access to continuing education, networking, business and marketing tools, member-only benefits and discounts, and advocacy at the local, state, and national levels.   

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