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Old 10-22-2018, 10:58 AM   #1
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2016 27' Flying Cloud
Olympia , Washington
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 560
Puget Sound RTA Tax: Imposed on Airstreams?

In November, 2016, voters in the eastern Puget Sound, WA, area (ie, Olympia, Tacoma, Seattle, Everett, etc.) by initiative ballot approved the imposition of the Regional Transit Authority (RTA) tax to fund regional mass transit expansion in that area; the annual tax is calculated as $110 per $10,000 of depreciated vehicle value.

Recently, I received from the WA Dept. of Licensing its notice for me to renew my Airstream license for another year. It stated a license fee of $80.75 plus an RTA tax of $646, for a total of $726.75. Zounds!!!

Question #1: Has any other AS owner in the Puget Sound area been charged an RTA tax?

The WA State Licensing Official RTA Tax Site states that "travel trailers" are exempt from the RTA tax. WA RCW 46.04.623 defines a "travel trailer" as:

"Travel trailer" means a trailer built on a single chassis transportable upon the public streets and highways that is designed to be used as a temporary dwelling without a permanent foundation and may be used without being connected to utilities.

That definition would appear to encompass an Airstream trailer. Yet, the RTA tax was imposed on my AS.

Question #2: What's the legal authority for imposing the RTA tax on an Airsteam trailer?

Alta & Richard, Olympia, WA --- WBCCI 8873
"Aurum": 2018 Ram/Cummins 3500
"Argentum": 2016 AS FC 27 FB
"BigDog": M Harlequin Great Dane, 150 lb
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Old 10-22-2018, 01:15 PM   #2
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2017 30' Classic
Carlisle , Pennsylvania
Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 8,797

Be glad you don't live in a state that charges you those sort of taxes on all your vehicles, every year ...... I've lived places that do exactly that.

Have you called them and asked about the situation? It may be a simple error on their part. They may think it's a motorhome rather than a trailer ( or something equally weird ...)


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Old 10-22-2018, 03:06 PM   #3
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2013 23' FB Flying Cloud
Lakewood , Washington
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I live in Lakewood, also part of the Seattle Transit money grab zone. Renewed my AS and F150 in May. Paid the the RTA on the truck, not on the trailer. Hope you get it straightened out.
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Old 10-22-2018, 05:59 PM   #4
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2017 27' International
Fall City , Washington
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Posts: 357
Puget Sound RTA Tax: Imposed on Airstreams?

I live just outside the RTA zone, which allows me to own 2 vintage cars, 5 motorcycles, and 4 cars/trucks. Iíll never move closer to Seattle (for many reasons including the RTA). No RTA fees on my 27,likely because I am outside of the zone.
2014 28' Flying Cloud
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Old 10-23-2018, 05:30 AM   #5
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2013 23' FB Flying Cloud
Lakewood , Washington
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DOL web link, with table-travel trailers exempt

From the WA DOL site:
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Old 10-23-2018, 06:47 AM   #6
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2014 27' Flying Cloud
Wenatchee , Washington
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Thanks to the link vlaming posted, it appears you have been overcharged.
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Old 10-23-2018, 11:13 AM   #7
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2018 20' Flying Cloud
Bellevue , WA
Join Date: Jan 2018
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They do charge the RTA on all “motor” vehicles. It’s highway robbery. My travel trailer doesn’t have a motor so the tow vehicle gets the tax. My buddies motor home does get taxed though.
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Old 10-23-2018, 11:33 AM   #8
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2015 25' FB Flying Cloud
Redmond , Washington
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We paid under $50 toward our registration renewal this year. You have been overcharged, I'd call and speak with someone at DOL and they should be able to fix it for you.
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Old 10-23-2018, 01:23 PM   #9
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2019 22' Sport
Bellingham , Washington
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Living here in the North Sound (Bellingham) I am not aware of any such tax. Would not be surprised if it happened. Reading the table it seems as if you have been inappropriately taxed.
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Old 10-23-2018, 01:39 PM   #10
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2018 19' Flying Cloud
Newport , Washington
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My wife was born in Seattle and spent her entire life in that area. I moved there out of college and spent over 30 years in the area. About 12 years ago we got fed up with this kind of malarky and moved to Idaho. Much as we love the Puget Sound area you couldn't pay us to go back.
Dale & Jane

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2003 Dodge Ram 2500 Quad Cab Diesel
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Old 10-23-2018, 01:51 PM   #11
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2019 27' International
2014 25' International
2006 23' Safari SE
Fort Saunders , Wyoming
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 3,947
Nevada- (2018) 2014 25 foot International Airstream: $830.00 renewal for 2018-2019

Colorado- (2015) $958.66 compared to Nevada which was about $200 more at the time.

We had homes in both States. Now full time in Nevada. When considering moving to a new state... always check Income Tax Rates, Real Estate and Vehicle taxes so you are not surprised. Idaho has some interesting second home and living a partial year in that State for Income Taxes.

In Colorado, some bragged about having their Trailer licensed in low cost States. Washington was one of them. They were living in Colorado. Maybe Florida was another.

We sold the Airstream a week ago. The license was prorated daily for the year once the plates were taken to DMV. The credit was credited for renewal of our plates in 2019 on one or either of our current vehicles.
Human Bean
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Old 10-31-2018, 03:52 PM   #12
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2014 16' Sport
Dunedin , Florida
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I pay $35 per year In Florida for my AS tag. No other fees/penalties.
"All good things are wild and free."Henry David Thoreau

WBCCI #12814
Florida Unit #027, Suncoast Unit #129, Region 3
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Old 11-01-2018, 08:28 AM   #13
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2012 30' International
Walkerton , Virginia
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 2,837
King and Queen County, Virginia:

2012 International Signature
Assessed Value: $36,450
Assessed PP Tax: 1,436.13


Somebody, please, point me to the road.

AIR 3987
WBCCI 4596
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