What does ‘RV disposal fee’ dispose of?

The in basket: Michael Drouin e-mailed to say,”Upon reviewing the tab renewal form for our RV, we noticed that there is now a ‘RV disposal fee’. What is this fee?

“Is it for disposing of derelict RVs abandoned on public property?

“Is it for demolishing RVs after their usable life has ended?

“Is it another fee that Tim Eyman should file a voter initiative about a new tax?

“Is it another fee for which the payer receives no benefit?

“Or is it a fee on top of the RV dump fee that one pays to use the state parks dump sites?”

The out basket: Michael’s final guess is closest to the truth, as he probably suspects.

Brad Benfield of the state Department of Licensing says, “The $3 RV disposal fee, also known as the recreational vehicle sanitary facilities fee, is used by the Department of Transportation for the construction, maintenance and operation of recreational vehicle sanitary disposal systems at safety rest stations across our state.

“This fee is collected on registration transactions for campers, motor homes and travel trailers. I don’t know when this particular fee started but it certainly is not a new fee. I do know that it was increased to the current $3 on Sept. 1, 1996. Prior to this, it was $1.

“I suspect this fee has been around since 1980, because that is when the law authorizing the account the money is deposited in was created,” he said.

Brad sent along a copy of that law, which was amended this year to include the following: “During the 2009-2011 and 2011-2013 fiscal biennia, the legislature may transfer from the RV account to the motor vehicle fund such amounts as reflect the excess fund balance of the RV account to accomplish the purposes identified in this section.”

That sounds like the fund now may be tapped for other roadway purposes and I’m awaiting word from the Department of Transportation as to whether it has taken advantage of the newly granted possibility.



2 thoughts on “What does ‘RV disposal fee’ dispose of?

  1. Some, but not all, highway rest areas have free RV dump stations and clear water fills.

    Given the going rate for use of a private dump station/water fill, if you use the free state dump stations at least once a year, that $3 on your tab renewal fee paid for itself. It’s good idea to keep in mind the location of which rest areas have a RV dump station/water fill.

    This is a license tab charge that I do NOT mind paying. If you weren’t aware of this service, you should be; you pay for it, and it is something that directly benefits you as an RV owner.

    What’s more, ONLY RV owners pay this charge, so nobody else can complain that they pay for something that can/do not use.

    This is how state service fees should work – the people who use the service are the ones who pay, and they get their money’s worth. Entirely too many fees don’t work that way.

  2. It sounds better than the “road use fee” that I have to pay when I renew the tabs on my “off road vehicle”. Can anyone explain that one to me???

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