RTA Tax in Washington State

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Elmo

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Jan 16, 2006
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I have a Class C right now, but it's a little small for full-timing.? Retirement should happen within a year, and? I want to buy a new Class A for the adventure.? I live in Washington State and most likely will retain it for residence/domicile.? Yes, I will have to pay sales tax, but the flip side is that Washington has no personal property or income tax.?

Here's the question for any Washington full-timers.? The area I currently live in is subject to a pretty hefty RTA tax.? Does anyone know what the requirements are (or how to find the information) for declaring a P O Box (as in a mail forwarding service) as the primary residence outside the RTA boundaries?? Very shortly after making the purchase (like maybe a month or two), I will be packing up and leaving but I will be living inside the boundary right up until then.? I know that declaring outside the area is illegal when one lives inside the area, but I HATE paying the tax when I won't even be here!!

Some guidance would be so much appreciated

Kathy
 

Jeff

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Kathy:

We left Arlington , WA last October and tried to find a way to remain Washington residents without owning or renting a domicile there. I could not find anyone who knew of a legal way to hold Washington residency without being domiciled there. 

Washington specifically states that you may not use a PO Box or PMB for the address on your registrations or Driver's License (Because of people trying to avoid the RTA tax). You are now required to declare under penalty of perjury that the address you put on the application is your residence.

We are transferring our residency to South Dakota because SD makes it very easy to establish residency using a PMB address. Also no Income Tax, low registration fees, and a 3% sales tax.     

Good luck in your search.                                                              l
 

Elmo

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Jeff /Washington said:
Kathy:

We left Arlington , WA last October and tried to find a way to remain Washington residents without owning or renting a domicile there. I could not find anyone who knew of a legal way to hold Washington residency without being domiciled there.?

Washington specifically states that you may not use a PO Box or PMB for the address on your registrations or Driver's License (Because of people trying to avoid the RTA tax). You are now required to declare under penalty of perjury that the address you put on the application is your residence.

We are transferring our residency to South Dakota because SD makes it very easy to establish residency using a PMB address. Also no Income Tax, low registration fees, and a 3% sales tax.?



Good luck in your search.? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? l

Is that true?? You must always have a physical address that you own or rent?? I thought that Washington was one of the preferred states for full-timers.? That sounds like if you full-time, you can't be a resident (or domiciled) in Washington.

If you choose South Dakota, do you have to pay personal property tax?
 

Jeff

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SD has no personal property tax as such but the registration for our 2001 Tradewinds will be about $200.00 per year which might be in lieu of ppt, I don't know.
 

Elmo

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That all sounds very interesting.? Would you mind keeping me posted of how it goes?? If? Also, I am very seriously considering buying a class A, and maybe SD would be the way to do it.? What does it take to establish residency in SD??

Thanks so much
 

Riverdog

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Spokane Valley, WA
Elmo,  I believe Jeff is correct.  I ran into someone at a campground in Oregon last year & commented on his SD plates.  He said he was actually a native of New York but after retiring he has established his residency as SD for all the reasons you & Jeff state.  Good luck!
 

Elmo

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Thanks everyone.? You've given me a lot to chew on.? I'll probably revisit this subject when time gets closer.

Jeff - FYI - I sent an email to the WA Department of Revenue asking about physical addresses and the RTA tax in particular.? Here is the reply.? I thought? you might be interested.  I am interpreting this as the same thing for driver's licenses.

Thank you for contacting us via e-mail. Yes, you can use the physical address of the mailing service but you would be charged the RTA if that address is in the RTA. If you are able to use a mailing service with a physical address outside the RTA, you wouldn't have to pay it. You will have to pay the RTA when you purchase the new motorhome since your address currently is in the RTA; but when you change your address to an area not in the rta, you won't pay the RTA at renewal time.

Interesting, huh!
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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From everything I have ever read about Washington's high vehicle taxes on motorhomes, there is no way to escape it and they are very stringent on enforcement.  There have been many news and internet articles in the past concening this. I know they have reciprocal reporting agreements with Oregon concerning this. I'm not familiar with the term RTA and can't comment, but it is my understanding that there are high yearly fees in addition to the initial sales tax.

This article, which mentions several "scams" by Washington residents who tried to avoid various taxes,  may be of interest to you.

http://www.motorhomeworld.com/OregonClampdown.htm

And I've never seen Washington listed on any fulltimers domicile list, presumably because of these high vehicle taxes. Possibly good for people with high incomes, though, since income itself is not heavily taxed.
 

Jeff

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Elmo said:
Thanks everyone.  You've given me a lot to chew on.  I'll probably revisit this subject when time gets closer.

Jeff - FYI - I sent an email to the WA Department of Revenue asking about physical addresses and the RTA tax in particular.  Here is the reply.  I thought  you might be interested.  I am interpreting this as the same thing for driver's licenses.

Thank you for contacting us via e-mail. Yes, you can use the physical address of the mailing service but you would be charged the RTA if that address is in the RTA. If you are able to use a mailing service with a physical address outside the RTA, you wouldn't have to pay it. You will have to pay the RTA when you purchase the new motorhome since your address currently is in the RTA; but when you change your address to an area not in the RTA, you won't pay the RTA at renewal time.

Interesting, huh!

eLMO:

Sure is:

I was told I would have to either give theman address or draw a map showing a physical address AND the PMB or PO Box would not serve as the physical address.

Gary:

The high RV fees were defeated by referendum about six years ago.  Our registration for our Tradewinds outside of the RTA (Regional Transportation Authority-Seattle mass transport) taxing authority was 32.00 last year.  They did pass a new use tax that I believe was going to add $75.00 for 2006 but still quite reasonable. While the sales tax rate is quite high (8.25%} there is no income tax in Washington so taxes were not the primary reason for moving our residency.

Our problem was finding a way to meet residency requirements after selling our home and visiting Washinton very infrequently.
 

Elmo

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Jeff /Washington said:
I was told I would have to either give theman address or draw a map showing a physical address AND the PMB or PO Box would not serve as the physical address.


Our problem was finding a way to meet residency requirements after selling our home and visiting Washinton very infrequently.

Since I got such a nice and prompt answer from the Washington State DOL about RTA tax, I sent another one asking about residence requirements regarding addresses.? We'll see what happens.
Kathy
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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The high RV fees were defeated by referendum about six years ago.

I hadn't heard that, Jeff. Or maybe it just slipped through my increasingly forgetful brain.  Doesn't seem like it was that long ago when all the noise was being made about vehicle fees there, but time does indeed fly. 
 

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