The Recreation Vehicle Industry Association commissioned an Economic Impact Study on the RV industry, released on June 7, 2016. The study found that the RV industry contributes about $49.7 billion in economic output or 0.28 percent of the Gross Domestic Product. Through its production and distribution linkages, the industry impacts firms in 426 of the 440 sectors of the United States economy.
Nationwide, the industry is responsible for 216,170 jobs, both directly and inderectly, creating an economic impact of $37.5 billion. The full study results, along with each individual state and congressional district's economic impact is available on the website by clicking here .
Wed Dec 20, 2017
Of the estimated 74 dealers in the state of Wisconsin, half of them, or 37, belong to the Wisconsin Recreational Vehicle Dealers Alliance (WRVDA), an association still in its relative infancy.
The impact the young association, which is a little more than two years old, has had on dealers in the state, has been significant and far-reaching.
The alliance was founded in June 2016 and included 23 members. For its first annual convention, the alliance staff and dealers began working on legislation that could positively impact the businesses in the state.
By December of this year at the alliance’s second convention, two important legislative changes were announced for the dealers in the state.
One allowed dealers to charge a service fee when selling an RV. Before the legislation was passed, dealers were not allowed to charge customers a service fee for any work done on motorhomes, which WRVDA Executive Director Amy Bliss says didn’t allow the dealers to be able to recoup their costs.
The second legislative change was a repeal of the personal property tax for businesses that forced a tax on all businesses for their tools, equipment, machinery and other similar equipment. Bliss says that all of the states surrounding Wisconsin had already repealed the property tax for business, but dealers in Wisconsin didn’t have a dealers’ alliance or association attempting to work on legislative matters until the last two years.
“It was one of those situations where we felt ‘Why does Wisconsin have this?’” Bliss says. “We are now attempting to get a full repeal of the law.”
The Second Annual Conference featured a technician training track and a business owner track for the first time. Bliss says about 25 technicians attended the tech training, while 30 business owners attended the other track.
“Those were things we hadn’t had before,” Bliss says. “The Technician Track is something that is a big need for the industry here in Wisconsin, especially for those newer to the technician business.”
The conference also featured six first-time exhibitors and sponsors of the event, and Bliss says she expects that number, along with the number of members to go up in the next year and beyond.
“The board would like additional technician training and would like us to work on avenues where we can bring more techs to the field,” Bliss says. “The workforce is very slim and Wisconsin has very low unemployment. We are hoping to reach out to technical colleges and some of the high schools to try to bring about some interest for people who are mechanically inclined to be part of the industry.
“That’s something we want to do, is to plant seeds for people to come into the industry and work in RV dealerships. We’re also doing some legislative work on other tax issues. We’re always watching the legislative agenda and seeing how we can help our dealers.”