Casco writes off camper taxes

By Dawn De Busk

Staff Writer

CASCO — Local selectmen shook their heads as they wrote off the taxes on a half-dozen mobile campers.

It seems like an annual ritual — bringing to zero the amount owed in taxes by the owners of mobile campers who leave town before paying the debt.

An amount that totaled $2,178 from six accounts appeared before the Casco Board of Selectmen on March 15. The tax bills ranged from $60 to $1,315; and, those individual debts were based on the assessed values of the mobile camping units.

Additionally, all of those campers had been parked on property owned and leased out by Point Sebago Resort.

Casco Town Manager Dave Morton explained to the board something they had seen on paper before.

“These are uncollectable. They removed the units illegally. We have no way of getting in touch with the owners,” Morton said.

“We are removing these from the books, but we can still try to collect them,” he said.

On March 29, another write-off faced the board. That tax debt was written off and turned over to the town’s collection agency.

Morton told the board that he had talked to the management of Point Sebago Resort. He had suggested that all mobile units be removed from the property by October 1. That way those units are not subject to property tax.

However, the resort management expressed concern that if people moved their summertime campers off the property, they might be less likely to return, Morton said.

In some cases, the owners of mobile campers can choose between registering the camper with the Town of Casco and paying that fee or being subject to a property tax based on the value of the camper.

On March 15, Selectman Grant Plummer expressed his exasperation with the situation.

“We have been talking about taxes. I am frustrated with how they slip under the radar,” he said, adding that the entity that leases land for parking campers should share the responsibility.

“They (Point Sebago staff) know when these things are coming and going, and when those sites are open,” Plummer said.

“We see five or six of these every year,” he said.

Although the total unpaid taxes are a few thousand dollars, board members advocated for a way to work with businesses that lease land to people with mobile homes.

The bottom line is that “these people are breaking the law,” Morton said.

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