Timeshare owners paying high property taxes.
Over in the states a timeshare advocacy group has intervened on behalf of owners, stating that they have been unfairly classified and because of this had to pay commercial property tax rates of 40%, which is substantially higher than the normal rate U.S timeshare owners pay at 25%.
The case involved two resorts located in Tennessee, Crown Park Resort and Laurel Crest Resort. The state had classified both resorts as ‘commercial and industrial’ which meant owners were forced to pay higher property taxes. The matter went to court and in May 2020 it was determined that the state had fairly assessed the timeshare properties and the commercial and industrial rates of 40% would stay in place.
This ruling meant owners had to continue to pay a higher cost in taxes which the American advocacy group said was unfair. They intervened on behalf of the owners stating that the ruling contradicted established and long-standing state property tax guidance and was unfair to local timeshare owners. They demanded the properties be reassessed and classified as residential, meaning owners were liable to pay a much lower rate tax of 25%.
Following a judgement in favour of timeshare owners the advocacy group said they were happy that fairness and consistency was maintained, and the judgement was fair and reflected state tax laws that were already in place.
Bluegreen Vacations redesign business model to attract new customers post Pandemic.
Blue green Vacations one of the timeshare big players based in the U.S has announced it is completely redesigning its sales and marketing infrastructure and moving its headquarters location from Florida to Tennessee. The timeshare giant says the move will help with their plans to expand and open the sales and marketing channels.
CEO of Bluegreen Vacations, Alan Levan said: “We believe the relocation of our Sales and Marketing Headquarters to Knoxville and the redesign of our four regional hubs will provide many long-term benefits for potential growth and will position us to better leverage our existing marketing channels to achieve increased new vacation package tours, new customer acquisition, and ultimately frontline sales”.
It is not exactly clear why the company is making such a big move from the heart of the timeshare industry in Florida, but it is defiantly clear the company are looking to expand and perhaps change their image a little. The timeshare industry has come under scrutiny for continuing to charge fees to owners who cannot use their memberships due to the pandemic and travel restrictions, so planning for the future post pandemic seems like the wisest move for future survival. The company operates a point based deeded vacation system and owns 68 resorts and in a wider membership program has affiliated resorts in over 11,000 other hotels and resorts.
The Problem with points-based holiday products!
Owners buy points to gain access to a resort’s properties, the more points owned, the more access a vacation owner has to top properties at peak times. Points programs can start at anything from £10,000 and owners are consistently persuaded to purchase more.
Points are valued depending on factors such as time of year, destination, size of accommodation etc. Points do provide a greater amount of flexibility, however, before purchasing a points-based holiday product, do the math! Ask yourself, can the amount of point’s purchased provide you with the holiday you want each year without having to purchase additional points you did not budget for?
Can you gain access to the types of locations and facilities you want to visit when you want to? There are far too many holiday club members who report being unhappy with the standard of their accommodations using their annual points allowance. Even reports of people unable to book a specific week during peak seasons, when they were told by the sales agent, they would be able to do so. Before entering into any long-term financial agreement, do your research and make sure the company you are handing over your hard earned cash is reputable and has an exit policy, because if this pandemic has taught us anything, it is you never know what’s round the corner!