‘The Montana scheme’: How the wealthy avoid taxes on luxury vehicles, RVs


If you spend enough time in Los Angeles or any other large city in the country, or go to a high-end car show, you’ll probably see an expensive sports car with Montana license plates.

A quick Google search reveals that it’s a common sighting. High-end RVs are also registered in huge quantities in Montana, even though the owners don’t live here and have no intention of doing so.

Wealthy people across the U.S. are avoiding paying steep sales taxes by having their luxury vehicles or RVs registered in Montana, depriving their home states of revenue and squeezing other taxpayers.

The reason is simple: Montana has no sales tax and no vehicle emissions testing. So, people living in other states save tens of thousands of dollars, even hundreds of thousands of dollars in many cases, by forming a Limited Liability Corporation (LLC) in Montana and using that entity to purchase and register a vehicle here. And some counties make it even cheaper because they don’t have a local option tax on registration.

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