Texas…Figure THIS Out…

A well known hotel chain (name not mentioned)–somewhere in S. Texas has a room rate of $49.99.   The sales tax rate is 8.25% percent. When it comes to hotels/motels there is to be no county or city tax figured into the state sales tax rate.  Why are hotels gouging the travelers? If you go to any hotel/motel in TX and ask they’ll respond with either “because we can” or “that’s the way it is”.  First off, if the American Motel/Hotel Association gets wind of any shady business practice, they won’t endorse the hotels doing it.  Secondly, these “taxes” are NOT being reported to the state.  All taxes assessed HAVE to be listed on the receipt. If it only reads “state sales tax” and that $49.99 hotel room costs you more than 54.11, then you need to see a breakdown of taxes assessed.  Someone I know got charged $16.00 more and was told it was “state sales tax” which is an outright lie.

As you can see on this chart, the total charges assessed for the price of the room SHOULD HAVE BEEN the $54.11 since the total sales tax on that room is $4.12.  Guests are not responsible to pay the owners state income taxes–the school taxes, etc…That comes out of the owners GROSS INCOME.  Anyway, here is a state sales tax chart to back up what I’m PO’d about.

http://www.jabberwockygraphix.com/salestax.html

 

The problem arises in that most guests NEVER question why a fee is so high beyond the room price–even if it’s over $20.  Again, GUESTS are not responsible for the owners taxes and such–and any fees assessed outside of the sales tax should be on the receipt. If it’s not, something is amiss…  If they are being charged above the 8.25% sales tax, chances are the owners are collecting more income than they are reporting and people need to start turning them in.  If enough people do it, the Attorney General might step in and set them straight about their accounting practices, if the Federal Government doesn’t get them for failure to report their “income”.  Enough audits and these owners will stop pulling this shady crap on the travelers too.

There…I’m through griping for the moment! I think people are getting ripped off enough without these Hotels and Motels pulling this crap.

Where is the Justice for the Homeless Around Here? Part II

In the first part of this entry, I talked about how the oil boom and the economic upswing in the area has affected those on low and/or fixed incomes. I am now going to add two links that will put a human face on this problem for you.  One family lives in a storage room and an elderly mother and daughter live in their van.

http://www.kwes.com/story/19579272/extreme-measure-mother-and-daughter-have-taken-to-have-a-roof-over-their-heads

http://www.newswest9.com/story/18850195/drastic-measures-o?hpt=us_bn8

There are many, many more out there who are affected by this price-gouging.  That is exactly what this has come to.   Even hotels/motels are over-priced in this area and if  you don’t believe me, check out the rates for them–and if you’re planning to travel to the East via I-20, go to places like Big Spring, Colorado City, Sweetwater and Abilene to spend the night. It will blow your mind how much cheaper the fees run in those towns for the same chains, that’s for sure.

It is bad enough that FEMA is bringing trailers in.  Seriously people, how much worse does it need to get before this nation enacts laws that prevent this type of behavior? I’m sure if the books were audited, they’d find that many aren’t even reporting the actual earnings from this price gouging as well.  I think a special investigator needs to be brought in on this with regard to the rental management practices of the two companies that own all the apartments in the area.

This problem has affected single parent families, minorities, women and the elderly and if that is not reason enough for the federal government to step in and stop this form of housing discrimination in its tracks, I do not know what is.  Most people affected by this make $35K (working families with children)  or are on a fixed income. They should be able to afford the rent, but cannot.

An actor pointed out to me  that most countries in the civilized world have enacted laws to prevent this type of behavior. Well why haven’t we?  This is not an issue for politicians to come here to make empty promises to people who are in desperate need either. We don’t need more of that.  We need leaders who will take up the mantle and force those who are doing this to these people to do the right thing.  Winter is coming and I can assure you that the emergency rooms will  be full of patients with all kinds of illnesses thanks to these profiteers.

To the ACLU:  Where are you?  To the U.S. Attorney General’s Office:  Where are you?  To those who should be leaders heralding the march to do the right thing: WHERE ARE YOU?  To the International Media: WHERE ARE YOU?