The Shame and Scourge of West Texas–Nana is MAD!

I have posted before on the growing problem of homeless families in the Midland/Odessa Texas area. I find it appalling that the number of homeless families with working members is on the rise in West Texas. I am writing a proposal of my own to send to Washington D.C. that will allow the federal government to collect the extra profits from such gouging/profiteering  and remove the incentive to raise rents to the point that it is discriminatory against women, elderly and the minority populations. If it doesn’t stop now, the cancer of the working poor living in the streets will only increase. If the states won’t put rent controls in on their own, then it is the duty of the Federal Government to step in and put a stop to this greed.  Whether this takes place during a natural disaster (which IS illegal) or a boom, it is an outrage and Texas should be ashamed for not stepping up to the plate to prevent further displacement of its elderly and its families.

Even rents on a lot of  HUD assisted housing have also  increased in these areas.  This also needs to be addressed as the owners of such properties are merely making money off of the backs of the poor with this garbage. I am formulating my proposal as I type and will post some provisions I am putting into it  in a later post, but there will be some that I would like your comments on.  Get ready…Nana is about to go on the warpath against the greed and corruption that is coming with this boom.

The property management companies and landlords who are doing this are a scourge and a disgrace to Texas and to the entire nation. It is the duty of America to expose them and this practice and do what we can to put a stop to this outrage! It is affecting our entire state and the children–and when it comes to our children we have a duty to protect them from this scourge! That is my opinion.  To those thinking of moving here–you will be lucky to find a place to put an RV in West Texas right now. Good luck! You’ll need it as the prices of rental spaces in the campgrounds are getting out of control too.

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?

Where is the Justice for the Homeless Around Here?

In West Texas there is a crisis going on, but before I get to that,  I have told my sons we have to find ways to conserve on electricity around here.  I get emails on the usage and this month’s electric bill is already sitting at $197.00.   I think someone is gouging…Sorry.  Every time there is an oil boom the price of everything goes sky-high.

In Midland, TX there are families that have jobs making $35K a year living in tents and on the streets because when the oil field workers began to arrive, landlords raised the rents up astronomically.  I can’t believe the Attorney General hasn’t stepped on some toes here over it.  The motels all went up to $189+ per night–and even Motel 6 has jacked up their rates in the area.  The hotels are also trying to charge a “county tax” which is ILLEGAL. There IS NO SUCH TAX. The taxes they pay are to be included in their prices–otherwise they are breaking the law.  They are stealing–pure and simple. Whether due to a disaster or a boom, it is price gouging.  The electric company is doing the same thing. They say the price of oil is the reason that goes up…I don’t buy it.  It never happens until there is being money pumped into a place.

These people pushing families into the streets to make an extra buck need to be addressed.  Half of the landlords do not even repair housing and such and scoff at their tenants who need something as simple as a water heater fixed. They are getting away with this behavior because they are being ALLOWED to get away with it and if the City of Midland isn’t going to do something about it, then the Attorney General’s office should be–as well as the Texas Board of Realtors.  I am waiting for the first class action suit to hit the fan out here. It will eventually happen. Even many of the oil field workers cannot afford the rent so there are FEMA trailers being brought into the yards they go out to work from for them to stay in.

This is NOT California and Midland is NOT New York City. In those two places the fees are genuine and pertain to the cost of living there.  That is not the case here. It is all an artificial increase.  It’s time for the people to stand up and address these con artists and thieves for what they are.  If necessary,  rent controls need to be put  into  place via the powers that be in Austin since the City of Midland is not addressing this–and neither is the county.  There is no reason why these families should be on the street–many of them losing their apartments and such after being faithful tenants for years and are INELIGIBLE for any type of help because they are WORKING…Where is the outrage?  Where is the call for justice?  If there ever was a justification for the mantra of “social justice” permeating the air–it lies in Midland, Texas.  Better yet, where in the bloody hell is the media at?

I am not a Democrat or Republican and this is not a political brownie point plank for some politician to jump on.  The problem needs to be addressed and fixed NOW. Winter is coming.  By then these families should be either back in their apartments that were WRONGFULLY taken from them at the rents they had before, or there should be suitable housing provided. If nothing else FEMA should come in and build mobile home parks because this is an emergency…

Natural disasters aren’t the only problem plaguing this state and/or nation. Greed is another one right now–especially here. Shame on these people who are doing this!  I do not think it is only happening here. I think other places experiencing a boom are going through the same thing–but SOMEONE needs investigate this and strongly address it.  Only ONE news channel has covered this so far that I know of, and that was Channel 7. Shame on the media…They are too busy talking about politics and such to address the issues that really do matter. There is a huge responsibility for journalists to cover such things and they aren’t (for the most part)…Shame on them.

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