Rental dealers from all across the Texas area headed to Dallas for the Texas Association of Rental Agencies’ 27th Annual Convention and Southwest Buying Show. The TARA Convention is a two day event featuring networking events, state and national legislative updates, and trade shows featuring top industry exhibitors.
Dealers launched the TARA Convention at the InterContinential Hotel Sunday October 10th, 2010 with a welcome by TARA President William McCrae of Buzz’z Lease Purchase and Sales. McCrae, along with TARA Executive Director Scott Pospisil, outlined an entire year of legislative challenges that face rent-to-own dealers as the state comes to terms with a staggering $18 billion budget deficit.
According to Pospisil, “As a result of this deficit, the legislature will almost certainly have to increase taxes and fees to meet its constitutional obligation of balancing the budget. Your state is broke and that is going to affect you dramatically.”
In addition to that, the Texas State Comptroller has taken the position that the 0.5% gross margins tax rate does not apply to RTO operators. The Texas State Comptroller also states that the full 1% tax rate does apply. The adjustment could cost the industry millions in tax dollars, and TARA is pursuing the issue in the courts.
With the state budget deficit the Texas Legislature will face some very tough decisions come next January, and TARA members will receive an update on the top Texas House, Senate and statewide races. They will also receive an update on how these elections could dramatically change and affect Texas businesses.
On Monday morning APRO Executive Director Bill Keese kicked off part two of TARA’s Annual Membership Meeting with a national and state legislative update. APRO legal counsel and longtime RTO expert Ed Winn updated members on the legal issues that are currently facing Texas dealers. This included collection issues, bedbugs, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, automatic shut-off devices, the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation, new anti-RTO initiatives around the country, and other RTO-related matters.
In addition to that, the association’s plan for representing the industry in the 82nd Texas Legislature will be presented. What this will include is a briefing on what members will be asked to do before and during the session with their state representatives and senators.
The 27th Annual TARA Convention was a huge deal for rent-to-own dealers in Texas and included such vendors as: APRO, Benefit Marketing Solutions, Central File Marketing, ClassicFlame/Tresanti, dPi Teleconnect, D & H Distributing, Dickson Furniture, DSI Systems, GE Appliances, High Touch, Nalley Motor Trucks, Nationwide Southwest/Rent Direct Nationwide, Noah’s Manufacturing, O’Rourke Sales Company, SED International, Silko Radio & Electronics, TRIB Group Ltd., Welton USA, Whirlpool and Woot Wholesale.
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