SOUTHWEST NEWS (352)
Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Louisiana
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Service King Collision Repair Centers is expanding its presence in the San Antonio area with the purchase of Bordelon Collision in Spring Branch, north of San Antonio.
The acquisition, which is expected to close June 29, would give Service King nine centers in the San Antonio area to go with 40 others in Houston, Dallas-Fort Worth and Austin. It exploded into the San Antonio marketplace last year with the purchase of Alamo Body and Paint and its eight San Antonio locations.
The new acquisition is located at 5371 U.S. 281 North and has been open for two years serving the growing market around that freeway and Texas 46.
Max Bordelon, the company’s current owner, said he was excited by the acquisition and was confident Service King would “take care of our employees and customers for years to come.”
A bill that allows police to tow cars of drivers lacking insurance coverage on a first offense was signed by Gov. Bobby Jindal on June 5 and goes into effect on August 1, 2012.
HB 1053 repeals current law that prohibits officers from towing cars of first–time violators of the compulsory insurance law and allows towing only on second and subsequent offenses. State senators passed the bill on May 24 with a 28–3 vote. The state House passed the bill by an 82–7 vote on April 25.
After the bill’s approval by senators, Speaker of the House Chuck Kleckley signed off on the latest version agreed upon by the state House and Senate, before sendings the legislation to Gov. Bobby Jindal for final consideration.
The bill, supported by the Louisiana State Police, aims to help bring down the number of uninsured drivers in the state by returning to harsher enforcement of the law, according to Rep. Ray Garafalo (R- Meraux), who authored the legislation.
Tri-State Coatings, Inc. will host an Industry Day on July 11 at Louisiana Technical College, 2010 North Market in Shreveport, LA, from 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Guest speaker is Troy Niles, who will talk about the “State of the Industry.”
The Automotive Service Association (ASA) testified before the Ways and Means Commission in Austin, Texas, June 5, regarding what it feels is an inequity in the current Texas Franchise Tax code.
Denise Caspersen, ASA’s Collision Division manager; Charles Parker, executive director of ASA-Texas; John Firm, AAM, president of ASA-Texas and owner of Firm Automotive in Fort Worth; and John Miller, owner of Freedom Automotive in Stafford, were all present at the hearing. ASA members from Texas who testified included Vince Oliva, owner of Vin’s Paint and Body Mid Co. Inc. in Nederland, and Vin’s Paint and Body Inc. in Beaumont; Johnny Bang, owner of Johnny Bangs and Bumps Shop Inc. in Tomball; and Danny Sullivan, owner of Sullivan Advanced Auto Care in Kingwood.
If passed, House Bill 429 and its companion, Senate Bill 476, would allow automotive repair shops to be taxed the same amount that dealers, parts stores and tire stores are now taxed.
“The independently owned automotive repair and collision businesses in Texas are being denied equal treatment under the law,” said Parker. “Automotive repair and collision shops owned and operated by new or used car dealerships are taxed at half the rate used to tax the independently owned businesses doing identical work. This is justified in the tax code by classifying dealership sales as ‘retail’ and allowing their service and repair business to be included under that banner.
“Furthermore, repair shops operated by tire companies (NTW, Firestone, Goodyear), parts stores (Pep Boys) and mass-merchandisers (Sears, Wal-Mart, Target) are also charged at half the rate paid by independent repair shops. We should not be taxed at a rate different than a business performing an identical service. We should not be denied the true cost of our product by disallowing our skilled labor.”
Added Caspersen, “We were very pleased with the number of ASA members who took time away from their businesses to attend the hearing and demonstrate how important it is to change the current franchise tax law in Texas. We ask other shop owners in Texas to take the time to contact their legislators asking them to support ASA’s efforts.”
A Louisiana State Penitentiary inmate serving a life sentence for murder is making a name for himself for his self-taught achievement in the field of automotive mechanics.
Shelby J. Arabie, 49, was one of 12 people this year to qualify through the Institute of Automotive Service Excellence as a Triple Master in auto, truck and collision repair, with advanced certifications in gasoline and diesel engines.
About a dozen people each year qualify as Triple Masters, said Tony Molla, ASE vice president for communications.
Numerous severe thunderstorms pummeled Oklahoma in late May, a blessing and a curse for an area which desperately needs some rain, but could have done without the fist-size hail smashing car windows. Hailstones as large as 4.25 inches were reported by the National Weather Service on May 29.
Hail damaged the roofs and windows of many homes and broke out car windshields. In Edmond, about 450 cars at Bob Howard Dealership were damaged by the hail.
A group of teenagers from Kansas City, MO are driving from the Pacific to the Atlantic in an electric-powered modified 1977 Lotus Espirit that they helped design and build. The drive is part of an “Electrifying Education Coast-to-Coast” trip.
The teens are national ambassadors for clean energy and for the industrious potential of the next generation.
“I was concerned we would not be able to go,” said 18-year-old Elias Williams, aware of some of the trials the volunteer organization Minddrive was going through to get the teens and their mentors on the road.
The severe weather that hit Oklahoma in late May could lead to Oklahoma insurance companies having to pay an estimated $400 million to cover insured property damage, according to an industry group.
At the same time, a major insurer has claimed that the high winds and hail were not considered to be catastrophic.
After damaging storms hit Oklahoma in late May, state Insurance Commissioner John D. Doak cleared the way for insurance companies to bring in additional claims adjusters.
Doak’s emergency declaration enables emergency claims adjusters to be licensed temporarily to expedite the insurance claims process and provide immediate assistance.
The move, Doak said, is designed “to help storm victims get the help they need quickly.”
Car enthusiasts from near and far gathered at Northeast Texas Community College May 30 to say goodbye to automotive legend Carroll Shelby.
The event was hosted by NTCC in conjunction with Team Shelby Texas. The evening began with car lovers gathering on the north side of Mount Pleasant for a memorial run. More than 45 Shelby vehicles participated in the memorial ride that included a drive by Mr. Shelby's home in Pittsburg.
Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner John Doak recently announced that a proposed new law paves the way for more insurance companies to do business in Oklahoma.
Senate Bill 1617, requested by Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner John Doak, caps the premium tax on captive insurance companies at $100,000. Captive insurance refers to a subsidiary corporation that provides insurance to the parent company and its affiliates. It allows corporations and groups to take financial control and manage risks by underwriting their own insurance rather than paying premiums to third-party insurers.