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1HomePageMap small sw 0816Local news stories affecting the auto body industry in Arizona, Utah, Arkansas, ColoradoTexas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Louisiana

The Houston Auto Body Association's labor rates surveys for Houston and the surrounding areas has gone live online. The survey is being conducted by CSi Complete. Please go to: to take the survey.

To increase the incentive for all Oklahoma drivers to carry mandatory liability auto insurance, a House of Representatives committee voted to prohibit uninsured drivers from being able to sue for vague “pain and suffering” damages after an accident.

“There have to be greater consequences for uninsured drivers,” said state Rep. George Faught, R-Muskogee. “If you or I are hit by an uninsured driver, there’s no insurance company to pay our actual losses, let alone ‘pain and suffering’ claims. Why should those same uninsured drivers be treated better than law-abiding citizens in a court of law?”

Two new bills filed by Larry Cernosek with the Houston Auto Body Association on February 24 are aimed at requiring liability carriers to pay for the towing and storage of a vehicle when they are at fault. This would take this financial burden off of the shop. The bills were filed with the Texas Senate and should take effect in September of this year.

The Houston Auto Body Association (HABA) hosted a legislative breakfast event on February 16 at the Capitol Grill in the Texas State Captiol.

Senator Dan Patrick (R-Houston) filed a new bill, S.B. No. 476, on February 1.

The bill would change current tax laws by reclassifying auto repair as a whole as a “retail trade” entity.

According to ASA Texas, 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 shops doing identical work under current Texas Franchise Tax Code.

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.

The Houston Auto Body Association (HABA) held their monthly meeting on February 1 at 7:00pm at Russell and Smith Collision Center in Houston.

Part of the night’s agenda was to have an open discussion with the 25 or 30 members in attendance and the HABA Board Members about conducting a labor rates survey in the Houston area and which company should do this.

“We are currently getting bids from independent survey companies to conduct a labor rate survey in Houston and surrounding areas,” said HABA’s President, James Brown, “We strongly disagree with the insurance industries determination of what the prevailing rate is in our area.”