Tuesday, December 27, 2011

New Mortgage Fees For 10 Years In Trade For 2 Months of a Tiny Tax Cut Extension


The ‘Horrific’ Details Behind Republicans’ Caving

By Joel McDurmon - Dec 23, 2011

Most media outlets are not telling the whole story behind the payroll tax-cut extension: most have highlighted the tax cut itself, how House Republicans were blocking the extension, and how they recently caved under pressure, handing Obama a major political victory.

Democrats are celebrating the Republicans’ caving for good reason, because there’s way more to the story than just Republicans blocking tax cuts. The Wall Street Journal reports,

Rank-and-file frustration has existed all year, and never really left even when Boehner tried to accommodate the concerns of his restive freshmen. The payroll-tax cut battle put a fine point on the caucus’s broader concerns about government spending and budget gimmicks, in part because the $33 billion, two-month package is set to be paid for with fees charged by mortgage financiers Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac over 10 years.

“The policy is horrific,” said Rep. Mo Brooks (R., Ala.) He said that “increasing the costs of mortgages hurts homeowners of all incomes,” adding “it’s hard to figure out how the senators could have done worse–all for two months.”

Meanwhile, Boehner’s procedural tactics are just as suspect:
House speaker agreed to pass the two-month extension on Friday morning by unanimous consent, a fast-track procedural maneuver that guarantees passage unless lawmakers book plane tickets and fly back to Washington in time to object.

“Given the late hour of notification, there’s no way I can make it,” said Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R., Kansas). “I’m disappointed. That’s not the process by which I thought we would consider things like this,” he said, adding “this is the kind of stuff that people hate about Washington.”

In other words, Republicans have “caved” by agreeing to increase mortgage fees for 10 years in order to fund a mere two months worth of tiny tax cuts. Instead of taxes being raised January 1, they go up March 1 instead, while the higher mortgage fees endure for a decade. Brilliant. And to score this great political achievement, the House speaker is willing to use Pelosi- and Reid-style procedural tricks to exclude the toughest opposition from the vote. Epic.

And this is why the move is indeed a major political victory for the radical Left: because the Republicans are acting just like them.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Lobbyists in Virginia

Here is a list of Lobbyists that have recently registered with the Commonwealth. Looks like Roanoke City just hired a lobbyist by the name of Robert J Catron.

Click HERE for the list of the new lobbyists

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Roanoke City Tax Office Tried To Rob Me And Got Caught!!!


Open Letter to City Manager Chris Morrill for HELP!!!

Dear Mr. Morrill,

I would like to inform you of fraudulent activity happening within Roanoke Cities Real Estate Tax Collection office and would greatly appreciate it if you could resolve this matter and put some "No Tolerance Policies" in place.

Two weeks ago I was informed by an employee of Roland "Spanky" Macher that they were getting sent delinquent tax payment notices for properties that I own at address 832 Patterson Avenue. So I immediately contacted the tax payment office to find out what is going on and how it is even possible for them  to change the tax payment address of a property I own and send the bills to another individual without my approval. The response was that they did not know how it happened but they would change it and not charge a late payment for this bill.

A couple days later I got a voicemail that they changed it but I have a couple more properties that were delinquent and they would not remove the late fee for these properties. Well, let me tell you, I always pay ALL of my bills and I never have a problem getting mail at my address for payment. So at further investigation I found that they did in-fact send all 3 tax bills to Roland Macher's address and went on the GIS and changed the tax address of all 3 to my address while trying to pull the wool over my eyes and pretend that the other 2 adjoining lots were always being sent to my address while refusing to remove the late fees.  To clarify, they changed all 3 addresses back to my tax address and then pretended to act as if they only sent one incorrectly and the other two went to the correct address in an attempt to obtain late fees on the other 2.

This is a criminal act. I am not going to call the police on this particular Roanoke City employee because I feel that this is something that can be handled internally. This type of fraudulent behavior is absolutely unacceptable and not something that you would expect from a government employee. I don't know what her problem is but I never did anything to her and was polite with her on the phone.

Please resolve this issue. Attached are scanned images of the actual addresses that these bills were mailed to including the two lots that I was told were sent to me. You will see on all 3, the address that they were mailed to was 1925 Salem Ave which is an address owned by Roland Macher, not myself.  I checked with my lawyer and when I purchased the property a couple years ago the closing documents were filed correctly with my address on them so they were changed without my knowledge or approval sometime since then.

- I have proof that my closing documents were filed with the correct address and my tax payment address was changed without my approval.

- I have proof that all 3 tax bills were sent to Roland Macher and not myself and this city employee attempted to fraudulently change the other two addresses and pretend that the bill was sent to me in order to charge me late fees and interest.

- I have spent hours obtaining this evidence and my time is worth money that I know I won't get so please develop a policy that this sort of fraudulent activity will not be accepted under any circumstances so no one else is vicitimized by this woman.

Best regards,


UPDATE: Chris Morrill is having this matter investigated by the internal auditor who he says will do a thorough review. Hopefully they contact me for evidence. This lady needs to be exposed for doing this to citizens of this city. She apparently thought that no one would catch her. Not a high likelihood of this happening and the person that it happens to being able to get the actual bills that were sent to someone else. She may have thought she would get away with this but it just didn't turn out that way this time. This criminal activity needs immediate attention. 

UPDATE 2: Evelyn Powers contacted me and she doesn't know what happened or how it got changed to Spanky Machers address but she was incredibly nice and was immediately on top of this issue.  I won't be paying any fines or late fees and I am glad that they resolved this issue.

Virginia Tech Killer Robs Landlord at Gunpoint For His Mercedes Benz SUV, Should You Be Living Out Of A P.O. Box?


Deriek Crouse on Right, Cop that was murdered by crazy Radford Student

Ross Truett Ashley, cop killer

Edgewater drops requirement for landlords to pay tenant's water bills


EDGEWATER -- It will now be up to the water users to pay for what they use.

After years of requiring property owners to provide water to tenants living in their properties, the City Council on Monday instructed staff to change its policy on who pays for that water.

"We are placing the responsibility on the responsible parties," said Councilman Justin Kennedy, who lead the charge for change.

To Kennedy, the question was simple: "Who should pay the water bill?" The landlord -- who might get stuck with a bill for several hundred dollars if a tenant skips out on their rent and other bills -- or the person who used the water?

The councilman said he spent the past several months researching his argument. He concluded that the current policy is unfair -- placing liens on properties of landlords with delinquent bills due to tenants leaving without paying.

Kennedy said the property owners should benefit from the city-owned water plant. A way to guarantee that benefit, Kennedy said, would be to require a $200 deposit paid by whomever's name is on the water bill.

As long as the risk isn't on the true owner of the city's water plant -- property owners -- Councilman Mike Ignasiak had no problem with putting the burden of water usage on the users.

Councilwoman Gigi Bennington agreed. "I don't want the rest of the city at risk," she said.

Landlord Shirley Boyce was more blunt. "I am tired of paying bills for dead-beat people," she said.

Another landlord, Marcia Barnett, said it is time for people to take responsibility and for accountability.

- In a related matter, the council also instructed staff to clean up their water bills by changing monthly charges for refuse, recycling and storm water fees and putting them into a single charge on the annual tax bill.

City Manager Tracey Barlow said his staff will review the policy with the city's legal counsel regarding the proposed change, which would not go into effect without another council vote.

- In honor of their fallen colleague, council members laid flowers in front of a picture at the seat of Ted Cooper, who died unexpectedly Nov. 28.

A special election is expected in February to fill Cooper's District 4 seat. His term was to expire in November 2012.

"Mr. Cooper was always so helpful and so passionate," Mayor Mike Thomas said in honoring his fellow council member.

REI Of Roanoke Most Important Issues Survey

REI Important Issue Survey

So we did a survey to REI members on what were the most important issues we have that are negatively impacting our businesses. 

Ladies and Gentlemen, Drum roll please..... Here are the results!

What city related issues do you feel strongest about.

Solid Waste (You picked your 1 most important issue):

#1. Fines to landlords for illegally dumped trash by tenants, neighbors or others is wrong. Picked by 46.3% of our members as being the number 1 issue pertaining to Solid Waste.  Billy Basham where are you? Got something we need to talk to you and Skip about.

#2. Violations for tenants trash cans should not be going to landlords. Picked by 19.5% of our members.

#3. Solid waste is required to take the 6 largest items. If there is a large pile of stuff, they are not taking anything and violating the whole pile rather than taking the 6 largest items and then violating it. Picked by 14.6% of our members.

Code Enforcement / Building Inspections (You picked your 2 most important issues):

#1. Code violations caused by tenant such as mowing, trash cans left out, automobiles, etc given to the landlord and not the tenant as it should be. Picked by 56.1% of our members.

#2. For a simple “repair” making you bring the whole project up to today’s code. This was picked by 17.1% of our members.

Having a required Certificate of Occupancy AND Rental Certificate, both of which you have to pay for and 2 different inspections.

Modification of the discretionary nature of inspections where an inspector can “take a stronger look at bla, bla, bla” instead of being by the book as it should.

Not doing 360 degree inspections of neighboring property so the surrounding owner occupied property gets off with no citations.

TOM CARR is on our email list and he cares about the well being of small businesses such as ours in Roanoke.  I'm sure he will be contacting me to talk about these issues so we can see if we can develop some solutions to these issues landlords are most concerned about. One at a time.

Authorities including the Water Authority ( You picked your 1 most important issue):

#1. The overwhelming 65.9% response was Water Authority billing landlords for tenants unpaid water bill. Other responses mostly had to do with the Water Authority, their unprofessionalism, lack of accountability and how they are the "kings and queens of their own monopoly".

State related issues: that REI members want us to start working on. We were all over the board on this one. Most questions getting 29 to 46% of the response. You were able to pick 3 issues on this one. I'll list the top 8. We'll work on the top 3 to start.

#1 @ 46.3% - Reduce burden on court system. Change eviction process to a matter that is dealt with by the local magistrate and not the judge so the process of eviction begins and ends within a 10 day time period. If they don’t move the sheriff sets them out immediately.

#2 @ 43.9@ - Once a rental judgment has been placed upon a person, the person should have a legal obligation to keep the courts aware of their present and past employers and their social security numbers, anytime it changes until the judgment is paid in full.

3 way tie for #3 all at 36.6% -
- When tenants remain in the unit and they should be moving out, but not allowing us to rent the unit they are stealing, period! The amounts lost in revenues should be repaid to the landlord immediately. All products removed from the home or apartment that are taken should be considered stolen and reimbursed by the tenant or process them as thieves. (i.e. Smoke detectors, air conditioners, window screens, light bulbs, light fixtures, doors, door knobs, windows, paint etc...)

- When squatters are in the home the police should be able to arrest them for trespassing immediately if problems arise and the landlord must call the police. Criminal charges, not civil as it is now.

- Too much time allowed for non paying tenants

3 way tie for #4 all at 29.3% -
- Crystal clear language in the Virginia Building Code that allows that if a property was to code the date of it’s original inspection, it is not permitted for building inspectors to require it to be changed to today’s code.

- When tenants or their friends do damage to the property, this is vandalism and they should be charged with a crime and forced to pay for the repairs. This is blatant abuse of our property!

- New laws that “require” judges to uphold the tenant responsibilities like escrowed rent. Or not allow tenants to contest an amount owed without the uncontested dollar amount immediately being put in escrow. Tenant accountability.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Small Business Challenge to Obamacare Goes to Supreme Court

Targeted News Service
WASHINGTON, Dec. 6 -- The National Federation of Independent Business issued the following news release:

After many months of lower court battles, President Obama's new health reform law is going to be heard in the spring by the Supreme Court.

Washington, D.C. can be a noisy place. Politicians argue. Protestors shout.

Usually, the quietest place in town is the Supreme Court. But soon, the voice of millions of small businesses will be heard there, loud and clear.

This spring, the high court is going to hear the National Federation of Independent Business's legal challenge to President Obama's radical health-care law.

We believe the law is un-constitutional because it forces every American to purchase something that they may not want or need: health insurance.

Adding insult to injury, the law will not bring better or more affordable health care for small businesses, their employees or most Americans.

Already, small businesses are seeing huge increases in health premiums and many insurers are cancelling their existing medical plans.

This terrible law must be stopped before further damage is done to the economy and to our freedom. The court should strike it down 

Carico Insurance Agency offers: Trustmark for your Small Business and Optima Health for your Small Business and Individual Plans,  772-3362

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