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Thread: Oklahoma Real Estate Commission

  1. #1

    Default Oklahoma Real Estate Commission

    Below is the text of today's Journal Record column by Scott Carter. It deals with the apparently heavy-handed treatment of some rental cabin outfits by the Oklahoma Real Estate Commission. I went to the OREC Web site to find out who the commissioners are, but no luck.

    Who's on the OREC board, why are they sending their entire investigations unit to Broken Bow? With furloughs and cutbacks in government agencies forcing everyone to do more with less, is this what we want the OREC focusing on?

    Fourth reading: Common sense takes a holiday

    By M. Scott Carter
    The Journal Record
    Posted: 10:39 PM Thursday, February 11, 2010

    Broken Bow is about a four-hour drive from Oklahoma City. It’s scenic, tree-lined and beautiful.

    Tourism is huge there.

    The state lodge is always booked. Around the area, hundreds of exclusive cabins are rented by travelers for a few days or the occasional weekend.

    And, until last year, the tourism thing was working well. In fact, in 2008, tourism in southeastern Oklahoma generated more than $9 million in revenue and several hundred thousand dollars in taxes.

    Economists would spin that as having a $63 million impact on the area.

    Enter the Oklahoma Real Estate Commission.

    Last summer, the small mom-and-pop companies that rent Broken Bow’s private cabins started getting letters from the OREC saying they were in violation of state law. The letters were terse and threatened the rental companies with economic sanctions if they didn’t contact the OREC.

    The cabin owners didn’t understand. They paid their sales tax to the state Tax Commission. They were regulated by the state Department of Health and they had been honored, earlier, by the Governor’s Conference on Tourism.

    Still, they got the letters, so they contacted the OREC and waited.

    A short while later, this newspaper learned of the issue and published the first of several stories about the fight. Since then, the story has exploded.

    Cabin rental companies contacted an attorney and, at every step in the process, sought to understand what was going on, why it was happening and how it could be fixed. But the OREC hasn’t offered much help.

    State lawmakers waded into the problem, at first requesting the state attorney general’s opinion, then developing legislation that would address the issue.

    However, OREC staffers didn’t like the first version of the bill, saying it was “too broad,” and began negotiating with lawmakers and representatives of the state Department of Tourism for different language.

    Everyone involved seemed hopeful the issue would be resolved quickly.

    Those negotiations have continued. And, if you corner members of the Real Estate Commission, a couple of them will even admit the cabin rental agencies are in a gray area in state law – the square peg in the round hole thing.

    Fast forward to this week.

    At Wednesday’s OREC meeting, the board and staff took a state lawmaker, the executive director of the Department of Tourism and a Broken Bow business leader through a two-hour “here’s what we think” meeting, acknowledging that the law needs to be changed and that they recognized the cabin rental agencies were trapped between conflicting parts of state law.

    Then they dropped a bomb.

    As the presentation was ending, the OREC was asked what the cabin rental agencies should do about those letters and how the companies should proceed, in light of the fact everyone was working together – allegedly – to change the existing law.

    The OREC said they would continue with their investigation.

    In fact, OREC Executive Director Anne Woody said the agency would send its entire investigative team to Broken Bow to investigate the problem.

    “I’m going to have all three investigators do down there and try to get it accomplished in a day,” Woody said. Keep in mind the OREC sent those letters last July – eight months ago – but just now decided to formally investigate the issue.

    All while they were negotiating to change the law?

    They should be ashamed.

    With that statement, the OREC board and its staff pretty much said they are not negotiating in good faith. Instead of suspending their investigation until the issue was resolved, they held the hammer of state law over the head of the cabin rental agencies. Honestly, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that if you have the threat of losing your business, you don’t have an even platform to negotiate from.

    For two decades, a hard-working, spirited group of people have built an industry from the ground up in southeastern Oklahoma. They’ve invested time, money and effort. Then last year, they suddenly were informed they were breaking the law.

    Sorry, I don’t see it that way.

    What I see is a state agency failing to use logic and common sense on an issue that could have a huge economic and legal impact on the rest of Oklahoma.

    Then, as members of the OERC board joked and laughed belittled those three individuals who sought guidance and solutions, I sat there in the audience and witnessed a classic example of why people don’t trust their government.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Oklahoma Real Estate Commission

    another reason why i want big government to stay the efff away from healthcare

  3. #3

    Default Re: Oklahoma Real Estate Commission

    no this is Oklahomans

  4. #4

    Default Re: Oklahoma Real Estate Commission

    Quote Originally Posted by gmwise View Post
    no this is Oklahomans
    Do not try to continue fueling steryotypes that we are all working to move beyond. This has nothing to do with "Oklahomans"

    The rest of the country is not on some higher political plane than Oklahoma. I have lived in New York, Dallas, England, and now Houston, and am regularly in San Antonio and Austin so am involved in much of what is going on in those towns as well.

    These types of government agencies mis-using thier authority and trampling on the small business owners who are actually contributing to the local economies happens all the time. It is not regionally or state exclusive. And it is not right and the sooner the government gets out of the way of the free market the better.

    Those few business owners who came forward and worked through the hoops that were placed infront of them are not the ones who deserve ridicule. They are the ones who exemplify what I love about Oklahoma, they work hard at doing things the right way and when notified stepped up worked through the proper channels giving the "agencies" a measure of trust that they would do the right thing. The investigation should be redirected to the OREC and its mis use of its authority to harass and manipulate legitimate small business owners.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Oklahoma Real Estate Commission

    My problem is there's little oversight of the "Commissions".
    Fisher, quite a few county commissioners remember OKSCAM, are dirty commissioners who got caught.
    No oversight, no death penalty for both the ones giving the bribes and receiving them.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Oklahoma Real Estate Commission

    WTF does this have to do with having more healthcare options? I guess the poster above would prefer the choice of a couple of catastrophic plans with high deductibles from Blue Cross Blue Shield.

    The Real Estate Commission is a joke for pushing this. Hopefully this won't derail a highly successful tourism industry in McCurtain County.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Oklahoma Real Estate Commission

    The OREC is exactly right on this...I looked at it about 10 years ago and that is the law...no exceptions for Southeastern Oklahoma...

  8. #8

    Default Re: Oklahoma Real Estate Commission

    What exactly is it that OREC says they're doing illegally?

  9. #9

    Default Re: Oklahoma Real Estate Commission

    Managing rental real estate without a license...a clear violation of the OREC rules.....

  10. #10

    Default Re: Oklahoma Real Estate Commission

    slightly confused here...what laws are in violation? How can the OREC be "exactly right" when in says "they recognized the cabin rental agencies were trapped between conflicting parts of state law."?

  11. #11

    Default Re: Oklahoma Real Estate Commission

    Quote Originally Posted by Soonerus View Post
    Managing rental real estate without a license...a clear violation of the OREC rules.....
    Thanks, either it wasn't clear or I'm tired....

  12. #12

    Default Re: Oklahoma Real Estate Commission

    Quote Originally Posted by Soonerus View Post
    Managing rental real estate without a license...a clear violation of the OREC rules.....
    thanks...you were posting your answer while I was posting the question and someone else beat me to the question...LOL

  13. #13

    Default Re: Oklahoma Real Estate Commission

    I am not saying I agree with it but they apply those rules in Norman, OKC, Tulsa, Guymon, Hollis ,Miami and everywhere else...

  14. #14

    Default Re: Oklahoma Real Estate Commission

    Quote Originally Posted by ultimatesooner View Post
    another reason why i want big government to stay the efff away from healthcare
    A little late for that. Medicare and Medicaid have been operative for over 40 years now. Lots of paperwork, lots of ridiculous regulations, steadily decreasing income for doctors. But, the poor and the elderly have phenomenal access to health care. So, it's good and bad.

  15. Default Re: Oklahoma Real Estate Commission

    The OREC knows the tourist cabins are a "63 million dollar" business, so that sums up the motive right there. The government pays bean counters and "regulators" to go after medium sized businesses to charge fines and raise more capital for the government. I am starting to believe most American's in general are nothing but a bunch of socialists.

    I am sure if you put any small business under a microscope, very few of them would be absolutely perfect to the letter of the law. Believe it or not, I have hired real estate attorneys who didn't even know all of the different laws pertaining to their specific niche of practice. For example, very few real estate attorneys know anything about land trust laws - even though it pertains to real estate. So, even if you try to be above board, and hire the best accountants and attorneys to help you keep everything in line, there is no guarantee you won't get sued or "regulated" for some stupid reason.

    Government workers seem to think that money comes from fining people, and recruiting more government workers to go after more businesses for more fines. But that is not where money comes from. Money comes from brave, bold and decisive capitalists who invest their time, energy, and money into a venture that has NO GUARANTEES of generating a return. We as capitalists put our butt on the line every single day, and hire employees to help manage the assets we have created from NOTHING. We provide opportunities, jobs and relationships with other small business owners - who in turn, pay employees and keep the economy moving. But all the mass, "group think" government sees is a big, fat $63 million dollar enterprise that they can get a piece of so their boss can pat them on the back and say, "Good job!"

    And it is government workers who decide the fate of a lot of entreprenuers, even though they NEVER take risks and they collect a steady paycheck every single week. So, keep on keeping on. It pisses me off so much, sometimes I am ashamed to call myself an American. This was NOT what our country was founded upon. This country was founded upon ANGRY capitalists who would rather throw their tea overboard than to pay an exorbent amount of taxes to a king and queen that did not represent their best interests. Our founding fathers intended for the government to represent the capitalist. But what has backfired is all of these big corporations hiring employees in DROVES. So now, most employees have the entitlement mentality - like they are owed a job.

    Well, here is a newsflash - NOBODY owes you a job, or anything else in this world. And if your boss is wealthy, it is because they struggled to survive for YEARS until they finally turned a profit. Oftentimes, a business owner will go without being paid for years and years on end while they pay employees to run their business. And just as soon as the business starts making money - guess who comes out of the wood work?

    A whole bunch of dumb ass employees and government workers who want to tack on fines, sue us for workman's comp, and a whole bunch of other stupid crap.

    It makes me angry, because without capitalist / entreprenuers - we would be nothing but communist. But yet, it seems like America has turned it's back on capitalism. Everybody just wants to get a job, and think they are owed a living - or go after people who have worked hard to build their businesses. It makes me SICK!

  16. #16

    Default Re: Oklahoma Real Estate Commission

    Several of us here are going to like you a LOT.

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