Congress Passes $2 Trillion Coronavirus Stimulus Bill

March 27, 2020 | By Henry Chamberlain and Scott Jones

In response to the growing COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. Congress has just passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. This historic bill, the third legislative response to COVID-19, provides more than $2 trillion for economic relief to businesses and individuals, as well as much-needed resources to state and local governments

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BOMA International Joins Fight to Defeat California Split Roll Proposal

February 27, 2020 | By BOMA International

In July, we highlighted a looming confrontation over a California ballot measure on “split roll” property taxes that could potentially dismantle long-standing tax protections and result in an $11 billion tax hike on commercial real estate.

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BOMA Participates on the NFPA Reconditioned Electrical Equipment Taskforce

February 27, 2020 | By BOMA International

BOMA International was invited by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) to have a voting seat on the Reconditioned Electrical Equipment Taskforce. NFPA requested our participation as BOMA is the only national association representing major building owners that provides members with a building and fire code presence in building-related codes and standards.

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Government Affairs Committee Meeting Summary Now Available

February 27, 2020 | By BOMA International

During the 2020 Winter Business Meeting, the Government Affairs Committee (GAC) met to discuss issues of federal, state and local importance to BOMA members, as well as provide updates on energy issues and BOMAPAC fundraising.

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BOMA Releases Policy Brief on Climate Change and Building Emissions Policies

February 27, 2020 | By BOMA International

The latest installment in BOMA International’s policy brief series, released at the Winter Business Meeting, addresses the difficult topic of climate change and how state and local governments are increasingly looking to the building sector for solutions. Climate Policies: Carbon Reduction and the Targeting of Building Emissions , focuses on the growing policy trend to dramatically increase “green” goals and initiatives without fully considering how feasible these are.

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BOMA Releases 2020 Federal Legislative Priorities

January 30, 2020 | By John Bryant

In advance of our Winter Business Meeting & National Issues Conference, where BOMA members will directly lobby Congress, we are sharing our legislative priorities for 2020.

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Closing Out a Banner Year for Industry Legislation

January 13, 2020| By Emily Naden, LEED Green Associate

BY EMILY NADEN, LEED GREEN ASSOCIATE

Thanks to BOMA International’s advocacy efforts, the end of 2019 saw the significant advancement of priority legislative items, including the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (TRIA), qualified improvement property (QIP) and the Energy-Efficient Tax Deduction for Commercial Buildings, commonly referred to as 179D. Despite having a Congress known for delaying even the most bipartisan-friendly bills, 2019 shaped up to be a banner year for BOMA’s advocacy goals.

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BOMA Speaks for Commercial Real Estate at ICC Code Development Hearings

January 4, 2020| By Caroline Pomilla and John Catlett, MCP

BOMA continues to serve as the only national real estate trade association with an active building codes advocacy program. BOMA staff is involved in code development from the moment the drafting process begins and remains fully engaged as states and local jurisdictions work to adopt and implement code changes.

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Efficiency Legislation Dominates Senate Energy Discussions

September 18, 2019 | By John Bryant

The political landscape in Washington, D.C., currently is marred by partisan posturing on both sides of the aisle, particularly when the discussion turns to climate change. The "Green New Deal," which was unveiled earlier this year by House Democrats, underscores the point that messaging often dominates the legislative process, leaving little room for compromise in bringing together opposing views.

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BOMA Codes Team Advocates For Commercial Real Estate At ICC Hearings

August 12, 2019 | By John Catlett, MCP

The second round of the International Code Council (ICC) code development hearings, known as the ICC Group B Committee Action Hearings, kicked off this spring in Albuquerque, New Mexico. As the only commercial real estate association with an active building codes advocacy program, BOMA International took part in testifying on a number of code proposals before the committees. The hearings covered proposals relating to energy, existing buildings and structural codes.

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BOMA International District Advocacy Day

July 18, 2019 | By BOMA International

From August 5 through September 6, BOMA International will be hosting District Advocacy Days across the U.S. Formerly known as the National Issues Conference: Local Edition, this opportunity gives BOMA members the chance to meet with their elected officials during the August congressional recess. With support from BOMA International, BOMA local associations lobby to advance issues that directly impact the commercial real estate industry—without even leaving their own backyards.

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HOW LOCAL JURISDICTIONS CAN KEEP BUILDING OCCUPANTS SAFE

June 10, 2019 | By Meg Novak

Keeping building occupants safe is arguably the most important part of a property manager’s job, especially in the event of a natural disaster. A host of resources provides building owners and managers with the necessary tools and information to prepare for such disasters, including BOMA International’s own Preparedness Committee. But, what about resources to help after a natural disaster has occurred?

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Top State and Local Advocacy Issues Revealed

March 15, 2019 | By Ken Rosenfeld

Taxes, mandates, electric scooters—the commercial real estate industry faced many policy and legislative challenges in the past year. The results are now in from BOMA International’s annual survey of BOMA local associations on top legislative issues facing local markets, revealing both recurring priorities and emerging topics.

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BOMA: ADVOCATING FOR COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE

January 1, 2019 | By BOMA International

In 2018, BOMA International achieved notable victories and saw significant movement on many top legislative priorities. Following on the heels of key 2017 wins, including the passage of tax reform that preserved many important provisions favorable to commercial real estate, the year got off to a strong start.

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Meeting With Your State Legislators

February 2, 2018 | By Ken Rosenfeld

State governments are in the spotlight, as most of the nation’s state legislatures are in session this month and every statehouse in the country—with the exception of Montana, Nevada, North Dakota and Texas, which don’t hold regular sessions in 2018—convening by early spring.

Now is the time for property professionals to meet with their state legislators to increase their understanding of the significance of commercial real estate. Whether you’re a political veteran or new to advocacy work, meeting with your lawmakers is an important—and surprisingly easy— way to support your industry.

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Advocacy Efforts Turn Into Victory On Capitol Hill

March 18, 2018 | By Meg Novak

In late January, hundreds of BOMA members gathered together in Washington, D.C. to take part in BOMA International’s 2018 National Issues Conference (NIC). NIC occurs every other year as part of the Winter Business Meeting, and it gives BOMA members the opportunity to meet face-to-face with their elected officials in Congress. A strong voice on Capitol Hill is key to protecting the commercial real estate industry and the livelihoods of BOMA members, and these meetings allow BOMA members to develop the deep relationships necessary to effect real change in Washington. Hill visits also are a great opportunity for legislators and their congressional staffs to hear firsthand from constituents who are directly affected by legislation that impacts the commercial real estate industry.

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ANNUAL SURVEY REVEALS TOP STATE AND LOCAL LEGISLATIVE ISSUES

April 12, 2018 | By Ken Rosenfeld

Earlier this year, BOMA International sent a survey to each BOMA local association to determine the top legislative issues they were facing in their markets. The results of the survey help BOMA International match local associations facing similar challenges, allowing them to share insights and resources with each other. The responses also create a valuable snapshot into what issues currently are affecting the industry across the United States. According to the results, local associations have primarily grappled with three main legislative issues: financial challenges, sustainability mandates and property access issues.

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BOMA’S INDUSTRY DEFENSE FUND GETS RESULTS

June 4, 2018 | By Ken Rosenfeld

One of BOMA’s most consequential and effective programs often operates quietly behind the scenes. For decades, BOMA International’s Industry Defense Fund (IDF) has leveraged and amplified industry advocacy efforts taking place across the United States, playing a critical role in supporting and protecting the commercial real estate sector. This member-driven program ensures that funds are available at the local, state and federal levels to address a wide range of legislative and legal challenges that stand to impact BOMA members. In 2017 alone, more than $140,000 was awarded to assist nine projects, encompassing a variety of advocacy campaigns.

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BOMA International Advocates For Much-Needed Reforms To The National Flood Insurance Program

June 10, 2019 | By Emily Nade, LEED Green Associate

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), and the program is definitely showing its age. As natural disasters have increased in frequency, flaws in the foundation of the program that were previously manageable are beginning to widen, highlighting the need for reforms.

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COVID-19 Legislative Activity

March 19, 2020 | By BOMA International

On Wednesday, March 18, the U.S. Congress passed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (H.R. 6201), also referred to as “Phase 2” of several anticipated sweeping stimulus packages aimed at curbing the financial hardships that are befalling American businesses and workers as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.These bills are expected to address different aspects of virus-related effects on the country's healthcare, housing and small businesses.

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New BOMA Fact Sheet on Taxable Parking Benefits Published

January 30, 2020 | By Ken Rosenfeld

BOMA's advocacy team has published a new one-page fact sheet explaining the new federal taxation on parking benefits. The 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act created a new tax on previously untaxed parking benefits. This tax is levied on tenants who provide transit benefits, including parking, public transportation or bike subsidies, and applies even when parking is free to a tenant. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued regulations on how to comply in March 2019, but many have found the regulations to be convoluted and onerous. Often requiring tenants to obtain pro rata information on building services that the building managers do not have, the regulations will undoubtedly increase the accounting and clerical burden that BOMA members will face. BOMA will be sending letters and meeting with IRS and U.S. Treasury Department officials to provide a real-world perspective and assist in resolving these concerns.

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BOMA/Greater Saint Paul Endorses New Benchmarking Ordinance

January 30, 2020| By Ken Rosenfeld

The Saint Paul City Council unanimously passed a new benchmarking ordinance last week that will mandate both energy and water tracking. The easy passage of the legislation can be credited in part to the support of BOMA/Greater Saint Paul, which offered their full support along with several other real estate and business organizations. The ordinance requires commercial and residential properties over 50,000 square feet to benchmark in ENERGY STAR® Portfolio Manager®. Unlike many other cities where benchmarking ordinances have become more contentious, Saint Paul buildings will not be mandated to make their results public or share them with the city.

BOMA/Greater Saint Paul President Joe Spartz recognized communication between city staff and BOMA membership as integral in developing a final version of the ordinance that they could support. “Benchmarking is an effective, low-cost way to encourage energy and water efficiency in Saint Paul’s buildings,” the local association stated in a letter of support. “By passing this ordinance, the City Council will be taking an important step towards making our city more resilient.” BOMA International offers an Energy Benchmarking Engagement Toolkit to assist local associations on this advocacy issue.

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Preparing for the Unthinkable: Active Assailants in your Building

September 6, 2019 | By Meg Novak

The United States has experienced a dramatic increase in the number of mass shootings in both public and business settings. As a result, property and security professionals must now prepare for any type of active assailant incident.

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The Scooter Invasion Is Here

August 5, 2018 | By Ken Rosenfeld and Maria Balzer-Pisciotta

Virtually out of nowhere and literally overnight, electric scooters have appeared on downtown sidewalks in cities across the United States, and they continue to spread at an astonishing rate. It’s a development that has surprised both the public and private sectors and, as local governments are scrambling now to determine how to handle the onslaught, the commercial real estate industry also is scrambling to answer the question: Are electric scooters a benefit to the community or a nuisance?

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BOMA Urges Congress to Act on Unresolved Issues

May 18, 2019 | By Emily Naden, LEED Green Associate

On Tuesday, March 12, dozens of BOMA members gathered on Capitol Hill to meet with their lawmakers as part of BOMA International’s 2019 New Congress Fly-In. Members from 17 different BOMA local associations across the United States traveled to Washington, D.C., and met with 64 legislators or their staffs to discuss BOMA’s top legislative issues. Nearly 20 percent of members of the U.S. Congress were new as of January, so establishing relationships with lawmakers early and conveying the message that BOMA members represent jobs and economic growth nationwide are critical.

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Locally Sourced Advocacy

Taxes, mandates and electric scooters—these are just some of the many issues facing jurisdictions across the United States. BOMA International’s advocacy team works closely with BOMA local associations and state coalitions to protect the interests of the commercial real estate industry around the country. For our April vlog, Henry welcomed guests Ken Rosenfeld and Maria Balzer-Pisciotta from our state and local advocacy staff to discuss just a few of our state and local advocacy resources—and how you can get involved.

BOMA Urges Congress To Act On Unresolved Issues

April 11, 2019 | By Emily Naden, LEED Green Associate

January ushered in the 116th session of the U.S. Congress, although this turning point was somewhat overshadowed by the ongoing partial federal government shutdown. After more than a month-long stalemate, the shutdown finally ended on January 25.

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BOMA Hosts the ICC’s Industry Advisory Committee Meeting

April 4, 2019 | By John Catlett

On March 19, 2019, BOMA International hosted a meeting of the International Code Council (ICC) Industry Advisory Committee (IAC) at BOMA International’s offices in Washington, D.C. The committee, chaired by BOMA International’s Senior Codes Consultant, John Catlett, represents over 300 industries affected by changes in the ICC’s I-Codes. Currently, the committee is responsible for advising the ICC about matters affecting the ICC’s working relationships; how to improve documents and services provided by ICC; and policies and programs to enhance codes professions. BOMA International’s involvement in this committee is part of a broader commitment to the built environment as the only national commercial real estate association with an active building codes advocacy program.

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BOMA PARTICIPATION ESSENTIAL IN ICC CODE DEVELOPMENT

January 17, 2019 | By John Catlett, MCP

The BOMA International codes team spent 2018 working hard on the International Code Council’s (ICC) 2021 Group A code development process. Over the course of the year, BOMA International’s Building Codes Committee reviewed the 1,400 proposed code changes and developed 155 positions. From this, BOMA staff developed a 2021 ICC Building Codes Voting Guide for property professionals to share with their local code officials to encourage them to support BOMA’s positions on the proposed code changes. Ultimately, BOMA achieved an impressive 74 percent success rate favorable to its positions during the first and most crucial round of code development committee hearings, scoring a huge victory for BOMA members.

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New ENERGY STAR® Scores Cause Confusion For Property Owners

November 19, 2018 | By John Bryant

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) ENERGY STAR® for Commercial Buildings program has recently been revamped with updated metrics. This has caused some confusion in the real estate industry, as some of the potential new scores for 2019 will reflect significant score reductions.

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Pet Issues: Allowing Animals In The Office

November 16, 2018 | By Ken Rosenfeld

Building owners and managers are increasingly being faced with a question: Can and should animals be allowed in commercial buildings? In BOMA International’s most recent state and local policy survey of BOMA local associations across the United States, nearly one in three respondents cited this issue as a growing concern during the past year.

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Congress Examines Energy Incentives In A Post-Tax Reform World

June 9, 2018 | By John Bryant

This March, BOMA International testified before the U.S. House Ways and Means Tax Policy Subcommittee on the importance of the Energy Efficient Commercial Tax Deduction, commonly referred to as 179D, and offered solutions for making it more effective.

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HOW LOCAL JURISDICTIONS CAN KEEP BUILDING OCCUPANTS SAFE

July 17, 2018 | By Emily Naden, LEED Green Associate

Since the December passage of the U.S. Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, individuals, businesses, accountants and lawyers alike have been trying to decipher what impact the changes to the tax code will have on the bottom line. Thanks, in large part, to BOMA International’s advocacy efforts, the fair taxation of commercial real estate was maintained. The final legislation preserved many tax features important to the long-term health and strength of commercial real estate, and it lowered the corporate rate, which should be a net positive for larger commercial real estate companies. However, in an effort to create simplicity within the tax code, Congress unintentionally complicated issues surrounding qualified improvement property, previously known as leasehold improvement, and damaged a very important tax provision for commercial real estate.

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