BOMA Releases 2020 Federal Legislative Priorities

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:

Fixing Qualified Improvement Property
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 inadvertently raised the depreciation period of leasehold improvements from 15 years to 39 due to a drafting error. The definitions of leasehold, restaurant and retail improvement property were intended to be combined into one property class known as “qualified improvement property” (QIP). Unfortunately, instead of lowering the depreciation rate for these property types, the drafting error increased the depreciation period of leasehold improvements. This resulted in two problems. First, the depreciation for interior improvements has reverted to 39 years, up from 15 years. Second, this error prevents QIP from being fully expensed under the tax bill’s temporary 100 percent bonus depreciation that should have been in effect for this property type through 2022. BOMA supports S. 803 & H.R. 1869 to correct this issue.

Advancing Energy Efficiency Through Building Codes
The Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act of 2019 represents a dynamic shift in how energy efficiency is established in new building codes. This legislation codifies efficiency targets through a federal rulemaking process, balancing the goal of efficiency gains against the upfront cost to building owners and investors. Widely regarded as a bipartisan solution to increased energy efficiency and reduced emissions, the bills have been endorsed by numerous efficiency and environmental groups, as well as many real estate and business interests. On this issue, BOMA supports S. 2137 & H.R. 3962.