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  • October 31, 2019 2:52 PM | Dana McKeon (Administrator)

    ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENT

    Free Webinar: New Technology Solutions for Accessing Waste Data

    Join us on Wednesday, November 13, at 2pm Eastern, for the next installment in the free Water and Waste Challenge (W2) webinar series. Open to all, the series is designed to provide insights and best practices to help building owners and managers improve water and waste performance. The upcoming webinar, “Solutions for Better Waste Data and Management,” will explore new technologies that can solve the often-difficult challenge of getting access to waste data. Expert speakers will help illustrate the impact that waste management has on your bottom line; the importance of benchmarking for improving performance; and new technology solutions for accessing accurate waste data.

  • October 31, 2019 2:50 PM | Dana McKeon (Administrator)

    BUILDING CODES

    BOMA Defends Positions During ICC Public Comment Hearings

    Key members of BOMA International’s Building Codes Committee, including committee vice chair and president of BOMA/Tulsa Susan Walker, traveled to Las Vegas for the second round of hearings that will complete the 2021 International Code Council (ICC) code development cycle. Along with Susan, BOMA’s codes consultants John Catlett and Andrew Klein and Vice President of Advocacy & Building Codes John Bryant will be defending positions and making recommendations related to changes made to the International Existing Building Code, International Building Code Administration and Structural provisions, and the International Energy Conservation Code. Most of our concerns revolve around advanced energy efficiency proposals with high-cost implications and long-term paybacks. Testimony began last Wednesday and will be wrapping up this week. You can catch the hearings live at iccsafe.org/content/webcast-hearings.

  • October 31, 2019 2:49 PM | Dana McKeon (Administrator)

    STATE & LOCAL

    BOMA/Seattle-King County Public Safety Survey Reveals Increasing Crime Concerns

    Responding to mounting concerns from local property owners and managers about crime and public safety, BOMA/Seattle-King County launched a survey of its membership to verify anecdotal stories. More than 100 office buildings participated in the survey regarding the impact that crime and other safety incidents are having on tenants, employees, vendors and visitors to their buildings, and the results were bleak. The survey results grabbed the attention of a local news station, with 73 percent of respondents believing that public safety and security issues are worse than they were three to five years ago and a majority reporting experiencing at least seven security incidents per month.

     

    Compounding the problem, properties are significantly under-reporting incidents to law enforcement because they don’t believe it makes a difference. “The information we gathered is alarming,” says Rod Kauffman, president of BOMA/Seattle-King County. “Incidents involving intimidation, property damage and refusal to leave our members’ properties are a regular and growing occurrence. I am concerned that we are reaching a tipping point. We cannot afford to wait to deal more consistently and effectively with crime.” The local association, which has a long track record of contributing to community support services, will next share its findings with local officials with the goal of identifying comprehensive solutions.

  • October 31, 2019 2:49 PM | Dana McKeon (Administrator)

    FEDERAL

    U.S. Congress Considers BOMA-Supported Terrorism Risk Insurance Extension

    On October 11, the U.S. House Committee on Financial Services introduced the Terrorism Risk Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2019 (H.R. 4634)—a 10-year reauthorization of the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (TRIA). TRIA is an effective, low-cost program that has broad popularity in Congress. After some pushback, we believe we have reached a compromise agreement for a 7-year extension of TRIA. Originally enacted in 2002, the TRIA program was reauthorized in 2005, 2007 and 2015. Without congressional action, the program will sunset at the end of 2020.

     

    TRIA coverage is required for commercial real estate lending, making it a necessary component to transactions. After the events of September 11, 2001, most insurance markets were unable to predict or price terrorism coverage. Enacting TRIA in 2002 made the coverage available to commercial real estate, as well as healthcare, stadium and research facilities.

     

    The Coalition to Insure Against Terrorism (CIAT), of which BOMA is a member, issued a letter in support of H.R. 4634, and urges Congress to promptly act on this bill. BOMA and the rest of CIAT are working hard to get TRIA reauthorized as far ahead of the 2020 expiration as possible.

  • October 31, 2019 2:48 PM | Dana McKeon (Administrator)

    BOMAPAC

    Florida Fundraisers Get BOMAPAC Closer to Year-End Goal

    Earlier this month, John Bryant, BOMA International’s Vice President of Advocacy & Building Codes, traveled to Florida where he was featured as the keynote speaker at BOMA/Orlando’s monthly luncheon. During the luncheon, the local association hosted its biggest BOMAPAC fundraiser of the year, raising nearly $2,500 for the political action committee! Raising this amount of money is no easy feat and truly was a team effort. Each of BOMA/Orlando’s committees put together gift baskets to be raffled off. There was something for everyone with gifts ranging from golf gear to the perfect tailgating pack. Because this is their biggest fundraiser of the year, the excitement surrounding the fundraiser drew in 175 people!

     

    In addition to attending BOMA/Orlando’s fundraiser, John Bryant also traveled to BOMA/Jacksonville to speak to their membership about the value of advocacy. After his presentation, he was presented with a $500 contribution to BOMAPAC. These funds were raised by hosting a 50/50 raffle for BOMA/Jacksonville’s members. This is the association's first PAC fundraiser held in recent years, highlighting their increased push to promote advocacy as a member value-add. The contributions from BOMA/Jacksonville and BOMA/Orlando put BOMAPAC well on its way to shattering yet another fundraising record.

     

    Every dollar raised gets us even closer to the year-end goal of $90,000 in 2019 for BOMAPAC. BOMAPAC is an essential resource for amplifying our voice, increasing our reach and cementing relationships with decision makers in Washington, D.C. Thank you to everyone who helped in organizing the Florida fundraisers—especially Allyson Peters in Orlando and Rick Beaver in Jacksonville—and to those who contributed. We cannot accomplish our legislative goals without your support.

  • September 03, 2019 4:40 PM | Dana McKeon (Administrator)

    FEDERAL

    “Free Parking” Becomes an Administrative Nightmare

    BOMA International is working with members of Congress and the IRS to reverse a section of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (TCJA) that disallows a deduction for employers who provide parking to their employees.

    This legislation maintained many common-sense tax policies for commercial real estate, such as 1031 “like-kind” exchanges, historic preservation tax credit and the expansion of 179 expensing. Unfortunately, not all of tax reform was great for commercial real estate interests. TCJA also disallowed the deduction for employers to provide parking for employees. At first glance, 26 U.S. Code Section 274(a)(4) would seem to only affect employers who pay a third party for parking in a lot, garage or reserved space. However, in late 2018, the IRS issued complex guidance which encompasses all employee parking situations, including tenants who do not pay for their unassigned office parking lots, effectively taxing many employers who have employees that drive to work. The IRS memo also provides incredibly onerous methods for building owners to determine the “cost” per tenant of free parking, including many expenses that are not typically calculated (i.e. landscaping and snow removal).

    BOMA is working with members of Congress and preparing information for the IRS on how this undue administrative burden will be impossible to accurately report to our tenants for their compliance.


  • September 03, 2019 4:39 PM | Dana McKeon (Administrator)

    PREPAREDNESS

    BOMA/San Diego Hosts Active Assailant Drill

    BOMA/San Diego recently conducted a large-scale active assailant drill, the third time it’s held this type of event. It was conducted at a downtown high-rise building, and it follows previous drills that took place at a mid-rise building and low-rise campus. The Emerald Plaza provided unique challenges due to its shared space with a hotel, the Westin San Diego. The San Diego Police Department and San Diego Fire Department broadened their tactical understanding of how best to secure a building with private and public areas. Bringing the two departments together to conduct these drills continues to be important since training in each unit is usually siloed and opportunities to train together are limited.

    Planning the drill was a months-long process, but its benefits were invaluable. Conducting active assailant drills is a crucial component to any all-encompassing preparedness plan. Going through a full drill with tenants, building staff and first responders will provide each party with a better idea of what to expect should this type of incident happen. With National Preparedness Month coming up in September, now is the perfect time to plan a drill of your own. Congratulations to the members of BOMA/San Diego's Active Shooter Drill Subcommittee, who helped in planning the event: co-chairs Sonia Miró and Gary Griffin, Joel Allen, Thomas Crocker and Paris Cox. 


  • September 03, 2019 4:39 PM | Dana McKeon (Administrator)

    STATE & LOCAL

    BOMA/Pittsburgh Wins at Pennsylvania Supreme Court, Overturns City Mandate

    In a significant victory for BOMA, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court recently handed down a ruling voiding the city of Pittsburgh’s Safe and Secure Buildings Act. This decision caps a long-fought battle led by BOMA/Pittsburgh, which was successful at every stage in the courts. The city passed the measure in 2015, requiring building owners to provide extensive, specified training to security and service personnel and even mandating who could provide the training. BOMA/Pittsburgh responded to this overreach with a years-long legal effort, which was supported by BOMA International’s Industry Defense Fund.

     

    Ultimately the state’s highest court agreed with BOMA/Pittsburgh, ruling that the measure exceeded the city government’s authority. According to the justices’ written opinion, the “provisions simply want for any statutory authority, express or otherwise,” adding “we must conclude that no statutory provision cited by the City comes close to authorizing such requirements.” While local authority may vary across the country, BOMA/Pittsburgh’s hard-fought triumph sets an important precedent that is appreciated by all BOMA local associations. 


  • September 03, 2019 4:38 PM | Dana McKeon (Administrator)

    STATE & LOCAL

    BOMA Florida Victorious in Protecting Seat on Codes Commission

    Facing a direct threat in this year’s state legislative session, BOMA Florida responded to secure a major win for the industry. A pair of sprawling bills were introduced aimed at deregulation of various industries, but tucked into both was language eliminating BOMA’s seat—along with several others—on the Florida Building Commission. The commission is the body responsible for the Florida Building Code, and state law prescribes a seat for “the building owners and managers industry,” even specifying that BOMA will recommend candidates. BOMA Florida pushed back with the message that whether or not the commission should be streamlined, removing one of the state’s largest industries—one that is heavily impacted by and deeply knowledgeable on code matters—was a misguided solution.

    As the end of the legislative session neared, BOMA Florida President Mary Lantz testified before the state Senate Commerce and Tourism Committee on the importance of preserving this seat. Her message was reinforced the following day, which coincided with BOMA Florida’s Capital Advocacy Day, with members traveling to Tallahassee to meet with legislators. The bills’ sponsors relented, specifically assuring that the BOMA seat would remain safe, before ultimately withdrawing both bills. Congratulations to Mary and the entire Florida coalition for this significant victory in protecting the industry’s voice. 


  • September 03, 2019 4:35 PM | Dana McKeon (Administrator)

    FEDERAL

    BOMA-Backed Energy Efficiency Incentive Gains Traction with Senate Leaders

    Though currently expired, the Energy Efficient Commercial Building Tax Deduction (commonly referred to as 179D) is the only federal incentive for commercial building owners to increase the energy efficiency of buildings. Originally enacted in 2005, 179D allows for an up to $1.80 per square foot deduction for above code improvements in lighting, envelope and HVAC systems.

    BOMA has long championed 179D as an important tool for property owners and managers to achieve advanced levels of energy efficiency, especially where the return on investment has longer-term paybacks. BOMA International President Henry Chamberlain testified last year before the House Ways and Means Committee on the importance of 179D and how the incentive has the potential to transform markets around the country.

    Most recently, a bipartisan senate working group was convened to look at expired tax incentives (including 179D) to determine if they were still warranted in a post-tax reform environment. The working group unveiled their findings, specifically mentioning the support from BOMA, as they made a positive recommendation to reinstate 179D. With time running out on the congressional calendar, BOMA will continue to advocate for legislation that extends and enhances this important incentive. 


The Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) International is a federation of 88 BOMA U.S. associations and 18 international affiliates. Founded in 1907, BOMA represents the owners and managers of all commercial property types including nearly 10.5 billion square feet of U.S. office space that supports 1.7 million jobs and contributes $234.9 billion to the U.S. GDP. Its mission is to advance a vibrant commercial real estate industry through advocacy, influence and knowledge.​​ 

BOMA WESTCHESTER

1-800-726-6224 

boma@usa.net

PO Box 7250 N. Arlington NJ 07031-7250 

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