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  • 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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