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BOMA members take to halls of Capitol Hill

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BOMA members throughout the United States traveled to Washington in early February to take commercial real estate’s message straight to legislators on Capitol Hill during the 2010 Winter Business Meeting and National Issues Conference. A record number of meetings on the Hill took place as members met with lawmakers to discuss how issues such as energy, carried interest and leasehold depreciation have a tremendous impact on commercial real estate and the broader economy.

Here are a few highlights:

Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.), co-chair of the Senate Real Estate Caucus, addressed BOMA members during the “How to Take our Message to Capitol Hill” session, telling attendees that job creation and a strong commercial real estate industry go hand-in-hand. Cardin also spoke about the current tax deductions for energy improvements. While he said the deductions are important, he noted they need to be improved and made “more realistic with actual costs.”

During the General Session sponsored by AlliedBarton Security Services, keynote speaker Charlie Cook, publisher of the “Cook Political Report” and columnist for the National Journal, offered insight into the tumultuous political climate in Washington. Cook referred to independents as the largest and most influential political group, coining independents as “purple America” and suggesting that they look to sway heavily Republican in the 2010 elections.

BOMA 360 Performance Program Council Chair Dan Chancey honored representatives from BOMA 360 Performance Buildings during the General Session. Said Chancey, “BOMA 360 is exactly the kind of program the industry has been asking for and designees are telling us it is the best way to position their buildings as best in class.”

Attendees also heard from Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), a co-chair of the Senate Real Estate Caucus, and Rep. Danny Davis (D-Ill.). Isakson told attendees that cap and trade is essentially dead in the U.S. Senate and that “tax treatments that incentivize business are needed.”

When it came time to take to the halls of Capitol Hill, BOMA members came out in record numbers to discuss energy and tax issues and the importance of a healthy commercial real estate industry to boost economic recovery.

Winter Business Meeting and National Issues Conference attendees had a chance to network during the Opening Reception, sponsored by Naylor, and swap Capitol Hill stories at the Networking Reception, sponsored by ThyssenKrupp. A fitting BOMAPAC fundraiser during the Networking Reception had attendees posing for photos with Washington’s Political Elite -- even if the politicians seemed a bit stiff.

Check out what BOMA members had to say about their visits to Capitol Hill on BOMA’s YouTube Channel, youtube.com/bomainternational.

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