BOMA San Diego has plenty of issues on its radar as 2012 begins. There are a number of attacks being proposed by various parties on the commercial real estate community, including one or more split roll property tax initiatives, mandatory labor hiring measures, and a linkage fee increase to pay for affordable housing. BOMA will also pay close attention to elections at every level of government, including the 2012 mayoral race, which promises to be one of the most exciting in years.
While 2012 will be one of the most active years in recent memory, it’s important to acknowledge our significant victories in 2011. BOMA San Diego continued its role as a leading voice for the commercial real estate industry on many issues:
* BOMA joined with 25 other business organizations to form the “JOBS Coalition” and successfully fought the city’s attempt to double the linkage fee on new construction projects to help pay for affordable housing. This is one of the primary issues we’ll stay focused on in 2012, but suffice it to say that raising linkage fees equates to a tax on job creation, and BOMA San Diego will continue to lead the opposition if this ill-conceived proposal is brought back before the City Council.
* We worked with the mayor’s office and City Council to revise the High-Rise Inspection Program, which originally contained a significant fee increase to BOMA members.
* BOMA also supported the successful effort to put a Comprehensive Pension Reform (CPR) initiative on the June 2012 ballot. BOMA feels pension reform is critical to solving San Diego’s structural budget deficit, and must be addressed to avoid further attacks on the business community in the form of fee and tax increases.
BOMA also partnered with other business community associations throughout California to advocate against two pieces of state legislation that would have drastically impacted our members:
* AB 350 (displaced workers act) was defeated in the state senate. AB 350 would have mandated that property owners and managers retain service employees – building maintenance, licensed security, window cleaners, and food cafeteria services – even if the contractor is dismissed, for a period of 90 days. Our partnership with BOMA CAL, the California Business Properties Association and NAIOP kept this bill from reaching Gov. Brown’s desk.
* SB 469 (anti-Walmart bill) was vetoed by Gov. Brown. The bill would have deterred the construction of new retail developments, and local communities would have lost out on the jobs and revenues created by new businesses. However, the same coalition that fought AB 350 overwhelmed the Governor’s office with veto requests and ultimately the bill was vetoed as the 2011 legislative session came to a close.