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Commercial real estate leaders face full legislative agenda

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Every year BOMA San Diego tracks dozens of issues at the local and state level that can impact BOMA members. This year is no different — fee and tax increases, the future of redevelopment, energy conservation mandates and new water policies are all under consideration. Add in the fact that 2012 is also an election year, and it’s easy to see the important role BOMA will play in actively representing the interests of our members.

Under the leadership of Chair Barbara Puccio, the Government Affairs Committee outlined the 2012 legislative priorities program adopted by the full BOMA Board of Directors.

The plan reflects important issues carried over from previous years, and it also anticipates new issues that could affect the membership. Below are just a few of the 2012 priorities:

· Fees and taxes: The city’s attempt to double linkage fees dominated 2011. While BOMA was successful in stopping that effort last year, advocates continue to push their agenda, regardless of the impact it will have on the commercial real estate industry and San Diego’s job market. Opposing any increase in linkage fees will remain a top priority for BOMA throughout 2012. Likewise, a number of tax increase proposals are also being discussed at the state level, including an attempt to institute a split-roll property tax system. BOMA San Diego is working with our partners at BOMA California and the California Business Properties Association to oppose any tax increase targeted at the commercial real estate industry. Some of these may appear on the June and November ballots so please stay engaged.

· The future of redevelopment: The Legislature’s decision to end redevelopment had far-reaching impacts on our industry. Hundreds of millions of dollars programmed for projects across the region were lost. Areas like downtown San Diego now must rely on other funding sources to provide parks, affordable housing units and infrastructure upgrades. If these funds are not resurrected in some manner not only will projects be lost, but it’s very likely the business community will be targeted as a funding source to replace redevelopment dollars. BOMA San Diego is working with the mayor’s office and our local state legislators to try and preserve this vital economic tool.

· 2012 elections: Elections are taking place at every level of government this year. 2012 represents the first election since the 2010 census which created a new City Council district and re-drew state and federal boundaries. While BOMA San Diego does not endorse individual candidates, we do take positions on initiatives that can affect our membership. We decided to strongly support the Comprehensive Pension Reform (CPR) Initiative put forward by Mayor Jerry Sanders, Councilmember Kevin Faulconer and Councilmember Carl DeMaio. BOMA feels CPR is the only way to finally reform the city’s pension system and bring an end to San Diego’s structural budget deficit. Supporters successfully collected enough signatures to place CPR on the June ballot, and BOMA is confident San Diego voters will approve this landmark legislation.

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