Weekly Update- 10-9-2020

Posted: October 10, 2020 | Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

PROPOSITIONS IN NOVEMBER

There are a lot of propositions on the ballot, but here are the two we care about most:

Prop 15 – Split Roll Property Tax – VOTE NO!

Prop 21 – Statewide Rent Control – VOTE NO!

Please help us defeat split roll property tax and statewide rent control by voting NO on these measures. Encourage everyone you know to do the same!

 

TENANT AND LANDLORD RESOURCES WEBSITE

As part of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic the State of California has launched a website to assist both tenants and landlords about the many issues related to recent protections and responsibilities enacted by the Legislature and/or the Governor via Executive Order. These rules are focused on residential, but since many of our members do both commercial and residential wanted to make sure you were aware of this resource.  Click here to review.

 

SBA PROPOSES SMALL BUSINESS SIZE STANDARD REVISIONS

The following comes from the Small Business Administration that is seeking input on defining what a small business is.  A large majority of our members are small businesses under the current definitions and real estate as a whole has many small business people active and engaged.  Make sure you understand what is happening on this:

The U.S. Small Business Administration is seeking public comments on two proposed rules that would revise the small business size standards for businesses in eight North American Industrial Classification System (NAICS) sectors to increase small business eligibility for SBA’s loan and contracting programs.

The NAICS sectors reviewed in the first proposed rule are: Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing, and Hunting; Mining, Quarrying, and Oil and Gas Extraction; Utilities; and Construction. The NAICS sectors reviewed in the second proposed rule are: Transportation and Warehousing; Information; Finance and Insurance; and Real Estate and Rental and Leasing. The SBA proposes to increase size standards for 113 industries in those sectors. The following table includes the number of industries reviewed and the number of industries with proposed increases in size standards by NAICS sector. This is the first time the SBA established size standards for all agricultural enterprises as other industries, as required by the National Defense Authorization Act of Fiscal Year 2017.

The SBA estimates that more than 50,000 additional firms in these eight sectors will become eligible for SBA’s programs under the revised size standards, if adopted. The revised asset-based size standards would allow about 280 additional financial institutions to qualify as small.

The proposed rules are part of a five-year comprehensive review of small business size standards, as required under the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010. The proposed revisions reflect changes in the industry and federal marketplace conditions and the SBA’s policy position under the current economic situation due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In response to the pandemic, the SBA is retaining current size standards where data suggests that size standards should be lowered.

Click here to access all the information about this issue.

 

PRIORITY BILLS SIGNED BY THE GOVERNOR

AB 168 Planning and zoning: annual report: housing development: streamlined approvals. NEUTRAL

(AMENDS TAKEN)

AB 434 Housing financing programs: uniform procedures. SUPPORT
AB 685 COVID-19: imminent hazard to employees: exposure: notification: serious violations. OPPOSE
AB 713 California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018. SUPPORT
AB 725 General plans: housing element: moderate-income and above moderate-income housing: suburban and metropolitan jurisdictions. NEUTRAL
AB 841 Energy: transportation electrification: energy efficiency programs: School Energy Efficiency Stimulus Program. NEUTRAL (AMENDS TAKEN)
AB 1281 Privacy: California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018. OPPOSE
AB 1286 Shared mobility devices: agreements. SUPPORT
AB 1561 Planning and zoning: housing element and entitlement extensions. SUPPORT
AB 1731 Unemployment insurance: work sharing plans. OPPOSE
AB 1947 Employment violation complaints: requirements: time. OPPOSE
AB 2043 Occupational safety and health: agricultural employers and employees: COVID-19 response. OPPOSE
AB 2231 Public works. OPPOSE
AB 2992 Employment practices: leave time. NEUTRAL

(AMENDS TAKEN)

AB 3074 Fire prevention: wildfire risk: defensible space: ember-resistant zones. SUPPORT
AB 3075 Wages: enforcement. OPPOSE
AB 3088 Tenancy: rental payment default: mortgage forbearance: state of emergency: COVID-19. NEUTRAL

(AMENDS TAKEN – COMMERCIAL EXEMPTED)

SB 288 California Environmental Quality Act: exemptions: transportation-related projects. SUPPORT
SB 973 Employers: annual report: pay data. OPPOSE
SB 1079 Residential property: foreclosure. OPPOSE
SB 1159 Workers’ compensation: COVID-19: critical workers. OPPOSE
SB 1383 Unlawful employment practice: California Family Rights Act. OPPOSE

 

PRIORITY BILLS VETOED BY THE GOVERNOR

AB 1066 Unemployment compensation: benefits payable: collection. OPPOSE
AB 2004 Medical test results: verification credentials. OPPOSE
AB 3216 Unemployment: rehiring and retention: state of emergency. OPPOSE
SB 182 Local government: planning and zoning: wildfires. OPPOSE
SB 1102 Employers: Labor Commissioner: required disclosures. OPPOSE

 

AGENCIES CONSIDERING UPDATE TO EV CHARGING REGULATIONS

The Governor’s announcement on plans to prohibit the sale of new cars with internal combustion engines starting in 2035, means that auto manufacturers will only be offering Zero-Emission Vehicles for sale in California after 2034.

In an effort to ensure the availability of charging stations throughout the state, the Air Resources Board (ARB) is asking HCD and the Building Standards Commission to update their EV-Ready requirements for new non-residential and multi-family buildings to increase the percentage of EV-Ready parking spots to 15% of all available spots.  Current standards in Cal Green require 10% of the parking spots have an empty conduit (plastic or metal pipe) connecting the parking lot with the electrical panel.  Also, the electrical panel must have enough unused capacity (plug slots) to allow for the later installation of EV-charging stations (e.g.: “EV-Ready”).

And, for the first time, the ARB will be asking these agencies to mandate the installation of at least one fully-functioning, Level 2 EV-charging station in new multifamily and commercial buildings.   This marks a significant departure from the EV-Ready policy for the past six years and raises the question: Who will pay for this?  After all, the state would be mandating the installation of something that (1) may not see significant use for years and, more importantly, (2) provides a revenue stream for the local utility (not the building owner).

As of press time, ARB is not seeking any changes to the EV-ready requirements for single-family homes, as all new homes (100%) have been required to be EV-Ready since July of 2015.

We participated in a workshop earlier this week where these ideas were advance, but no details were yet released.  Click here for information from that meeting.

Weekly Update- October 2, 2020

Posted: October 3, 2020 | Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

PROP 15: “NO. 1 TARGET ON THE BALLOT MAY BE A CLOSE CALL”

CBPA’s President and CEO – and one of the state’s main Champions fighting against the split roll property tax measure – Rex Hime is quoted extensively in this story by BisNow:

“California’s commercial real estate industry is preparing for the home stretch of an election campaign that could have major consequences for the state’s property owners and businesses.

“Thus far, it is shaping up to be a close call, at least for one of the industry’s two big items.

Proposition 15, which would raise taxes on commercial and industrial property by taxing based on current market value, was favored by 51% of voters in the latest poll by the Public Policy Institute of California, conducted between early and mid-September and including 1,700 California residents.”

Click here to read the rest of the story and see what Rex has to say.

 

ENERGY EFFICIENCY BILL INTRODUCED IN CONGRESS

Our friends at BOMA International report that Congressman Roger Williams (R-TX) introduced a bill to make 179D, the Energy Efficient Commercial Buildings Tax Deduction, permanent.  The “Promoting Commercial Energy Efficiency Act” (no bill number yet) is an important step to ensure the viability of energy efficiency investments now and in the future.

First enacted in 2005, 179D has offered commercial building owners up to $1.80 per square foot to offset some of the costs for major energy-efficient improvements made to heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems; the building envelope; and lighting upgrades that exceed ASHRAE Standard 90.1 by 50 percent. A partial deduction of $.60 per square foot also has been available for retrofits of individual building systems. 179D remains the sole federal energy efficiency incentive for commercial buildings.

BOMA International and other real estate professional groups have long been advocates for both improving the deduction and making it permanent. BOMA COO & President, Henry Chamberlain testified in March of 2018 before the House Ways & Means Committee on behalf of making 179D permanent and staff appeared before a 2019 select Senate Committee on Cost Recovery as well.

From way out on the Left Coast we applaud the introduction of this bill and looks forward to working with all of our associations in D.C. to make 179D the best incentive for commercial building owners and managers retrofit their buildings to save energy, save money and preserve the planet.

 

PRIORITY BILLS SIGNED BY THE GOVERNOR

AB 168 Planning and zoning: annual report: housing development: streamlined approvals. NEUTRAL

(AMENDS TAKEN)

AB 434 Housing financing programs: uniform procedures. SUPPORT
AB 685 COVID-19: imminent hazard to employees: exposure: notification: serious violations. OPPOSE
AB 713 California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018. SUPPORT
AB 725 General plans: housing element: moderate-income and above moderate-income housing: suburban and metropolitan jurisdictions. NEUTRAL
AB 841 Energy: transportation electrification: energy efficiency programs: School Energy Efficiency Stimulus Program. NEUTRAL (AMENDS TAKEN)
AB 1281 Privacy: California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018. OPPOSE
AB 1286 Shared mobility devices: agreements. SUPPORT
AB 1561 Planning and zoning: housing element and entitlement extensions. SUPPORT
AB 1731 Unemployment insurance: work sharing plans. OPPOSE
AB 1947 Employment violation complaints: requirements: time. OPPOSE
AB 2043 Occupational safety and health: agricultural employers and employees: COVID-19 response. OPPOSE
AB 2231 Public works. OPPOSE
AB 2992 Employment practices: leave time. NEUTRAL

(AMENDS TAKEN)

AB 3074 Fire prevention: wildfire risk: defensible space: ember-resistant zones. SUPPORT
AB 3075 Wages: enforcement. OPPOSE
AB 3088 Tenancy: rental payment default: mortgage forbearance: state of emergency: COVID-19. NEUTRAL

(AMENDS TAKEN – COMMERCIAL EXEMPTED)

SB 288 California Environmental Quality Act: exemptions: transportation-related projects. SUPPORT
SB 973 Employers: annual report: pay data. OPPOSE
SB 1079 Residential property: foreclosure. OPPOSE
SB 1159 Workers’ compensation: COVID-19: critical workers. OPPOSE
SB 1383 Unlawful employment practice: California Family Rights Act. OPPOSE

 

PRIORITY BILLS VETOED BY THE GOVERNOR

AB 1066 Unemployment compensation: benefits payable: collection. OPPOSE
AB 2004 Medical test results: verification credentials. OPPOSE
AB 3216 Unemployment: rehiring and retention: state of emergency. OPPOSE
SB 182 Local government: planning and zoning: wildfires. OPPOSE
SB 1102 Employers: Labor Commissioner: required disclosures. OPPOSE

 

AGENCIES CONSIDERING UPDATE TO EV CHARGING REGULATIONS

The Governor’s announcement on plans to prohibit the sale of new cars with internal combustion engines starting in 2035, means that auto manufacturers will only be offering Zero-Emission Vehicles for sale in California after 2034.

In an effort to ensure the availability of charging stations throughout the state, the Air Resources Board (ARB) is asking HCD and the Building Standards Commission to update their EV-Ready requirements for new non-residential and multi-family buildings to increase the percentage of EV-Ready parking spots to 15% of all available spots.  Current standards in Cal Green require 10% of the parking spots have an empty conduit (plastic or metal pipe) connecting the parking lot with the electrical panel.  Also, the electrical panel must have enough unused capacity (plug slots) to allow for the later installation of EV-charging stations (e.g.: “EV-Ready”).

And, for the first time, the ARB will be asking these agencies to mandate the installation of at least one fully-functioning, Level 2 EV-charging station in new multifamily and commercial buildings.   This marks a significant departure from the EV-Ready policy for the past six years and raises the question: Who will pay for this?  After all, the state would be mandating the installation of something that (1) may not see significant use for years and, more importantly, (2) provides a revenue stream for the local utility (not the building owner).

As of press time, ARB is not seeking any changes to the EV-ready requirements for single-family homes, as all new homes (100%) have been required to be EV-Ready since July of 2015.

 

ENERGY COMMISSION WORKSHOP ON PROPOSED COMMERCIAL SOLAR MANDATE

California Energy Commission (CEC) staff will conduct a workshop to present and discuss proposed changes related to solar photovoltaic requirements and electrification for the 2022 update of the California Building Energy Efficiency Standards (Energy Code).

This webinar will include staff presentations on proposed updates to Part 6 of the 2022 Energy Code and Part 11 of the California Green Building Code to encourage greater use of electric heat pump technologies for low-rise residential buildings, high-rise residential buildings and selected nonresidential building categories.

The webinar also will include staff presentations on proposed updates to require photovoltaic systems and batteries in high-rise residential and selected nonresidential building categories and proposed updates pertaining to photovoltaic systems and batteries to address identified implementation issues.

The workshop will be on Tuesday, October 6, 2020, starting at 9:00 a.m.  Click here for the agenda and instructions on how to participate.

 

Weekly Update- September 18, 2020

Posted: September 18, 2020 | Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

POLL SHOWS SPLIT ROLL SLIPPING BUT STILL WITH A MAJORITY

The latest poll from the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) shows Prop 15, the measure to repeal Prop 13 protection from businesses, shows the measure losing support as we near election day, but still clinging on to a slim majority.

Rex S. Hime, President and CEO, California Business Properties Association, responded with the following statement: “The PPIC poll shows that our efforts to educate voters about Prop. 15, the largest property tax increase in state history, are working, but we can’t let up.  The numbers show that when voters learn the facts about the measure they understand that it will impact small businesses the most, increase costs for leasing property and buying goods, and that their homes are the next target.”

Rex Hime represents the commercial real estate industry as part of the No On Prop 15 Campaign leadership.  No on Prop 15 – Stop Higher Property Taxes and Save Prop 13, a bipartisan coalition of homeowners, taxpayers, and businesses, has been fighting to protect Prop 13 and oppose a split-roll property tax for more than a decade.

 

MORE ON PPIC POLL; WHAT IS SAYS ABOUT PROP 15 SPLIT ROLL

Our friend Joel Fox, from Fox and Hounds, has more commentary on the PPIC Poll:

The Public Policy Institute of California’s September poll measured the current standing of two ballot measures: Proposition 15, the property tax increase on commercial property, and Proposition 16 to rescind the ban on affirmative action. As expected, the Prop 15 battle is going to be close with a slim majority in favor at the present time. However, despite all the action around social justice the last few months, the affirmative action ban repeal trails badly.

According to the poll, Proposition 15 is in front now with 51% of likely voters saying they would vote yes, 40% would vote no, with 9% undecided. While the poll indicates the yes side enjoys a lead in four of the five regions of the state that PPIC identifies (the Orange/San Diego Counties region was opposed), there are other items in the poll that mean the election likely will tighten and could turn.

The poll that was taken between September 4 and 13. The yes side was on the air with its television ads the entire time while no side ads began during that period. With both sides promising big buys in media and other voter outreach, poll numbers could shift.

The question asked by the pollsters mirrored the ballot label and summary that the attorney general put on the proposition, which was heavily criticized in the media as being biased toward the proponents. Arguments made by the campaigns will attempt to either boost or sand down that edge the AG offered the proponents, many his political allies.

Important to the Proposition 15 battle were two separate questions in the poll that asked about the state’s and country’s economic situation. By a two-to-one margin, likely voters believe that the United States will have bad economic conditions over the next 12 months. Well over 70% of likely voters said California is in a recession.

Couple those findings with a recent poll released by the National Federation of Independent Business/California that 94% of small businesses in the state are opposed to Prop 15 because of its potential devasting effects on small business, and the economic issue is sure to influence the vote before the election is over. That economic issue was not expressed in the question PPIC asked about Proposition 15.

In addition, homeowners were split within the margin of error on supporting the initiative, 47% in favor, 44% opposed. If the charge made by opponents gains acceptance that this property tax increase for commercial property is just the first step in going after all of the property tax protections of the iconic Proposition 13, homeowner opposition is sure to grow.

Interestingly, that while schools are being pushed as a great beneficiary of the new tax dollars that would come in if the measure passed, the poll found that households with children were less supportive of the initiative than households that had no children. Households with no children supported the measure 52% to 39% while households with children were under 50% with a slim lead of 46% yes, 42% no.

As predicted by many observers, the battle over Proposition 15 is expected to be close and this poll supports that notion.

Click here for the full story.

 

COVID SHUTDOWN: MALLS FILE LAWSUIT AGAINST LA COUNTY

In a move that could have statewide ramifications, a class action lawsuit has been filed against L.A. County asserting its continued shutdown of indoor malls is discriminatory:

From the story:

Del Amo Fashion Center Operating Co. LLC and retailer Rivas Sports Inc. filed the suit Thursday in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, seeking to end the closings in the county, which includes the city of Los Angeles and suburbs.

Indoor malls are open and operating safely elsewhere in California and other parts of the country, and stores not located in indoor shopping centers or malls are open and operating safely in L.A., the complaint says.

However, indoor shopping centers and their interior retailers in the county “uniquely remain closed, and many of their employees, like Ms. Rivas, remain out of work—without any explanation or any scientific support,” the complaint alleges.

No evidence shows that indoor malls pose a greater risk of spreading Covid-19 than the large and small retailers, including hair salons and barbershops, that the county has permitted to remain open, the plaintiffs allege.

The retailers say their due process rights are being violated because they have been given no way to challenge what they say is the “lack of any rational basis for the county order.”

Click here for the full story.

 

CALCHAMBER STATEMENT ON NEW FAMILY RIGHTS ACT

CalChamber Statement on Governor Signing SB 1383 into Law:

Governor Gavin Newsom today signed into law SB 1383 (Jackson; D-Santa Barbara), which will significantly expand the California Family Rights Act onto employers with 5 or more employees, and require them to provide up to 12 weeks of protected leave to qualified employees.

While we are disappointed that Governor Newsom signed SB 1383 and added a new burden to small employers at this time, CalChamber is urging small business owners to become familiar with the new requirements of this law as any mistake could result in a lawsuit.

“Small businesses who employ 5 to 49 employees should pay close attention to what is now required of them when it comes to this new law and its expansion of California’s mandated protected leave programs,” said Allan Zaremberg, President and CEO of the California Chamber of Commerce.

Click here to read the rest of the story.

 

NFIB STATEMENT ON NEW FAMILY RIGHTS ACT

And the leading small business group, is also ringing the bell about how SB 1383 will hammer small companies that are barely hanging on because of the long term economic shut down.  From our friend John Kabatek:

Tragically, previous vows from the governor and lawmakers to help devastated small business owners crawl out of this virus-ravaged economic recession have proven to be a pile of empty, election-year bluster. Our Capitol leaders continue to lack any rudimentary understanding of small business economics or a hint of compassion for the job creators that are broke but now expected to subsidize another costly government mandate.

The law now allows an employee:

* to take up to 12 workweeks of unpaid, job-protected leave during a 12-month period for specified family care and medical leave reasons

* reinstatement to the same or comparable position

* to continue group health coverage during the duration of the leave

the governor often states his record of being a small business owner and entrepreneur. We would encourage the governor to rediscover his roots when assessing future legislative priorities.

And, most devastating of all, SB 1383 hits small employers especially hard by lowering traditional thresholds for compliance to five-or-more employee firms—the heart of most small businesses.

Click here to read and share the full op/ed.

 

BILLS AWAITING GOVERNOR’S ACTION

 Signature Requests

 SB 288 (Wiener – D) California Environmental Quality Act: exemptions: transportation-related projects.

Summary: Enables sustainable transportation projects as an essential part of California’s economic recovery from COVID-19 by providing targeted CEQA exemptions for certain transportation/housing projects saving anywhere from 6 months to 4 years in permitting.

Position: SUPPORT

Status: On Governor’s Desk.

 AB 1561 (Garcia, Cristina – D) Planning and zoning: housing element and entitlement extensions.

Summary: Enables a uniform statewide permit and entitlement extension, which is necessary to avoid expiration of permits and the significant statewide cost and allocation of local government staff resource to unnecessarily go through the process again.

Position: SUPPORT

Status: On Governor’s Desk.

 Veto Requests

AB 841 (Ting – D) Energy: transportation electrification: energy efficiency programs.

Summary: Drives up the costs of Electric Vehicle Charging infrastructure by creating a monopoly for one of the bill sponsors – a private Michigan based group (EVITP) – to control every aspect of the installation of EV chargers in California.  Additionally, the bill redirect energy efficiency program funding away from commercial properties.

Position: OPPOSE

Status: On Governor’s Desk

 AB 1066 (Gonzalez – D) Unemployment compensation: benefits payable: collection.

Summary: Potentially eliminates the opportunity for an employer to present evidence of independent contractor status by imposing an arbitrary 10-day statutory deadline for a business to produce records or face a “conclusive presumption” that the individual is entitled to benefits.  Even businesses actin in “good-faith” face penalties and loss of appeals.

Position: OPPOSE

Status: On Governor’s Desk.

 

AB 3216 (Kalra – D) Unemployment: rehiring and retention: state of emergency

Summary: Requires an employer to offer its laid-off employees specified information about job positions that become available for which the laid-off employees are qualified, and to offer positions to those employees based on a preference system.

Position: OPPOSE

Status: On Governor’s Desk.

SB 1159 (Hill – D) Workers’ compensation: COVID-19: critical workers.

Summary: Increases employer expenses as many employees who are not infected at work to be covered by workers’ compensation benefits paid by employers.

Position: OPPOSE

Status: On Governor’s Desk

 

Weekly Update- September 11, 2020

Posted: September 11, 2020 | Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

STATEWIDE AND LOCAL EVICTION MORATORIUM

As we have previously reported, the statewide eviction moratorium bill, AB 3088, has been signed into law by Governor Newsom.  The new law pertains to residential actions and does not include commercial.

However, while the legislative year is over, and we have managed to prevent Sacramento from passing new laws inhibiting commercial property rights, various local ordinances and limitations are still be in effect and may impact your properties.

Please consult with your attorney before initiating any unlawful detainer activity to make certain that such actions are not disallowed in your specific county/city.

 

NO ON PROP 15 – BROAD BASED BIPARTISAN OPPOSITION

A coalition of Democrat, Republican and non-partisan local elected officials announced their opposition today to Proposition 15—the largest property tax increase in state history. Opposition to the $11.5 billion property tax increase cuts across all partisan and geographic lines as more than 200 state and local elected officials have voiced opposition to Prop 15.

“During this time of pain and uncertainty, Prop 15 would impose new hardships on consumers, small businesses and farmers when they are already struggling amid the worst recession in decades,” said Kevin Faulconer, mayor of San Diego. “The pandemic is already threatening to extinguish the American Dream for generations of Californians, and we should not make a terrible situation worse by adding higher taxes.”

“Prop 15 isn’t the answer and will only get in the way of California’s much needed recovery,” wrote Antonio Villaraigosa former Los Angeles mayor and speaker of the State Assembly in a recent CalMatters op-ed.

“Millions of Californians are filing for unemployment and are at risk of losing everything,” added Willie Brown, former mayor of San Francisco and speaker of the State Assembly. “Prop 15 will make the economic crisis worse by devastating small businesses – including our neighborhood restaurants, barbershops, and dry cleaners – by raising their rents. Vote NO.”

Far from benefitting every community, the Legislative Analyst’s Office says, “Not all governments would be guaranteed new money. Some in rural areas may end up losing money,” contrary to claims by the measure’s backers.

“Prop 15 creates clear winners and losers. Low-income communities like mine stand to gain scraps off the table as home foreclosures are looming. Prop 15 will only increase inequality in California,” added State Senator Cathleen Galgiani (D-Stockton). “Prop 15’s numerous flaws mean it will cause more problems than solutions.”

According to a study by the California State Conference of the NAACP, Prop 15’s higher property taxes will hurt Black and Latino businesses the most. These same businesses will face rising rents due to Prop 15’s higher property taxes at a time when they are trying to keep their doors open.

“Given what’s going on with the COVID-19 pandemic and downturn in the economy, now is the worst time possible for the largest property tax increase in California’s history,” said Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva (D-Orange County). “Prop 15 will be devastating for California and will make things even worse for minority-owned businesses after they have been disproportionately hurt by the recession. That’s just plain unfair.”

To view the full list of elected officials opposing Prop 15, click here.

 

CCDA ACCESSIBILITY CONSTRUCTION INSPECTION CHECKLIST

The California Commission on Disability Access (CCDA) has updated their Accessibility Construction Inspection Checklist (Accessibility Checklist), which is used by building code officials/building inspectors as a reference guide to assist with on-site inspection of accessibility features and construction elements affecting accessibility compliance.

The Accessibility Checklist can also help you as a property owner/manager to keep an eye on your Tenant Improvement projects in terms of complying with ADA standards.

Click here to read more.

The CCDA is a 17-member independent commission consisting of 11 public members and six (6) ex-officio non-voting members. The CCDA was established through legislation sponsored by CBPA enacted in 2008.  Doug Wiele, a former CBPA chair and long-time board member, serves as CCDA’s Vice Chair.

 

 TENANTS’ TROUBLES PUT STRESS ON COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE

The New York Times has run a comprehensive story about impacts of COVID-19 on the commercial, industrial, and retail real estate industry.  The story highlights how a California Tenant-Only Brokerage firms have used the pandemic to undercut property owners even on behalf of companies that are not experiencing pandemic related downturns in revenue.

In general, most landlords and most tenants have chosen to work together recognizing the symbiotic relationship of commercial real estate, but there are some issues and tensions that arise as everyone struggles to stay healthy, provide services, and keep employees with jobs.

Click here to read the NYT story.

 

BILLS AWAITING GOVERNOR’S ACTION

 Signature Requests

 SB 288 (Wiener – D) California Environmental Quality Act: exemptions: transportation-related projects.

Summary: Enables sustainable transportation projects as an essential part of California’s economic recovery from COVID-19 by providing targeted CEQA exemptions for certain transportation/housing projects saving anywhere from 6 months to 4 years in permitting.

Position: SUPPORT

Status: On Governor’s Desk.

 AB 1561 (Garcia, Cristina – D) Planning and zoning: housing element and entitlement extensions.

Summary: Enables a uniform statewide permit and entitlement extension, which is necessary to avoid expiration of permits and the significant statewide cost and allocation of local government staff resource to unnecessarily go through the process again.

Position: SUPPORT

Status: On Governor’s Desk.

 Veto Requests

AB 841 (Ting – D) Energy: transportation electrification: energy efficiency programs.

Summary: Drives up the costs of Electric Vehicle Charging infrastructure by creating a monopoly for one of the bill sponsors – a private Michigan based group (EVITP) – to control every aspect of the installation of EV chargers in California.  Additionally, the bill redirect energy efficiency program funding away from commercial properties.

Position: OPPOSE

Status: On Governor’s Desk

 AB 1066 (Gonzalez – D) Unemployment compensation: benefits payable: collection.

Summary: Potentially eliminates the opportunity for an employer to present evidence of independent contractor status by imposing an arbitrary 10-day statutory deadline for a business to produce records, or face a “conclusive presumption” that the individual is entitled to benefits.  Even businesses actin in “good-faith” face penalties and loss of appeals.

Position: OPPOSE

Status: On Governor’s Desk.

AB 3216 (Kalra – D) Unemployment: rehiring and retention: state of emergency.

Summary: Requires an employer to offer its laid-off employees specified information about job positions that become available for which the laid-off employees are qualified, and to offer positions to those employees based on a preference system.

Position: OPPOSE

Status: On Governor’s Desk.

SB 1159 (Hill – D) Workers’ compensation: COVID-19: critical workers.

Summary: Increases employer expenses as many employees who are not infected at work to be covered by workers’ compensation benefits paid by employers.

Position: OPPOSE

Status: On Governor’s Desk

SB 1383 (Jackson – D) Unlawful employment practice: family leave.

Summary: Makes it an unlawful employment practice for any employer to refuse to grant a request by an employee to take up to 12 workweeks of unpaid protected leave during any 12-month period.

Position: OPPOSE

Status: On Governor’s Desk.

Weekly Update – August 28, 2020

Posted: August 29, 2020 | Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

GOVERNOR ANNOUNCES NEW REOPENING GUIDELINES

California has a new blueprint for reducing COVID-19 in the state with revised criteria for loosening and tightening restrictions on activities. Click here to find out how businesses and activities can open in your county starting this Sunday, August 31st.

The new “blueprint for reducing COVID-19 in the state” has revised criteria for loosening and tightening restrictions on activities. However, individual counties can be stricter.

The new plan includes sector-based tiers for reopening, including shopping malls, offices, and restaurants. Here is the matrix with the sector specific criteria.

CBPA and the CA Retailers have worked closely with the Governor’s office over the past few weeks to help advise on the safety protocol commercial properties are undertaking to assure safety of our tenants, and guests, with a specific focus on retail centers and shopping malls.  The hope is that this new plan will make more sense, allow more spaces to be opened safely, and provide clear and transparent guidelines on how properties/companies can reopen their doors and get back to normal. Click here to read more.

The initial state reopening saw a huge increase in cases.  We hope the lesson’s learned from that experience applied by the governor and industries across the state will allow economic activity to re-start while mitigating the spread of COVID-19 within the state.

 

ALMOST OVER! THREE DAYS LEFT!

 Just three days left of one of the craziest legislative sessions CBPA has ever seen. Today is the last days bills can be amended, and legislators will work over the weekend on last minute committee hearings.  Monday, the session ends at the stroke of Midnight.

The year started out normal enough, but once around mid-March the COVID shutdowns began and the Cursed Year of 2020 kicked in full-bore.  Aside from a Worldwide pandemic, we are now challenged with raging wildfires, a prolonged shut-down of the economy, split roll property tax on the November ballot, and basic tools of our business being removed from use by judicial fiat and local ordinance.

Lots of major bills are still being discussed, but our industry anxiously awaits the final outcome on Eviction Moratorium bills (see below), wildfire measures, and a slew of bills aimed at employers, many of them relating to COVID 19.

This has been a long strange trip, and not a very fun one.  We are happy to see this session come to a close and will bring you a full report next week on what passed and what didn’t.

 

UNLAWFUL DETAINER / EVICTION – COMPROMISE REACHED

After tense negotiations the past week, a compromise has been reached on the statewide eviction issue.  The final bill should be in print tomorrow, Saturday, in preparation for a Judiciary committee hearing.

The final bill does not include commercial real estate, meaning the non-residential side of the industry will start getting back to normal a little more quickly than those with residential portfolios.

The deal points on the bill extend only to January 2021, and gradually get the industry back to operations prior to the Governor’s COVID-19 executive order in March and the California Judicial Council’s cessation of processing Unlawful Detainer actions shortly thereafter.

Beginning in September, under the deal, tenants must be able to show COVID-19 related hardship to receive continued rent forbearance; as well nuisance tenants will no longer be protected by a blanket statewide order.  The bill provides some protections to small landlords by extending the Homeowners’ Bill of Rights’ anti-foreclosure measures to most owners of four units or less.

The agreement also tries to tackle the patchwork of local ordinances up and down the state, requiring some to expire and others to pause on local actions until February.  Its not the statewide pre-exemption that we had hoped the state would take, but it will bring some consistency to more ordinances.

Our friends at the California Apartment Association have provided an “Explainer” that lists all the major points of the compromise.  We thank CAA for their work on this.  Click here to see the summary of the deal.

Finally, the L.A. Times has a story out this afternoon with some more info about the deal that has come together. Click here to read the full story.

Again, we want to reiterate that commercial properties are not included in this measure. And that is due to the massive education effort we all put forth to defeat SB 939 earlier this year.  We argued that the business-to-business nature of commercial transactions does no merit a heavy handed one-size-fits-all statewide ordinance and such a policy would actually prolong the economic recovery.

The bill is not in print yet and still must receive a 2/3s vote majority in both houses.  But the general consensus is that this measure will have the votes and be enacted into law by the Governor.

 

BOMA CALIFORNIA SPECIAL-HEAT Weekly Update- August 17, 2020

Posted: August 17, 2020 | Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE CALL TO ACTION – HELP MITIGATE HEAT WAVE

Over the weekend, Rex Hime, CBPA’s President and CEO, worked with representatives of Governor Newsom’s office to play ways to try to mitigate energy impacts of our current historic heatwave.

Please see the following message, help as you can, and let us know anything we can report back to the Governor showing how our industry is stepping up to help in this current crisis.

The Governor’s office shared the following information:

* On Friday California began to experience a power shortage of 1000 megawatts that resulted in the first rolling backouts since early 2000.

* On Saturday we had a shortage of 500 megawatts that resulted in a similar situation.

The administration believes this shortage will grow larger and continue through Wednesday of this coming week. They shared that the ISO had not prepared for any outages until 2021 and 2022 so they are scrambling to manage the situation.

To compound the problem, the heatwave is covering the entire Western United States, so the availability of importing extra energy is low.

As such they reached out to Rex on behalf of the commercial real estate industry to assist in meeting this challenge.

The state is most vulnerable between the hours of 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. and they are asking us to consider raising thermostats in our buildings to reduce AC and take other steps to reduce the amount of electricity being used during that period of time.  They asked if we could make extra efforts to run the AC cooler in the non-peak period so the building could remain cool when reduced draw on the grid is most needed.

CBPA indicated that we as an industry are already following such protocols but would reach out to our members to highlight the issues and request more vigilance and that you take steps you can reasonably take beyond that.  Please know that other parts of the business community and residential users are having the same requests made of them.

If some of the larger building owners, property managers, open essential retailers and others could encourage this action between now and Wednesday it would be greatly appreciated by the administration and more importantly would serve our state well.

If this is an action you can undertake please share with us what is being done so we can compile the information and show what good citizenship and good business practices are like.

 

REALTIME ENERGY INFORMATION 

You can get real-time information from the California Independent System Operator (ISO) through their app “ISO Today” and their twitter account @California_ISOClick here or visit their website for more information http://www.caiso.com/Pages/default.aspx.

 

CA GOVERNOR NEWSOM INFORMATION AND RESOURCES

To follow are excerpts from the California Governor’s office on steps being taken to address the energy issues and what they are requesting of members of the public:

SACRAMENTO – As the West Coast continues to experience an historic heat wave and related energy shortages, Governor Gavin Newsom signed an emergency proclamation designed to free up energy capacity and reduce the need for temporary energy service disruptions.

The proclamation temporarily allows some energy users and utilities to use backup energy sources to relieve pressure on the grid during peak times during the energy emergency. The text of the proclamation can be found here and a copy can be found here.

Over the weekend, state officials worked aggressively to bring more energy resources online, including increased generation from sources like the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, the California State Water Project and investor-owned utilities. The state has also worked with industrial and commercial consumers to reduce energy consumption during peak hours and to increase public awareness around energy saving measures.

 

All-hands energy meeting

The Governor yesterday convened an all-hands meeting with California Independent System Operator (CAISO), the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), the California Energy Commission (CEC), the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) and senior administration officials as the state and the entire West Coast anticipates serious power shortages as the heat wave intensifies over the coming week.

Guidance to residents and businesses to conserve power

Yesterday, CAISO issued a statewide Flex Alert calling for voluntary electricity conservation, beginning Sunday and extending through Wednesday. The Flex Alerts are in effect from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. each day.

CAISO highlighted three simple actions individuals and businesses can take to reduce energy consumption:

  • Set your thermostat to 78° or higher between 3 and 10 P.M.
  • Refrain from major appliance use between 3 and 10 P.M.
  • Turn off unnecessary lights and appliances

Click here to read the full press release.

Weekly Update- August 14, 2020

Posted: August 14, 2020 | Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

CA JUDICIAL COUNCIL TO END EMERGENCY RULES ON EVICTION

Judicial Council Votes to end temporary emergency rules on evictions and foreclosures, September 1.

This news is welcome, but with two weeks left in the Legislative Session, will require that we be very vigilant to watch for last minute amendments on this issue impacting your properties.  Additionally, this action does not impact areas where a local ordinance has been adopted.

Here is the full statement with links to more information:

“’In our ongoing conversations with Gov. Newsom and the Legislature, we have been responsive to their requests for additional time to develop and enact policy and legislative proposals,’ Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye said.

“The Judicial Council of California voted to end two temporary emergency rules governing evictions and judicial foreclosures, which will stay in effect through midnight on Sept. 1.

“The proposal was approved 19-1, with council members submitting their votes by circulating order.

The Judicial Council originally approved the temporary emergency rules staying eviction and foreclosure proceedings at a special remote meeting on April 6. California Chief Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye then suspended a vote on June 10 to provide the Governor and Legislature more time to develop policy proposals and solutions to deal with the potential impacts of evictions and foreclosures during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“’The judicial branch cannot usurp the responsibility of the other two branches on a long-term basis to deal with the myriad impacts of the pandemic,’ Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye said in a statement.

“’The duty of the judicial branch is to resolve disputes under the law and not to legislate. I urge our sister branches to act expeditiously to resolve this looming crisis.’”

Click here for more information.

 

SENATE PRO TEM STATEMENT ON JUDICIAL COUNCIL ACTION

California State Senate pro Tem Toni Atkins released the following Statement on the Judicial Council’s Vote to Extend Emergency Rules on Evictions, Foreclosures, to September 1:

“I appreciate the Judicial Council’s careful review of policies regarding unlawful detainer and judicial foreclosing proceedings, and decision to extend the emergency rules until September 1. The pandemic has devastated millions of Californians financially, and there continues to be a deep need for solutions that would provide housing stability and financial solvency. The Judicial Council’s decision to extend the emergency rules on evictions for a few more weeks allows me and my colleagues to complete our legislative process on bills to address these issues.”

 

UNLAWFUL DETAINER BILLS

There are three bills alive right now impacting property owners and tenants relating to rent and unlawful detainer issues.  Although they are all currently intended to apply to residential only, we are following very closely and engaging along with partners at the CA Apartment Association.

Two of the three bills are, AB 828 (Ting; D-San Francisco) and AB 1436 (Chiu; D-San Francisco), are opposed by many business and property groups as they would shift the burden of COVID-19 related economic issues solely onto property owners, which put them at jeopardy of going into default and losing their properties.  That approach helps no one and would exacerbate the problem.

While the third, SB 1410 (Caballero; D-Salinas), while not perfect, does take a much more balanced approach as we have been advocating since march.  We have pointed to this bill as a workable framework that recognizes both the property owner and the tenant need assistance, and contracts must be honored.  The language currently is intended to apply to residential only, so we are following closely but remain neutral.

All bills will be heard next week.

Another bill previously on our radar, AB 3366 (Judiciary Committee), originally codified the Judicial Council orders, has been changed to deal with emergency powers of the court, and is no longer of concern to our members.

 

POLL SHOWS STRATEGIES VOTERS FAVOR TO RESTORE ECONOMY

Loren Kaye, President of the California Foundation for Commerce and Education, and a good friend from the CalChamber, brings some polling information to provide insight as to where California Voters are right now on some economic issues:

“California voters are understandably anxious about the health and economic crises facing families and workplaces. CalChamber commissioned a brief survey to better understand how voters want state leaders to address key economic issues as the clock ticks down on the 2020 Legislative session.

“The chilling events over the past three months have moved California voters to a more pessimistic frame of mind.

“Asked if the United States is going in the “right direction” or “wrong track,” voters, chose wrong track by a more than four-to-one margin, 82% – 18%, accelerating their jaded view of national affairs, which had trended two-to-one negatively over the past three years.

“Voters also view California affairs pessimistically. By a 60% – 40% margin, voters believe the state is on the wrong track, reversing the past three years’ assessment, which averaged a slight majority pegging the state in the right direction….”

Click here to read the full article over at Fox and Hounds.

 

MALLS AND RETAILERS LAUNCH “BUY SAFE AMERICA COALITION”

Our friends at ICSC and RILA are both participating in the Buy Safe America Coalition along with a diverse group of responsible retailers, consumer groups, manufacturers, intellectual property advocates, and law enforcement officials.

The Buy Safe America Coalition represents a diverse group of responsible retailers, consumer groups, manufacturers, intellectual property advocates and law enforcement officials who support efforts at all levels of government to protect consumers and communities from the sale of counterfeit and stolen goods.

Click here to learn more about the Buy Safe America coalition.

 

2022 ENERGY CODE; INPUT REQUESTED

The 2022 building energy code changes are well underway, and specifically target commercial and non-residential buildings. CBPA has retained one of the best energy/code consulting firms working in the state, ConSol, and are working with BOMA/ICSC/NAIOP to fund, and help identify, analyze, prioritize, and educate staff on what we view as the most costly and potentially burdensome of those proposed changes.

This issue is time sensitive, and we would like whatever responses we can get by Friday, August 21, which we will then take to the CEC.

We do not need full blown responses on every item – even if your company only has some info to share on just one of the items, that will be helpful.

Also, if your company does not think an item is particularly burdensome, we need to know that too.  Our technical team has expertise, but we are looking for some practical expertise and experience to augment the analysis.

We need to make sure one informs the other so we can focus our efforts on those things that matter most.

Click here to read descriptions of the initial measures identified as most troublesome.  We need your feedback.  Each one identifies the information we need to make a most effective response.

 

Weekly Update- August 7, 2020

Posted: August 7, 2020 | Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

COVID RE-OPENING “EMPLOYER HANDBOOK”

The Governor has released a 32-page handbook to help employers “plan and prepare for reopening their business and to support a safe, clean environment for workers and customers.”  CBPA and other employer groups have been working closely with the Governor’s staff to advise on practical issues related to opening retail, office, and industrial space.

The guidebook includes recommendations for all industries, including enforce mask requirements, and handle and employee outbreak.

Click here to read the Governor’s “Employer Playbook” and make sure you are protecting yourself and your business as you bring employees and customers back into your facilities.

 

UNLAWFUL DETAINER BILLS

There are three bills alive right now impacting property owners and tenants relating to rent and unlawful detainer issues.  Although they are all currently intended to apply to residential only, we are following very closely and engaging along with partners at the CA Apartment Association.

Two of the three bills are, AB 828 (Ting; D-San Francisco) and AB 1436 (Chiu; D-San Francisco), are opposed by many business and property groups as they would shift the burden of COVID-19 related economic issues solely onto property owners, which put them at jeopardy of going into default and losing their properties.  That approach helps no one and would exacerbate the problem.

While the third, SB 1410 (Caballero; D-Salinas), while not perfect, does take a much more balanced approach as we have been advocating since march.  We have pointed to this bill as a workable framework that recognizes both the property owner and the tenant need assistance, and contracts must be honored.  The language currently is intended to apply to residential only, so we are following closely but remain neutral.

All bills will be heard next week.

 

JOB KILLER UPDATE

Although the legislature has had a truncated session, they are plowing forward with many bills that will impact you as an employer.  We are proud members of the CalChamber and we appreciate their leadership on the following bills, all of which are the worst of the worst and have been dubbed “Job Killers:”

SB 55 (Jackson; D-Santa Barbara), a job killer that expands existing requirements of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).

It adds substantial time and costs to the CEQA process and provides project opponents with new legal arguments to delay or block housing and other projects. SB 55 is almost identical to job killer SB 950 (Jackson; D-Santa Barbara), which failed to pass the Senate Environmental Quality Committee earlier this year.

AB 1253 (Santiago; D-Los Angeles), a massive retroactive tax increase. The bill seeks to increase California’s personal income tax rate, already the highest in the country, for struggling small businesses and high-income earners, which will result in a recently reported $6.8 billion in increased taxes.

Millions of California small businesses pay the personal income tax and will soon face higher pandemic-related unemployment insurance taxes, workers’ compensation rates, and other state-mandated costs of doing business. Imposing a punitive new tax on these businesses is exactly the opposite approach to saving jobs and restoring the state’s battered economy.

The Senate Governance and Finance Committee heard testimony on AB 1253 on August 3 but did not vote.

SB 1383 (Jackson; D-Santa Barbara), dealing with time off for employees. The bill significantly burdens small employers by requiring employers with only five employees to provide eligible employees with 12 weeks of mandatory family leave, which can be taken in increments of 1-2 hours, and threatens these small employers with costly litigation if they make any mistake in implementing this leave.

SB 1399 (Durazo; D-Los Angeles), increasing cost and liability on employers. The bill significantly increases the burden on non-unionized employers in the garment manufacturing industry in California by eliminating piece rate as a method of payment even though it can benefit the employee, creating joint and several liability for contractors for any wage violations or the employer, and shifting the evidentiary standards in a Labor Commissioner hearing to limit the ability for an employer to defend against an alleged wage violation. These additional requirements will encourage companies to contract with manufacturers outside of California, thereby limiting the demand and workforce of garment manufacturers in California.

AB 345 (Muratsuchi; D-Torrance), an unnecessary bill, failed to pass the Senate Natural Resources and Water Committee on August 5 on a vote of 4-5.

The bill is a carryover from 2019 that threatens to eliminate thousands of high-paying jobs, decrease revenues for the state and force California to import even more foreign oil.

By politicizing the ongoing regulatory process that the California Geologic Energy Management Division (CalGEM) was directed to undertake by Governor Newsom, AB 345 arbitrarily predisposes setback requirements and undermines CalGEM’s independent process of considering the best available science.

Reconsideration was granted on a vote of 5-3. The committee chair said the committee will meet again on August 12.

 

PROP 15 SPLIT ROLL WILL EVENTUALLY CANCEL PROP 13

Wayne Lusvardi formerly worked for California’s largest urban water agency and lives in Rancho Mirage, has penned the following op/ed explaining why Prop 15 the split roll property tax measure on November’s ballot is so bad:

It was elderly widows who were being thrown out of their homes for unpaid property taxes in 1975 before Proposition 13.  Now with Proposition 15 it will be mom and pop businesses in leased buildings, and Uber drivers who own their homes who are going to be displaced.

Proposition 15 – the so-called split commercial/residential tax roll – on the November ballot is being advertised as solely a commercial property tax.  But there is a trojan horse contained in Proposition 15 that will unravel Proposition 13 property tax protections even for residential properties.

Single-family residential homes used for home offices or UBER drivers who park their cars at their owned residences will have their homes reclassified as commercial properties under proposed Proposition 15. Eventually, property taxes will be equalized by the legislature, and the mandates of Proposition 15 will apply to all owners who hold multiple homes and apartments, not just commercial properties.  Moreover, small business owners will have the higher property taxes passed through to them in the form of higher rents and will not be able to stay in business after a couple of years. But it will be the consumers who will ultimately pay the so-called higher commercial property taxes.

Click here to read the full article:

 

 LEGISLATURE RETURNS AFTER COVID-19 RECESS

Both Houses of the California State Legislature delayed the reconvening of session from its short Summer Recess will return next week to resume activity.  That will give the body just four weeks to complete policy and fiscal hearings, and floor sessions for thousands of legislative measures still eligible for votes.  That process normally takes place over a three-month period.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the legislative body had tried to manage with a truncated legislative schedule and now because several legislators and staff members have recently tested positive for coronavirus they will take more time before returning to the Capitol.

The Legislature has until the end of August to deal with thousands of bills that have been introduced this legislative cycle.  August 31 is a Constitutional deadline to end the Regular Session.

The Governor and Legislature could do a Special Session after that, however, that bring tight rule, high vote counts, and will take away from campaigning, so not many believe it will happen.  Though, anything seems possible about now.

CBPA is tracking hundreds of measures on behalf of the industrial, retain, and office sectors of the commercial real estate industry.  As your representatives in Sacramento we are continuing to engage legislators and their staffs on these bills even though the legislature is not currently meeting in person.  We remain active and vigilant and will engage in whatever manner is appropriate to protect your interests.

 

NOVEMBER 2020 – OFFICIAL VOTER INFORMATION GUIDE

After Attorney General Xavier Becerra finalized Title and Summary for propositions appearing on the November 2020 statewide ballot, the Secretary of State has released the following official voter guide.

Click here to read all about the 12 propositions, including Prop 15, which will kill Prop 13.

 

Weekly Update- July 31, 2020

Posted: August 7, 2020 | Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

CBPA MEETS WITH CALIFORNIA ECONOMIC RECOVERY COUNCIL CO-CHAIR STEYER

California Business Properties Association continues to work the broader business community to ask the governor and state regulators to take immediate action to help businesses survive the ongoing economic crisis. To date, we have had little to no response from the governor on major issues you have raised and are clearly defined in our recovery plans. The governor has announced that, despite meeting the economic criteria necessary to pause it, he is moving forward with the scheduled increase in the minimum wage in January. There continues to be a disconnect between the governor and business community that we are working to address.

As part of those efforts, we joined with some of the state’s largest industry organizations for a call with Tom Steyer, Chair of the governor’s Economic Recovery Taskforce, to elevate many of the critical issues we’ve repeatedly raised with the governor and his administration. Specifically, we discussed:

 

  1. well-intentioned employers, schools and hospitals following (and in many cases exceeding) local, state, and federal guidelines should be immune from costly and burdensome COVID-19 related lawsuits. This is also an issue that has been raised nationally and is being discussed as part of the 4th recovery package currently being debated in Congress.
  2. a series of regulations, including many that were scheduled to go in place before COVID-19 hit, are creating significant barriers to job creation and retention.
  3. —employers are rapidly shifting workplace policies to adapt to long-term stay-at-home orders.
      1. Individualized work plans to address current regulations on 8-hour workday, mandated meal and rest breaks and overtime
      2. Workers compensation claims for injuries that occur in the home office and are unrelated to employment duties
  4. —removing barriers to infrastructure and housing development will help sustain and grow jobs and have a substantial long-term benefit for housing, homelessness, and broadband access.
  5. —the Legislature and special interest groups are promoting a series of tax increases on the business community that will further exacerbate the current crisis and directly impact economic recovery efforts. Split Roll remains the major threat to the economy.

Mr. Steyer listened to the issues we raised and assured us he would be back in touch to keep this conversation moving forward. He indicated he will be following up with us to provide more information on the direction of the taskforce and its recommendations. We expect to receive that information next week and will immediately schedule a follow-up conversation.

In the meantime, please continue to reach out and let us know what we can do to assist you during these times and if there are any additional urgent issues that we can help elevate with both Mr. Steyer and the Governor.

Click here to read more about the appointment of Mr. Steyer and the scope of the California Economic Recovery Council.

 

HEAD SHAKING OPPOSITION TO AFFORDABLE HOUSING BILL

State Senator Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley) is receiving stating from her Far-Left flank on a bill that makes sense to most. SB 1085 would reduce fees charged to builders who do affordable housing units. Instead of seeing the bill as way to create more affordable housing, local officials and activists in San Francisco see only a loss to the amount of funding they will receive. This is about as clear of an example that you can get about how askew our priorities – and basic understanding of economics – can get. Click here for the full article.

 

AG SLAMMED OVER BIASED PROP 15 SPLIT ROLL TITLE AND SUMMARY

The NO on Prop 15 Campaign released the following statement regarding the title and summary given to Proposition 15:

SACRAMENTO, CA – On Tuesday, the California Secretary of State officially released the official voter information guide for the November election. The guide included a biased title and summary for Prop 15, the $11.5-billion property tax increase, written by Attorney General Xavier Becerra. The Southern California News Group editorial board, representing 11 newspapers, called Becerra’s title and summary “misleading, if not completely false.” The editorial board urged the Legislature to move the task of writing titles and summaries for statewide ballot measures to the nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s Office instead, as Becerra’s biased descriptions only erode trust in government.

Read excerpts from “Editorial: Biased ballot measure titles and summaries distort our democracy” below:

“Attorney General Xavier Becerra released the titles and summaries for the measures that will appear on the Nov. 3 statewide general election ballot, providing more evidence, as if any was needed, that this is a job for a neutral, nonpartisan analyst, not a partisan elected official…

“The title and summary of Proposition 15 are not only tilted toward one side, they are less than fully accurate. Property in California is not taxed on “purchase price.” It’s taxed on fair market value at the time of purchase, adjusted annually for inflation with increases capped at 2 percent per year. If the market value of a property declines below its assessed value, it is reassessed at the fair market value.

“To say property is currently taxed on the “purchase price” conveys an impression that property taxes do not rise at all, which is misleading in a way that favors the measure’s proponents, who seek to raise taxes. It’s also misleading, if not completely false, to state that Proposition 15 “increases funding sources.” It doesn’t add new sources, it increases taxes on the existing sources: businesses in California.

“The official title and summary of a measure should be clear, accurate and neutral. Often, it’s the only thing busy voters read on a long ballot before making their decision.

“This isn’t the first time Becerra has written ballot material that misleads voters…

“Ballot measures propose significant changes to the law and ask voters to make important choices that cannot easily be reversed. Tricking the electorate into believing they’re voting for one thing when they’re really getting another is a formula for increased cynicism. Distrust of government can spill over into other issues, and the consequences can be very severe…”

 

UNLAWFUL DETAINER BILLS

There are three bills alive right now impacting property owners and tenants relating to rent and unlawful detainer issues. Although they are all currently intended to apply to residential only, we are following very closely and engaging along with partners at the CA Apartment Association.

Two of the three bills are, AB 828 (Ting; D-San Francisco) and AB 1436 (Chiu; D-San Francisco), are opposed by many business and property groups as they would shift the burden of COVID-19 related economic issues solely onto property owners, which put them at jeopardy of going into default and losing their properties. That approach helps no one and would exacerbate the problem.

While the third, SB 1410 (Caballero; D-Salinas), while not perfect, does take a much more balanced approach as we have been advocating since march. We have pointed to this bill as a workable framework that recognizes both the property owner and the tenant need assistance, and contracts must be honored. The language currently is intended to apply to residential only, so we are following closely but remain neutral.

However, the California Apartment Association is working with the author and legislative leadership to address issues in the bill and we are supporting them in those efforts. Most people in the Capitol believe something legislating in this area will pass and we think SB 1410 has the best chance of actually doing something that will help both property owners and tenants and not just be a symbolic gesture that gets thrown out in court.

We will keep you posted on what happens during the final sprint of session in August.

LEGISLATURE RETURNS AFTER COVID-19 RECESS

Both Houses of the California State Legislature delayed the reconvening of session from its short Summer Recess but will return next week to resume activity. That will give the body just four weeks to complete policy and fiscal hearings, and floor sessions for thousands of legislative measures still eligible for votes. That process normally takes place over a three-month period.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the legislative body had tried to manage with a truncated legislative schedule and now because several legislators and staff members have recently tested positive for coronavirus they will take more time before returning to the Capitol.

The Legislature has until the end of August to deal with thousands of bills that have been introduced this legislative cycle. August 31 is a Constitutional deadline to end the Regular Session.

The Governor and Legislature could do a Special Session after that, however, that bring tight rule, high vote counts, and will take away from campaigning, so not many believe it will happen. Though, anything seems possible about now.

CBPA is tracking hundreds of measures on behalf of the industrial, retain, and office sectors of the commercial real estate industry. As your representatives in Sacramento we are continuing to engage legislators and their staffs on these bills even though the legislature is not currently meeting in person. We remain active and vigilant and will engage in whatever manner is appropriate to protect your interests.

 

NOVEMBER 2020 – OFFICIAL VOTER INFORMATION GUIDE

After Attorney General Xavier Becerra finalized Title and Summary for propositions appearing on the November 2020 statewide ballot, the Secretary of State has released the following official voter guide.

Click here to read all about the 12 propositions, including Prop 15, which will kill Prop 13.

WEEKLY UPDATE- July 24, 2020

Posted: July 24, 2020 | Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

LEGISLATURE RETURNS AFTER COVID-19 RECESS

 Both Houses of the California State Legislature delayed the reconvening of session from its short Summer Recess but will return next week to resume activity.  That will give the body just five weeks to complete policy and fiscal hearings, and floor sessions for thousands of legislative measures still eligible for votes.  That process normally takes place over a three-month period.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the legislative body had tried to manage with a truncated legislative schedule and now because several legislators and staff members have recently tested positive for coronavirus they will take more time before returning to the Capitol.

The Legislature has until the end of August to deal with thousands of bills that have been introduced this legislative cycle.  August 31 is a Constitutional deadline to end the Regular Session.

The Governor and Legislature could do a Special Session after that, however, that bring tight rule, high vote counts, and will take away from campaigning, so not many believe it will happen.  Though, anything seems possible about now.

CBPA is tracking hundreds of measures on behalf of the industrial, retain, and office sectors of the commercial real estate industry.  As your representatives in Sacramento we are continuing to engage legislators and their staffs on these bills even though the legislature is not currently meeting in person.  We remain active and vigilant and will engage in whatever manner is appropriate to protect your interests.

 

NOVEMBER 2020 – OFFICIAL VOTER INFORMATION GUIDE

After Attorney General Xavier Becerra finalized Title and Summary for propositions appearing on the November 2020 statewide ballot, the Secretary of State has released the following official voter guide.

Click here to read all about the 12 propositions, including Prop 15, which will kill Prop 13.

 

AG SLAMMED OVER BIASED PROP 15 SPLIT ROLL TITLE AND SUMMARY

The NO on Prop 15 Campaign released the following statement regarding the title and summary given to Proposition 15:

SACRAMENTO, CA – On Tuesday, the California Secretary of State released the official voter information guide for the November election. The guide included a biased title and summary for Prop 15, the $11.5-billion property tax increase, written by Attorney General Xavier Becerra. The Southern California News Group editorial board, representing 11 newspapers, called Becerra’s title and summary “misleading, if not completely false.” The editorial board urged the Legislature to move the task of writing titles and summaries for statewide ballot measures to the nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s Office instead, as Becerra’s biased descriptions only erode trust in government.

Read excerpts from “Editorial: Biased ballot measure titles and summaries distort our democracy” below:

 “Attorney General Xavier Becerra released the titles and summaries for the measures that will appear on the Nov. 3 statewide general election ballot, providing more evidence, as if any was needed, that this is a job for a neutral, nonpartisan analyst, not a partisan elected official…

“The title and summary of Proposition 15 are not only tilted toward one side, they are less than fully accurate. Property in California is not taxed on “purchase price.” It’s taxed on fair market value at the time of purchase, adjusted annually for inflation with increases capped at 2 percent per year. If the market value of a property declines below its assessed value, it is reassessed at the fair market value.

“To say property is currently taxed on the “purchase price” conveys an impression that property taxes do not rise at all, which is misleading in a way that favors the measure’s proponents, who seek to raise taxes. It’s also misleading, if not completely false, to state that Proposition 15 “increases funding sources.” It doesn’t add new sources, it increases taxes on the existing sources: businesses in California.

“The official title and summary of a measure should be clear, accurate and neutral. Often, it’s the only thing busy voters read on a long ballot before making their decision.

“This isn’t the first time Becerra has written ballot material that misleads voters…

“Ballot measures propose significant changes to the law and ask voters to make important choices that cannot easily be reversed. Tricking the electorate into believing they’re voting for one thing when they’re really getting another is a formula for increased cynicism. Distrust of government can spill over into other issues, and the consequences can be very severe…”

 

UNLAWFUL DETAINER BILLS

There are three bills alive right now impacting property owners and tenants relating to rent and unlawful detainer issues.  Although they are all currently intended to apply to residential only, we are following very closely and engaging along with partners at the CA Apartment Association.

Two of the three bills are, AB 828 (Ting; D-San Francisco) and AB 1436 (Chiu; D-San Francisco), are opposed by many business and property groups as they would shift the burden of COVID-19 related economic issues solely onto property owners, which put them at jeopardy of going into default and losing their properties.  That approach helps no one and would exacerbate the problem.

While the third, SB 1410 (Caballero; D-Salinas), while not perfect, does take a much more balanced approach as we have been advocating since march.  We have pointed to this bill as a workable framework that recognizes both the property owner and the tenant need assistance, and contracts must be honored.  The language currently is intended to apply to residential only, so we are following closely but remain neutral.

However, the California Apartment Association is working with the author and legislative leadership to address issues in the bill and we are supporting them in those efforts.  Most people in the Capitol believe something legislating in this area will pass and we think SB 1410 has the best chance of actually doing something that will help both property owners and tenants and not just be a symbolic gesture that gets thrown out in court.

We will keep you posted on what happens during the final sprint of session in August.

July 17th Weekly Update

Posted: July 20, 2020 | Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

LEGISLATURE OUT ANOTHER WEEK DUE TO COVID-19

 Both Houses of the California State Legislature have delayed the reconvening of session from its short Summer Recess and have announced they will resume activity a week from Monday, on July 27.  That will give the body just five weeks to complete policy and fiscal hearings, and floor sessions for thousands of legislative measures still eligible for votes.  That process normally takes place over a three-month period.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the legislative body had tried to manage with a truncated legislative schedule and now because several legislators and staff members have recently tested positive for coronavirus they will take more time before returning to the Capitol.

The Legislature has until the end of August to deal with thousands of bills that have been introduced this legislative cycle.  August 31 is a Constitutional deadline to end the Regular Session.

The Governor and Legislature could do a Special Session after that, however, that bring tight rule, high vote counts, and will take away from campaigning, so not many believe it will happen.  Though, anything seems possible about now.

CBPA is tracking hundreds of measures on behalf of the industrial, retain, and office sectors of the commercial real estate industry.  As your representatives in Sacramento we are continuing to engage legislators and their staffs on these bills even though the legislature is not currently meeting in person.  We remain active and vigilant and will engage in whatever manner is appropriate to protect your interests.

 

UNLAWFUL DETAINER BILLS

There are three bills alive right now impacting property owners and tenants relating to rent and unlawful detainer issues.  Although they are all currently intended to apply to residential only, we are following very closely and engaging along with partners at the CA Apartment Association.

Two of the three bills are, AB 828 (Ting; D-San Francisco) and AB 1436 (Chiu; D-San Francisco), are opposed by many business and property groups as they would shift the burden of COVID-19 related economic issues solely onto property owners, which put them at jeopardy of going into default and losing their properties.  That approach helps no one and would exacerbate the problem.

While the third, SB 1410 (Caballero; D-Salinas), while not perfect, does take a much more balanced approach as we have been advocating since March.  We have pointed to this bill as a workable framework that recognizes both the property owner and the tenant need assistance, and contracts must be honored.  The language currently is intended to apply to residential only, so we are following closely but remain neutral.

However, the California Apartment Association is working with the author and legislative leadership to address issues in the bill and we are supporting them in those efforts.  Most people in the Capitol believe something legislating in this area will pass and we think SB 1410 has the best chance of actually doing something that will help both property owners and tenants and not just be a symbolic gesture that gets thrown out in court.

We will keep you posted on what happens during the final sprint of session in August.

 

PROP 15 KILLS PROP 13

Proposition 15 is the split roll property tax measure on November ballot that will enact a $12 BILLION tax each year collectively on your properties.  Click here for all the details on the terrible, ill-timed, measure.

 

PROP 15: BEWARE OF SLEIGHT OF HAND

And here is a cautionary op/ed from our friend Joel Fox, Editor and Co-Publisher of Fox and Hounds Daily:

The Yes on Proposition 15 campaign has bandied about all kinds of figures on how many commercial properties will pay a bulk of the new record property tax increase if the measure passes.

First, they showed a study that reported 6% of the properties will pay 78% of the taxes. Next, we heard that 10% of the properties will pay 94% of the taxes. This week there was another study, pretty much all the studies generated from the same campaign-sponsored source, that said 10% of the properties pay 92% of the taxes.

So, which is it?

Correct answer: None of the above. Not when you consider who is actually covering the tax increase….

Click here to read the full story and find out how the proponents of the largest property tax increase in California’s history are trying to hide the real impact.

 

ENERGY CODE:  WHOLE BUILDING AIR LEAKAGE TESTING

The California Energy Commission (CEC) is updating the Title 24 Energy Code, and commercial real estate regulations are the focus of the process.  If you are worried about what is coming and want to help provide input, please read further.

The stage of the process we’re in now is the utilities have finished drafting proposals and the CEC seeking input from stakeholders.  At some point over the next two months the CEC will announce the docket schedule which will open the process for public comments and establish a final timeline for adoption.

Before the schedule is announced and the clock for the official process is started stakeholders are being asked to engage with CEC staff directly and raise early concerns on proposals and provide feedback.

The “Whole Building Air Leakage Testing” proposal is just such an item that has piqued our interest and we are seeking input from you and/or your company’s technical experts.

Currently only Climate Zones 1-9 require an air barrier. For Climate Zones 10-16, there are three ways to meet the prescriptive air barrier requirement: whole building air leakage testing, the use of compliant materials, or compliant assemblies of materials. This measure proposes the following changes:

 

  • Expand the air barrier requirement to all climate zones;
  • Require whole building air leakage testing and the use of compliant materials, or compliant assemblies of materials;
  • Require air barrier design and installation details on the construction documents.
  • Lower the maximum permitted whole building air leakage rate from 0.4 to 0.3 cfm/ft2;
  • Require corrective action if the maximum permitted leakage is exceeded; and
  • Apply the air barrier requirements to major alterations.

At first look, these requirements appear to have significant up-front costs, do not seem particularly practical, and applying them to alterations of existing buildings would likely be overly burdensome and would potentially prevent building alterations erasing any potential energy efficiency gains at all.

The details for this specific measure are available here.

Any feedback you have, in terms of the costs of meeting these requirements would be extremely helpful for us in raising the issue with the CEC.  The deadline to provide comments is August 10th.

 

WEAR A MASK – KEEP YOUR PROPERTIES OPEN

Be safe, be healthy be smart.  Wear a mask when you go out.  If your properties are still open, lets do everything we can to keep them that way.

 

ALL THE PROPOSITIONS IN NOVEMBER

For your information, here are all the proposition numbers that will be on the November 2020 ballot.  Although we have not taken formal positions yet, we have noted early support/oppose recommendations on some measures:

Prop 14 – Bonds For Stem Cell/Medical Research

Prop 15 – Split Roll Property Tax – VOTE NO!

Prop 16 – Reinstates Affirmative Action Programs In California (Repeals Prop. 209)

Prop 17 – Allows Parolees To Vote

Prop 18 – Allows Certain 17-Year-Olds To Vote In Primary Elections

Prop 19 – Realtor Measure To Allow Base Property Base Year Value Transfers – VOTE YES!

Prop 20 – Repeals Portions Of Props 47/57 To Add Crimes To The List Of Violent Felonies; Recategorize Certain Types Of Theft (Shoplifting) And Fraud Crimes As Wobblers; And Require DNA Collection For Certain Misdemeanors – VOTE YES!

Prop 21 — Rent Control – VOTE NO!

Prop 22 – Repeals AB5 And Sets New Rules For Independent Contractors

Prop 23 – Kidney Dialysis Clinic Rules

Prop 24 – Consumer Privacy Rules

Prop 25 – Reinstates The Cash Bail System

Click here to read the language for each initiative:

Posted: July 2, 2020 | Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

PROP. 15 WILL KILL PROP. 13

 The proposition numbers for November’s election have been released, and the Split Roll Property Tax Measure pushed onto the ballot by public employee unions and far left activists has been numbered Proposition 15.

Proposition 15 is aimed directly at you and your business and during one of the worst health crises ever seen, precipitated one of the worst recessions, this measure would enact an $12.5 Billion PER YEAR tax on commercial property in California.

Think about that.  The largest property tax increase ever.  $12.5B per year, every year on your properties.  When many of you are no longer receiving rent payments.

Click here to learn more about the flaws in Proposition 15, how it will kill California’s economy, and diverse interests from Former Speaker Willie Brown, to the California Assessors Association, to former State Senate Majority Leader Gloria Romero, oppose this measure.

Vote “No” On Prop 15.  Click here for more information and to donate to the campaign to stop this bad measure.

 

WEAR A MASK – KEEP YOUR PROPERTIES OPEN

Be safe, be healthy, be smart.  Wear a mask when you go out.  If your properties are still open, lets do everything we can to keep them that way.

 

ALL THE PROPOSITIONS IN NOVEMBER

 For your information, here are all the proposition numbers that will be on the November 2020 ballot.  Although we have not taken formal positions yet, we have noted early support/oppose recommendations on some measures:

Prop 14 – Bonds For Stem Cell/Medical Research

Prop 15 – Split Roll Property Tax – VOTE NO!

Prop 16 – Reinstates Affirmative Action Programs In California (Repeals Prop. 209)

Prop 17 – Allows Parolees To Vote

Prop 18 – Allows Certain 17-Year-Olds To Vote In Primary Elections

Prop 19 – Realtor Measure To Allow Base Property Base Year Value Transfers – VOTE YES!

Prop 20 – Repeals Portions Of Props 47/57 To Add Crimes To The List Of Violent Felonies; Recategorize Certain Types Of Theft (Shoplifting) And Fraud Crimes As Wobblers; And Require DNA Collection For Certain Misdemeanors – VOTE YES!

Prop 21 — Rent Control – VOTE NO!

Prop 22 – Repeals AB5 And Sets New Rules For Independent Contractors

Prop 23 – Kidney Dialysis Clinic Rules

Prop 24 – Consumer Privacy Rules

Prop 25 – Reinstates The Cash Bail System

Click here to read the language for each initiative.

CALIFORNIA GOVERNOR ISSUES STATEWIDE STAY AT HOME ORDER

Posted: March 20, 2020 | Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

On March 19, 2020, Governor Gavin Newsom issued a stay at home order to protect the health and well-being of all Californians and to establish consistency across the state in order to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Click here to see the News Release.

Click here to read the Governor’s executive order.

Click here to learn more about the order.

Click here to see the Governor’s address to Californians this evening.

COVID-19 RESOURCES PAGE

Posted: March 20, 2020 | Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

The reaction to COVID-19 is fluid and fast.  There are many sources of information out there and until things start to settle down will only send essential updates that impact our industry.

To that end, we have created a “COVID-19 Resources” page where we will collect and post information specific to commercial real estate.  We will also link to local and national real estate resource pages.  Click here to view resource page.

We hope consolidating this information will help you as you work with local authorities on emergency response plans, shelter-in-place orders, defining “essential” businesses, and other important issues.

If you have pages that you find particularly helpful, please let us know and we will link to them.

GOVERNOR EXECUTIVE ORDER – EVICTIONS/MORTGAGES/UTILITY SHUT-OFFS

Posted: March 20, 2020 | Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

Earlier this week, Governor Newsom issued an executive order to protect residential and commercial lessors, and homeowners from evictions due to the COVID-19 Pandemic.  We have supported the Governor’s actions as during this time of emergency and stay-at-home orders public safety is the first and foremost concern.  The quicker we get through this emergency the better for all.

The Executive Order authorizes local governments to halt evictions, slow foreclosures, and protect against utility shut offs.  Many local governments have already moved forward and adopted local ordinances including San Francisco, Los Angeles, Sacramento, and many others.

The EO applies to both residential and commercial.  The order does not waive the rent obligation of tenants but allows local governments to defer action until May 31, 2020.

Our industry provided feedback to legislators working on this issue. Much of our feedback has been taken into account and at the state level, however we know some of your local communities may adopt more strict measures than others.

Click here to see the press release.

Click here to see the full Executive Order.

Click here to see the Commercial Real Estate Industry Letter to Governor Newsom.

Click here to see the Commercial Real Estate Industry Press Release.

“ESSENTIAL BUSINESSES/PERSONNEL”

Posted: March 20, 2020 | Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

Buildings can be complicated mechanically, need security, and/or have tenants in them that are deemed essential businesses.  We can’t just abandon our buildings, especially when tenants remain.  Therefore, our recommendation to local/state/federal policymakers is that the following building personnel are essential in any written orders and or enforcement guidance:

– Building management staff

– Building security staff/vendors

– Building engineering staff/vendors

– Building janitorial staff/vendors

– Building elevator, HVAC, plumbing and electrical staff/vendors

– Building fire safety staff/vendors

– Commercial and Residential Construction

You should check with local authorities if there is any question and/or if you are working with them to draft a local order.  If your local authorities do not conform to this guidance you should be proactive about communicating the importance of these workers.

The Governor’s Executive Order references “CISA” which is a department of Homeland Security identifying “critical infrastructure.”

Below is information and guidance documents that outlines “essential personnel” and infrastructure.  Here is the guidance specific to our sector:

ESSENTIAL CRITICAL INFRASTRUCTURE WORKERS GUIDANCE:   As the Nation’s risk advisor, CISA developed this guidance to help state and local governments and the private sector ensure that employees essential to operations of critical infrastructure are able to continue working with as little interruption as possible. The purpose of this guidance is to enable continued resilience for public community health and safety of government, economy, and society despite possible impacts to the workforce and critical infrastructure workforce brought on by consequences of COVID-19. Click here to view.

OTHER COMMUNITY-BASED GOVERNMENT OPERATIONS AND ESSENTIAL FUNCTIONS

•Workers to ensure continuity of building functions
•Security staff to maintain building access control and physical security measures

This guidance is also on their website, under “Other Community based…” Click here to view.

And here is the COVID-19 Specific Page:

 

 

OTHER COMMUNITY-BASED GOVERNMENT OPERATIONS AND ESSENTIAL FUNCTIONS

Posted: March 20, 2020 | Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

•Workers to ensure continuity of building functions
•Security staff to maintain building access control and physical security measures

This guidance is also on their website, under “Other Community based…” Click here to view.

And here is the COVID-19 Specific Page:

FEDERAL AND STATE TAX DEFERRALS

Posted: March 20, 2020 | Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

FEDERAL INCOME TAX DEFERRAL:  Following President Trump’s emergency declaration pursuant to the Stafford Act, the U.S. Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) today issued guidance allowing all individual and other non-corporate tax filers to defer up to $1 million of federal income tax (including self-employment tax) payments due on April 15, 2020, until July 15, 2020, without penalties or interest.  The guidance also allows corporate taxpayers a similar deferment of up to $10 million of federal income tax payments that would be due on April 15, 2020, until July 15, 2020, without penalties or interest.  This guidance does not change the April 15 filing deadline.

Click here for more information on federal tax issues related to the COVID-19 Pandemic.

CALIFORNIA INCOME TAX:  The Franchise Tax Board (FTB) today announced special tax relief for California taxpayers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Affected taxpayers are granted an extension to file 2019 California tax returns and make certain payments until June 15, 2020

Click here for more information about California income taxes.

CALIFORNIA PROPERTY TAXES:  Our industry is asking for a delay in the collection of the second installment of property taxes that is due April 10th or at a minimum an automatic waiver of any penalties for 90 days.  The date of collection is statutory so the Gov or legislature can change that.  We ask our members to press this request with local and statewide leaders as it is one way to help mitigate the impact shelter at home orders are having on commercial real estate and our tenants.

CAPITOL/LEGISLATURE SHUTS DOWN

Posted: March 20, 2020 | Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

Legislative activity has come to a halt as the Capitol Building is shut down and most regulatory agencies are focused on the COVID-19 Pandemic.

The Legislature has taken at least a 3-week break in activity and members have gone home to their districts.

However, these processes will start to back up at some point electronically or in person when the stay at home orders are lifted.  We continue to analyze legislative bills to prepare for the Session, so please let us know as you hear about bills and bill ideas at the local level.

 

SAVE PROP 13!

Posted: February 8, 2020 | Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

The campaign to save Proposition 13 against being dismantled by the split roll property tax measure on the November 2020 ballot is gaining momentum and is signing-up more people and companies every day!

Are you doing what you can to protect yourself from an $11 BILLION yearly tax increase?

Click here to check out the new website, now known as “Save Prop 13,” and join the effort.

The website is where you will find information about the benefits of Prop. 13 and how removing protections from commercial properties will have a massively negative impact on the state’s economy.

CA PROPOSES RECORD SPENDING ON SCHOOLS

Posted: February 8, 2020 | Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

In his budget proposal for the 2020-21 fiscal year, Governor Gavin Newsom proposes record-high spending of $77.1 billion on K-12 schools and higher education, a 75 percent increase from the $43.9 billion spent in 2011-12.

The Governor noted that per-pupil spending has increased more than $7,200 since 2011-12, with the state planning to spend $17,964 per student in 2020-21 with revenue from existing taxes.

California’s K-12 education and higher education would account for 50.4 percent of the state’s general fund budget under Newsom’s proposal.

According to the Governor’s website, this is the “Largest K-12 education per-pupil expenditure in history.”

With spending at record levels, our industry argues there is no reason to undo Proposition 13 with a split roll.

NEW YEAR – NEW JOB KILLERS

Posted: February 8, 2020 | Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

As proud members of the California Chamber of Commerce, we work closely with the organization on bills that impact our members.  Each year we provide input on both the Job Killer and Job Creator lists.

Job Killers represent the worst-of-the-worse ideas that will harm the state’s economy and shrink employment.  Already in 2020 two bills have been tagged as Job Killers, and one bill is left over from last year:

SB 850 (Leyva; D-Chino) Work Hours: Scheduling – The bill requires an employer, which includes a grocery store establishment, restaurant, or retail store establishment, to provide its employees with a 21-day work schedule at least 7 calendar days in advance.  Among other provisions, the bill would require an employer, except as specified, to pay its employees modification pay for each previously scheduled shift that the employer cancels or moves to another date or time, for any previously unscheduled shift that the employer requires an employee to work, or for each on-call shift for which an employee is required to be available but is not called in to work that shift.

SB 850 is a job killer because it will eliminate flexibility in the workplace for both employers and employees, deny employees the opportunity to work additional hours if desired, limit employers’ ability to accommodate customer demands, and subject employers to unnecessary layers of penalties, investigative actions and costly litigation.

SB 873 (Jackson; D-Santa Barbara) Gender Discrimination: Pricing – The bill prohibits price differences for two substantially similar products that are intended for or marketed to different genders.

CalChamber has identified SB 873 as a job killer because it includes a private right of action with a minimum of $4,000 in damages per alleged violation, which will expose small and large businesses to a flurry of costly litigation for claims that two products are substantially similar, even though they may be different, and that any price differential is based on gender, when it is actually based upon legitimate non-gender related reasons.

AB 345 (Muratsuchi; D-Torrance) Oil and Gas Development Ban — Threatens to eliminate thousands of high paying California jobs, result in California importing even more foreign oil, and raise oil and gas prices by requiring the California Geologic Energy Management Division to adopt regulations with predisposed setback requirements for new and existing oil and gas wells. By pre-determining arbitrary setback requirements before the agency analyzes safety requirements during formal rule making, the bill politicizes and undermines the state agency responsible for managing oil and gas operations that would likely lead to significant and unnecessary increases in costs for all Californians.

LLC – BROKER BILL PASSES ASSEMBLY

Posted: February 8, 2020 | Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

 

On a bipartisan 56-0 vote, AB 687 (Daly; D-Anaheim) passed the California State Assembly.  This bill will allow real estate brokers to incorporate as a limited liability company (LLC), in addition to a C or S corporation.

This is a measure that our industry has been pursuing for years, and the Department of Real Estate notes there is pent-up demand for this change in law, estimating more than 30,000 brokers would seek to incorporate as an LLC, which has become commonplace since first being introduced.

AB 687 updates the statute to reflect that evolution in the industry and allow brokers to operate as an LLC.  Enabling brokerage firms to form as an LLC will allow greater flexibility in management and operations which will be particularly helpful for smaller firms.

AB 687 also will enable a savings of both time and costs for these firms as operating as an LLC means more streamlined entity reporting and filing requirements than a corporation.

Finally, AB 687 will simplify taxation at the entity level as gains and losses are passed through and taxation occurs at the individual owner level.  Although Subchapter S corporations do offer the same income tax pass-through feature, limitations on number and types of owners and other restrictions make the Subchapter S vehicle less readily available.

The realtors have expressed concerns with several portions of the measure, and we hope to work with them to craft language that will allow the policy to move forward.

We thank Assemblymember Tom Daly from Anaheim for being our champion on this important policy change.  The bill will next be heard in the Assembly Appropriations Committee next week.

COMMUNITY AIR PROTECTION PROGRAM INPUT SOUGHT

Posted: February 8, 2020 | Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

Assembly Bill 617 signed into law in 2017, directs the California Air Resources Board to establish the Community Air Protection Program.  The program a community-focused action to reduce air pollution and improve public health in communities that experience disproportionate burdens from exposure to air pollutants.

On September 27, 2018, the Board selected ten communities for the first year of this program to implement community emissions reduction programs, community air monitoring, or both. At the same meeting, the Board also approved the “Community Air Protection Blueprint” (Blueprint), which contains detailed requirements for community emissions reduction programs, community air monitoring plans, and other elements of the Program.

CARB will conduct a public meeting in Fresno to consider the South Central Fresno Community Emissions Reduction Program.  Businesses located in Fresno are sought to review the program, policies, and provide input to the board.  Click here for more information.

NEWSFLASH: COURT HALTS CONTROVERSIAL ARBITRATION LAW

Posted: January 31, 2020 | Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

Business groups today are hailing a ruling in the case against California’s new law banning employers from requiring arbitration agreements as a condition of employment.

In the case, United States District Court Judge Kimberly J. Mueller ruled: “having carefully considered all relevant briefing, including supplemental briefing, the court GRANTS plaintiffs’ motion for a preliminary injunction in full. In the coming days the court will explain its reasoning in a detailed, written order.”

The California Chamber of Commerce hailed the ruling which halts the enforcement of and invalidating in full AB 51, a law that would have banned employers from, as a condition of employment, entering into arbitration agreements for claims brought under the Fair Employment and Housing Act and Labor code.
Our industry was part of a large coalition of employers led by the CalChamber that fought the bill in the Legislature, requested a veto which did not happen, and then challenged the law in court, arguing that AB 51 conflicted with federal law.

Of particular concern to employers were provisions of the law that placed the extraordinary burden of criminal penalties punishable by imprisonment and fines.
We are relieved at Judge Mueller’s decision granting plaintiffs’ motion for a preliminary injunction in full.  And we thank the California Chamber of Commerce for once again standing up for employers.

Legal documents in Chamber of Commerce of the United States of America et al. v. Becerra et al. can be found here.

LLC – BROKER BILL PASSES ASSEMBLY

Posted: January 31, 2020 | Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

On a bipartisan 56-0 vote, AB 687 (Daly; D-Anaheim) passed the California State Assembly.  This bill will allow real estate brokers to incorporate as a limited liability company (LLC), in addition to a C or S corporation.

This is a measure that our industry has been pursuing for years, and the Department of Real Estate notes there is pent-up demand for this change in law, estimating more than 30,000 brokers would seek to incorporate as an LLC, which has become commonplace since first being introduced.

AB 687 updates the statute to reflect that evolution in the industry and allow brokers to operate as an LLC.  Enabling brokerage firms to form as an LLC will allow greater flexibility in management and operations which will be particularly helpful for smaller firms.

AB 687 also will enable a savings of both time and costs for these firms as operating as an LLC means more streamlined entity reporting and filing requirements than a corporation.

Finally, AB 687 will simplify taxation at the entity level as gains and losses are passed through and taxation occurs at the individual owner level.  Although Subchapter S corporations do offer the same income tax pass-through feature, limitations on number and types of owners and other restrictions make the Subchapter S vehicle less readily available.

The realtors have expressed concerns with several portions of the measure and we hope to work with them to craft language that will allow the policy to move forward.

We thank Assemblymember Tom Daly from Anaheim for being our champion on this important policy change.  The bill will next be heard in the Assembly Appropriations Committee next week.

BALLOT MEASURE CHALLENGING AB 5 GAINS MOMENTUM

Posted: January 31, 2020 | Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

California’s new law, AB 5, attempting to clarify the Dynamex Court ruling has been drawing lots of complaints for having a variety of unintended consequences.  Our industry worked hard to clarify that Real Estate Brokers were not included in the law, however another major issue we had was that the bill was not clear in how it impacted business-to-business contracts between two incorporated entities and are seeking to clarify that issue further in clean up legislation this year.

However, there are many unincorporated contractors to which the bill applies, and they protested at the Capitol this week to highlight the impacts of the bill.  The bill is having a particularly outsized impact on artists and musicians that are true independent operators.

Beyond that some of the major players in the “gig economy” are fighting back hard.  A coalition of rideshare services as well as other app-based companies have vowed to spend upwards of $100 million to put a proposition on the ballot to overturn the law.  This week they reported that have reached 25% of the signatures needed and are investing heavily in obtaining the needed signatures.

This issue shows the intersection of old-fashioned labor and new-fangled technology hitting square on.

On behalf of the commercial, retail, and industrial real estate industry we are in the middle of this battle and trying to protect your interests.  However, as we have recently learned, even when the law is deemed “clarified” in statute there is a lot of confusion about how the law is applied in the Real World.

If there are questions about your own operations, we highly recommend consulting a labor law specialist that can provide technical advice and help keep you out of the crosshairs of a lawsuit.

In the meantime, for some basic information on the topic, click here.

HOUSING DENSITY BILL FAILS – TWICE

Posted: January 31, 2020 | Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

A measure that has made lots of headlines over the past year, that would set aside some local ordinances to clear the way for more dense housing near transit corridors, failed twice this week in two votes on the Senate Floor.

SB 50 (Weiner; D-San Francisco) attempts to help break the housing logjam in the state by overriding local zoning rules to encourage apartment construction in cities and counties.  It needed 21 votes and only was able to muster 18, in the Democrat-dominated State Senate.

In the past several years our legislature has considered hundreds of bills meant to “fix” the housing crisis.  SB 50 was one of the more promising – but also more controversial – as local government decried land use planning from Sacramento.

Although our industry liked many parts of the bill – and many others – we are disheartened that the number one issue to get more housing built in the state continues to be ignored.  CEQA reform.  It’s the “elephant in the room,” that is keeping housing costs high and supply much lower than demand, but powerful advocacy groups in the state won’t allow CEQA to be fixed, because it’s such a powerful tool to veto projects.  So, we continue to look for other, more complicated and less effective ways to resolve the housing crisis.

Our housing crisis is of such a large proportion that SB 50’s failure even received national news coverage which you can read here.

COMMUNITY AIR PROTECTION PROGRAM INPUT SOUGHT

Posted: January 31, 2020 | Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

Assembly Bill 617 signed into law in 2017, directs the California Air Resources Board to establish the Community Air Protection Program.  The program a community-focused action to reduce air pollution and improve public health in communities that experience disproportionate burdens from exposure to air pollutants.

On September 27, 2018, the Board selected ten communities for the first year of this program to implement community emissions reduction programs, community air monitoring, or both. At the same meeting, the Board also approved the “Community Air Protection Blueprint” (Blueprint), which contains detailed requirements for community emissions reduction programs, community air monitoring plans, and other elements of the Program.

CARB will conduct a public meeting in Fresno to consider the South Central Fresno Community Emissions Reduction Program.  Businesses located in Fresno are sought to review the program, policies, and provide input to the board.  Click here for more information.

LLC – BROKER BILL PASSES COMMITTEE UNANIMOUSLY

Posted: January 24, 2020 | Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

After years of trying, and months of negotiations with interested stakeholders, we are pleased to report that our sponsored bill, AB 687 (Daly; D-Anaheim) to allow limited liability companies (LLC) to operate as a real estate broker has moved through the Assembly Judiciary Committee and, yesterday, the Appropriations Committee, on bipartisan votes.

Real estate broker licensing was not extended to LLCs when other types of licensing were extended to LLCs over 20 years ago because at that time our industry standard was to operate as corporations.  Over time the business has shifted and now many companies within the real estate industry use LLCs extensively to hold and operate real property.  AB 687 updates the statute to reflect that evolution in the industry and allow brokers to operate as an LLC.

The Department of Real Estate thinks that the bill will be popular with licensees estimating that a third of California’s 130,000 licensed brokers would take advantage of law should it pass.

Enabling brokerage firms to form as an LLC will allow greater flexibility in management and operations which will be particularly helpful for smaller firms.  AB 687 also will enable a savings of both time and costs for these firms as operating as an LLC means more streamlined entity reporting and filing requirements than a corporation.

Finally, AB 687 will simplify taxation at the entity level as gains and losses are passed through and taxation occurs at the individual owner level.  Although Subchapter S corporations do offer the same income tax pass-through feature, limitations on number and types of owners and other restrictions make the Subchapter S vehicle less readily available.

The realtors have expressed concerns with several portions of the measure and we hope to work with them to craft language that will allow the policy to move forward.

We thank Assemblymember Tom Daly from Anaheim for being our champion on this important policy change.  The bill will next be heard in the Assembly Appropriations Committee next week.

PERSONAL SERVICES CONTRACTS – OPPOSE

Posted: January 24, 2020 | Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

As part of an employer coalition, we OPPOSE AB 790, which would require that targeted companies provide notices to personal service workers of another entity regarding the personal service workers’ right to form or assist labor organizations as permitted under federal law.

Specifically, AB 790 requires that the Department of Industrial Relations identify employers with a market capitalization of at least $1,000,000,000 and owns, operates, maintains, or rents any building in California. Those employers who enter into a personal service contract with a separate entity would need to provide the employees of that separate entity with specified information regarding the employees’ right to form or assist labor organizations as provided for by federal law.

“Personal services” is broadly defined as janitorial, housekeeping, custodial, food service, laundry service, window cleaning, bus driving, security guard, or any other “similar services” as the Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) identifies.

From a practical standpoint, this bill is nearly impossible to ensure compliance because AB 790 would require that a client company provide notices to workers of another entity. How is the client company supposed to ensure that employees of another entity are receiving notices from the client company?

For example, what if a different window cleaner cleans the outside of the building because another window cleaner called in sick. Does the replacement window cleaner need to be provided the notice if they have never received one from the client company? How is the client company supposed to keep track of the fact that a new window cleaner cleaned their windows that day and did or did not receive the required notice that day or previously?

Compliance becomes even more concerning considering the broadly defined entities it would apply to. For example, the bill encompasses public companies whose evaluation is over $1,000,000,000; however, the client company does not need to be headquartered or own property in the state for AB 790 to apply, simply renting “any” property in California suffices. Thus, a client company would need to ensure that they provide these notices to personal service contract workers providing services at a rental property when the client company doesn’t even have business in California, but simply rents property in the state.

The bill is on the Floor next week and we oppose.

COMMUNITY AIR PROTECTION PROGRAM INPUT SOUGHT

Posted: January 24, 2020 | Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

Assembly Bill 617 signed into law in 2017, directs the California Air Resources Board to establish the Community Air Protection Program.  The program a community-focused action to reduce air pollution and improve public health in communities that experience disproportionate burdens from exposure to air pollutants.

On September 27, 2018, the Board selected ten communities for the first year of this program to implement community emissions reduction programs, community air monitoring, or both. At the same meeting, the Board also approved the “Community Air Protection Blueprint” (Blueprint), which contains detailed requirements for community emissions reduction programs, community air monitoring plans, and other elements of the Program.

CARB will conduct a public meeting in Fresno to consider the South Central Fresno Community Emissions Reduction Program.  Businesses located in Fresno are sought to review the program, policies, and provide input to the board.  Click here for more information.

NEW EMPLOYMENT LAWS – INCLUDING LACTATION AND INDEPENDENT CONTRACTORS

Posted: January 24, 2020 | Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

On January 1, hundreds of new laws came into effect.  Our friends at Cox, Castle & Nicholson have provided some information on the high priority laws that our industry should be immediately aware of.  Many of these have been covered in past eWeeklys, but we are providing again because it’s so important your business know about these new laws and get into compliance.

Click here to read the list which covers everything from the new Independent Contractor law you have read so much about, to new Lactation in the Workplace accommodation requirements.

AG’S BIASED TITLE AND SUMMARY FOR SPLIT ROLL SPARKS OUTRAGE

Posted: October 25, 2019 | Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

The San Diego Union-Tribune published a scathing editorial opposing California Attorney General Xavier Becerra’s biased title and summary for the split-roll measure.

According to leadership at Californian’s to Stop Higher Property Taxes, the biased wording gives the proponents an unfair advantage at passing their $12.5 billion-a-year property tax increase.

The measure received its title and summary last week, sparking outrage across the state for the blatant misrepresentation in what is supposed to be a nonpartisan, impartial analysis for voters.

Proponents of the split-roll property tax hike are now collecting signatures to qualify the measure for the November 3, 2020, ballot.  The editorial states:

The union-led Schools & Communities First coalition has moved to scrap its original planned 2020 initiative that would require commercial and industrial properties to be taxed at their present value, ending the Proposition 13 protection that their property taxes can go up no more than 2% each year. Now the coalition has launched a revised version that’s friendlier to small businesses but still creates a “split roll” allowing the collection of as much as $12 billion in new annual tax revenue from commercial and industrial properties.

The ballot summary that Attorney General Xavier Becerra approved for the original measure starts off by citing how it would affect such properties, then explores how the increased revenue would be used. The far vaguer new summary focuses on the benefits to public schools, community colleges and local governments from “changing” property taxes.

Read the full editorial by clicking here and share with all your friends and colleagues!

Learn more about how to fight the attempt to raise your property taxes at Californian’s to Stop Higher Property Taxes.  You can help by donating to your defense by clicking here.

SPLIT ROLL PROPONENTS DECEIVING VOTERS FROM THE START

Posted: October 25, 2019 | Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

Proponents of the flawed $12.5 billion a year split-roll property tax measure have begun gathering signatures for their second, equally flawed split-roll property tax measure, which, if passed, will be the LARGEST TAX INCREASE IN CALIFORNIA HISTORY.

The campaign, desperate for support, is deceiving voters as signature gathers are telling them that the measure “will protect Prop 13” – the exact opposite of the measure’s intended purpose.

This comes after a September poll by the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) found that only 47 percent of likely voters support a split-roll property tax, but 64 percent of likely voters support Prop 13.

“This $12.5 billion a year property tax increase will hurt the pocketbooks of seniors living on fixed-incomes, hardworking families, and all Californians. Ultimately, the split-roll property tax will drive up the cost of living in one of the most expensive states in the country and make life even more difficult for those already struggling to get by,” said Deborah Howard, Board Member of the California Senior Advocates League. “California already has the highest percentage of population living in poverty. Destroying Prop 13 will put more families in jeopardy.”

Don’t be fooled by the deceiving nature of this campaign.  The purpose of this measure is to break up Proposition 13 benefits by going after commercial properties first.  Residential properties are next.

Learn more about how to fight the attempt to raise your property taxes at Californian’s to Stop Higher Property Taxes.  You can help by donating to your defense by clicking here.

COMPANY DOWNSIZES OFFICE PORTFOLIO DUE TO SPECTRE OF SPLIT ROLL

Posted: October 25, 2019 | Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

If you are still wondering if the threat to destroy split roll is “real” and if it will have any impact on your business, just look at this recent announcement by Decron Properties that is divesting in California because of the potential that Prop. 13 protections will evaporate:

“Decron Properties has sold Ocean Plaza, an 8.6-acre mixed-use office and retail complex in Huntington Beach, California, to Vancouver, Canada-based Onni Group for $97.25 million.

“Located at 17011 Beach Boulevard, the property features a 207,645-square-foot, 14-story Class A office tower, 108,785-square feet of retail and restaurant space and a six-level parking garage accommodating 863 automobiles.

“The sale of Ocean Plaza is part of Decron’s ongoing business strategy to divest itself of its commercial office assets prior to the possible changes to California’s Prop 13 that would alter the structure of property taxes for commercial properties within the state.” (emphasis added).

Our industry has been warning for years that removing Proposition 13 protections from property owners will directly result in such sell offs reshape the state’s economic activity in ways that may be harmful.  See Decron’s full press release here.

LAWSUIT TRIES TO BRING SANITY TO PROP 65 LITIGATION

Posted: October 25, 2019 | Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

The California Chamber of Commerce filed a lawsuit in early October to stop the multitude of Proposition 65 warnings for the presence of acrylamide in food.  The lawsuit asks the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of California to stop the Proposition 65 litigation over acrylamide in food.

According to the Chamber, acrylamide is not a chemical that is added intentionally to food products. Rather, it forms naturally in many types of foods when they are cooked at high temperatures, whether at home, in a restaurant or in a factory. Common sources of acrylamide in the diet (and subjects of Proposition 65 litigation) include baked goods, breakfast cereal, black ripe olives, coffee, grilled asparagus, French fries, peanut butter, potato chips, and roasted nuts.

“The effect of too many bogus warnings is no warnings,” said CalChamber President and CEO Allan Zaremberg in a statement. “This case is about clarifying for both businesses and consumers that food does not require Proposition 65 warnings for acrylamide. This will reduce unnecessary fear for consumers and litigation threats for businesses.”

Prop. 65 warning have become ubiquitous in commercial, industrial, and retail real estate buildings.  As CalChamber members we hope they are successful in this effort to bring some sanity to this area of law.  Click here for more information.

REGISTER NOW FOR THE STRATEGIC ISSUES CONFERENCE

Posted: October 25, 2019 | Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

The 2019 Strategic Issues Conference is just around the corner!  This year’s conference is being held at the recently renovated Embassy Suites in Napa, California on December 5-6.

The goal of the Strategic Issues Conference is to increase public policy and political awareness of state and national issues, and to foster collaborative efforts among business leaders from all sectors of the California economy.

Ten major business groups have come together to host an event you don’t want to miss!  California Business Properties Association (CBPA), American Council for Engineering Companies (ACEC), Building Owners and Managers of California (BOMA CAL), California Alliance for Jobs (CAJ), California Building Industry Association (CBIA), California Business Roundtable (CBRT), California Manufacturers & Technology Association (CMTA), California Retailers Association (CRA), NAIOP, Commercial Real Estate Development Association (NAIOP), National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) and Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA).

CLICK HERE to register now.  For more information on this exciting event CLICK HERE.

For hotel accommodations, please contact the Embassy Suite, Napa Valley directly at 707-253-9540. Group rate cut-off date is almost here – October 30, 2019. In order to get the special conference room rate of $209.00 you must reserve your room by October 30, 2019.

We hope to see you in December!

2020 MAY SEE TAX BATTLE ROYAL

Posted: September 27, 2019 | Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

Dan Walters, from Sacramento Bee Political Columnist, now writing for CalMatters lays out some thoughts on the looming expensive fight on split roll and other tax items in 2020:

Although the state is enjoying multibillion-dollar budget surpluses, thanks largely to a vibrant economy, California voters may face a bewildering array of tax increase proposals next year.

This seemingly contradictory situation is being driven by an assumption — probably accurate — that the November 2020 election will see a massive turnout of voters eager to oppose President Donald Trump’s re-election.

Those anti-Trump voters, it’s also assumed, would likely be willing to impose new taxes on corporations and wealthy individuals. So, tax advocates see it as a golden, even unique, opportunity.

One measure, which would remove some of Proposition 13’s property-tax barriers, has already qualified.

However, the union-led backers of that “split roll” measure, which would raise taxes on warehouses, hotels, office buildings and other commercial properties by an estimated $11 billion a year for schools and local governments, set it aside after spending several million dollars to qualify it. They are now proposing a substitute.”

Their initiative had drawn sharp criticism from county property-tax assessors about its workability and opposition from small-business owners who said it would raise their rents.

So, the backers, the “Schools and Communities First” coalition, made several revisions to quiet the critics before launching a new signature-gathering effort, although it’s uncertain the group will succeed.

The commercial real estate industry and its allies have pledged to spend $100 million to defeat the split roll measure. The California Taxpayers Association and others have formed “Californians to Stop Higher Property Taxes” to marshal opposition. And the California Chamber of Commerce has created the “California Tax and Budget Project” to block extension of sales taxes to services.

Click here to read the full story at CalMatters.

 

SPLIT ROLL BALLOT MEASURE – “THREE TIME LOSER”

Posted: September 27, 2019 | Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

Our friend Loren Kay, the President of the California Foundation for Commerce and Education, walks us through the “iterative” process the proponents next year’s split roll property tax measure are taking to try to tweak the measure in manner they better sell that stinkbomb to the voters:

Oops, they did it again.

Proponents have submitted a third attempt at a ballot initiative to create a “split roll,” hiking property taxes by up to $11 billion.

This latest version presumably won’t restart the clock, since it amends a month-old measure already being reviewed by the Attorney General and Legislative Analyst.

But the changes aren’t trivial. Most important, the new language would siphon off tens of millions of dollars to support the crushing implementation obligations on state and local governments. County state agencies must hire hundreds of new bureaucrats – tax collectors, appraisers, hearing officers, accountants and lawyers – to support the burdensome obligations newly delivered to state and local officials.

Tens of millions of dollars that will be intercepted before they can be used to hire any new school teachers, police officers or firefighters.

But wait, there’s more.

The measure requires that the State use general taxes to pay for the massive start-up costs to implement this tax hike, in advance of the first dollar to roll in from the new taxes. Even though local governments and schools will be the beneficiaries, money dedicated to state education, law enforcement and safety net programs must subsidize the hiring of new local tax collectors.

And if California were to suffer a recession after this measure passes? Doesn’t matter, proponents have given constitutional protection to these new lawyers, accountants and tax collectors – shielding the General Fund subsidies from any cuts that all other state programs would be subject to.

Even after making a third pass at getting it right, proponents have not abandoned Split Roll 1.0.

Though twice demeaned and found wanting by its own creators, the measure lingers in the ballot cue as a hedge against their inability to qualify version 3.0.

I can’t be the only one curious as to how proponents can justify keeping a ballot measure primed for a statewide vote after admitting and admitting again its inadequacies.

Click here to read the original story on Fox and Hounds.

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