BOMA CALIFORNIA Weekly Update- April 9, 2021

Posted: April 10, 2021 | Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

INDUSTRYWIDE LEGISLATIVE MEETING!

Yesterday on Zoom over eighty leaders/experts from the commercial real estate industry gathered to review more than 540 pieces of legislation that may impact your business.

Legislators have introduced over 2,400 bills, since January, and all of those bills have been reviewed and analyzed by multiple committees of experts representing owners and/or managers of retail, industrial, office, and mixed-use properties; we also had several lawyer’s expert in environmental law, leasing and escrow, and energy.  Together, positions were discussed and adopted so set the direction for the representatives of commercial real estate in Sacramento.

This year, measures on commercial “rent relief,” warehouse restrictions, indirect source rules, energy efficiency of new and existing buildings, seismic retrofits, electric vehicle charging stations, solar and photovoltaic policy, water conservation, wildfire, public access to your restrooms, CEQA, collective bargaining, are all under consideration in the Legislature.

Please help us thank everyone that is giving up a day to give back to the industry by providing analysis and discussion on bills that have the potential to impact our bottom line.

 

 AB 1547 AMENDED – WAREHOUSE BUILDING WILL GET MUCH HARDER

 Assemblymember Eloise Gomez Reyes (D-Gran Terrance) has amended AB 1547 with language that many warehouse owners and tenants believe will continue to drive companies out of the State of California.

The bill will be heard next week, and we are working with a group of business groups and labor groups to oppose the measure.

AB 1547 is a policy that will make it very difficult to operate any type of warehouse or logistics center as it will give unprecedented tools to NIMBY groups to fight new projects, including requiring a higher level of CEQA review.

As amended, AB 1547 will require local governments, before approving a warehouse development project, to take certain actions to identify and address the potential environmental impacts of the project and to ensure public participation by residents affected by the project on the consideration of the project governments, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program.

* Requiring that the facility be at least 3,000 yards (1.7 miles) from a “sensitive land use” (undefined);

* A cumulative analysis of air impacts, including other sources and air quality impacts from reasonably foreseeable future projects

* require all onsite equipment to be electric powered

* require all off-road construction equipment meet tier 4 emission standards

* require all loading and unloading docks and cold storage trailer spaces have electric power

* require additional public meeting and notice requirements, including a scoping meeting within one mile of the project site, either on the weekend or between 5-8pm on a weekend at which the agency must describe the environmental impacts and take comment on social and environmental impacts

Many industrial warehouse facilities and logistics center employ many of these tools already in how they operate their facilities.  And our industry tries to be good neighbors and address issues that come up with local government and nearby residents.

However, this type of statutory mandate on all facilities, will potentially be used as a cudgel to stop projects that some simply don’t want in an area.  Logistics centers and warehouses are extremely important to the state’s economy – and getting food and goods to people’s homes and stores – we are concerned this bill could hamper operations, push them even further away from urban areas, and make everything more expensive.

The bill will be heard in the Assembly Natural Resources Committee on Wednesday, April 14 and we will oppose the bill.

 

GREEN BUILDING STANDARD CODE – EV CHARGING

The California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) will present proposed changes, specifically related to electric vehicle charging, for the 2022 CALGreen Code, at a meeting on April 12, 2021, from 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m..

If you own or manage multi-family property this code WILL AFFECT YOU and we encourage you to participate and provide feedback.

The online meeting is limited to 250 people so make sure you call in early, to 916-535-0998 and use Conference ID: 886 941 744# or click here to join via Microsoft Teams.

For more information, visit the Building Code Development and Adoption webpage.

 

COVID-19 EMERGENCY SMALL BUSINESS EVICTION AND RENT RELIEF ACT

 AB 255 (Muratsuchi; D-Torrance) was amended late last week and is now dubbed the “COVID-19 Emergency Small Business Eviction and Rent Relief Act.”  Initial language for this bill mirrored provisions of SB 939 from last year, a measure that was deemed so unconstitutional and unworkable, it didn’t get out of it house of origin.

Over the past two months we have worked closely with the author and many of the more objectionable items from SB 939 have been removed from the bill, and we very much appreciated the author’s diligence in working with our industry to address those items.

However, because the bill asks commercial landlords to go without rent for an extended period of time and removes the use of Unlawful Detainer in some circumstances, we will need to continue to work with the author to assure it doesn’t disadvantage one side of the business-to-business transaction.

We are also worried that as the bill is written it will create a disincentive for businesses that have receive state/federal COVID grants from paying their rent in order to prioritize and pay other debt. That is fundamentally unfair and will set a dangerous precedent.

Here is a quick summary.

* Allows a commercial tenant with a decrease in average monthly gross revenue of 50% or more due to COVID to request rent relief for any debt accrued between March 1, 2020, and August 1, 2021, from its landlord by filing a “certificate of hardship”.

* Commercial tenant is defined as: A company or nonprofit with no more than 50 employees and gross revenues not exceeding $5,000,000.

* Requires a landlord that receives a certificate of hardship from a commercial tenant, to conduct a “good faith negotiation to form a plan to allow the commercial tenant a reasonable opportunity to repay COVID-19 lease debt while minimizing the hardship to the landlord.”

* Contains a hardship provision for the landlord if the rent relief would subject “the landlord to significant risk of default on their own financial obligations.”

* Protects a tenant that has paid at least 25% of rent during the time period from lease termination and unlawful detainer proceedings until August 1, 2022. 

Your analysis/feedback and position recommendation on this version of the bill is appreciated and needed ASAP.   The bill will be heard in policy committee in late April, which means we need to move quickly.

Click the bill to read the actual bill language:  AB 255

 

BOMA CALIFORNIA Weekly Update- March 26, 2021

Posted: March 26, 2021 | Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

JOB KILLER LIST RELEASED

The California Chamber of Commerce released its preliminary list of “Job Killers” which it uses to call attention to the negative impact that 18 proposed measures would have on California’s job climate and economic recovery if they were to become law.

As a proud member of the CalChamber and an allied member of the business coalition, we have the opportunity to provide input to the list and do everything we can to make sure that issues impacting the commercial real estate industry are considered for inclusion.

“Many of these bills — particularly the labor and employment ones — seem to be solutions in search of a problem,” said CalChamber President and CEO Allan Zaremberg.

Zaremberg also questioned why the Legislature is not working on ways to reduce costs on businesses struggling due to the pandemic.

“Are policy makers unaware that unemployment filings increased last month? California employers cannot be the safety net for struggling workers. The billions of dollars coming to the state from the American Rescue Plan should be used to provide the safety net for struggling workers and help get businesses back up and running,” Zaremberg concluded.

Below are a few from the list of particular interest.  We stand with the CalChamber in opposing these measures:

  • AB 71 (Luz Rivas; D-Arleta)Massive Corporate Tax Increase: Significantly increases the state’s corporate tax rate and taxation on the gross income of international companies to create a homelessness fund, thereby shifting the responsibility of the crisis onto the private sector, despite the $15 billion in unexpected revenue.

 

  • AB 1199 (Gipson; D-Carson)Targeted Tax on Homeowners: Unfairly imposes an excise tax on certain individual and corporate homeowners to pay for housing-related services, which will ultimately increase rental rates and worsen housing unaffordability for vulnerable tenants.

 

  • AB 1295 (Muratsuchi; D-Torrance)Housing Development Ban: Removes local land use authority and exacerbates the housing crisis by prohibiting cities and counties from entering into a residential development agreement in Very High Fire Severity Zones, which strips local communities of their land use authority and applies a one-size-fits-all ban on development throughout large swaths of California.

 

  • SB 55 (Stern; D-Canoga Park)Housing Development Ban: Removes local land use authority by prohibiting any residential or commercial construction in either Very High Fire Severity Zones or State Responsibility Area, which effectively bans development activity in 1/3 of the state of California and will exacerbate the existing housing crisis.

 

  • SB 499 (Leyva; D-Chino)Housing Development Ban: Prohibits cities and counties from designating any land uses that have potential to adversely impact disadvantaged communities, even if any potential impacts could be mitigated. In doing so, the bill removes local land use authority, creates new costly California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) litigation and worsens the state’s housing crisis.

 

  • AB 995 (Lorena Gonzalez; D-San Diego)Costly Sick Leave Expansion on All Employers: Imposes new costs and leave requirements on employers of all sizes, by expanding the number of paid sick days employers are required to provide, which is in addition to all of the recently enacted leave mandates (COVID-19 sick leave, Cal/OSHA emergency paid time off, California Family Rights Act (CFRA) leave, workers’ compensation, etc.) that small employers throughout the state are already struggling with to implement and comply.

 

  • AB 1003 (Lorena Gonzalez; D-San Diego)Criminal Liability for Good Faith Mistakes: Despite California’s onerous, confusing, and always-changing wage and hour laws, proposes to criminalize small employers, managers, and supervisors who in good faith make a mistake in the application of the law, that even the Labor Commissioner and the courts disagree with on how to interpret.

 

  • AB 1074 (Lorena Gonzalez; D-San Diego)Onerous Return to Work Mandate: Imposes an onerous and stringent process for specific employers to return employees to the workforce for specified industries, including hotels and restaurants that have been disproportionally impacted by this pandemic, which will delay rehiring and employers’ ability to re-open after being forced to close or reduce operations due to COVID-19.

 

  • SB 606 (Lena Gonzalez; D-Long Beach)Expansion of Cal/OSHA Authority and Enforcement: Significantly expands Cal/OSHA authority by allowing it to multiply penalties potentially by 10x or 100x against employers, and shut down facilities that it has not even physically inspected. Finally, creates multiple new presumptions of retaliation that are duplicative of existing protections and will generate litigation.

 

 COVID-19 EMERGENCY SMALL BUSINESS EVICTION AND RENT RELIEF ACT

 AB 255 (Muratsuchi; D-Torrance) was amended overnight and is now dubbed the “COVID-19 Emergency Small Business Eviction and Rent Relief Act.”  Initial language for this bill mirrored provisions of SB 939 from last year, a measure that was deemed so unconstitutional and unworkable, it didn’t get out of it house of origin.

Over the past two months we have worked closely with the author and many of the more objectionable items from SB 939 have been removed from the bill, and we very much appreciated the author’s diligence in working with our industry to address those items.

However, because the bill asks commercial landlords to go without rent for an extended period of time, and removes the use of Unlawful Detainer in some circumstances, we will need to continue to work with the author to assure it doesn’t disadvantage one side of the business-to-business transaction.

We are also worried that as the bill is written it will create a disincentive for businesses that have receive state/federal COVID grants from paying their rent in order to prioritize and pay other debt. That is fundamentally unfair and will set a dangerous precedent.

Here is a quick summary (click on bill number below to read the full bill):

* Allows a commercial tenant with a decrease in average monthly gross revenue of 50% or more due to COVID to request rent relief for any debt accrued between March 1, 2020, and August 1, 2021, from its landlord by filing a “certificate of hardship”.

* Commercial tenant is defined as: A company or nonprofit with no more than 50 employees and gross revenues not exceeding $5,000,000.

* Requires a landlord that receives a certificate of hardship from a commercial tenant, to conduct a “good faith negotiation to form a plan to allow the commercial tenant a reasonable opportunity to repay COVID-19 lease debt while minimizing the hardship to the landlord.”

* Contains a hardship provision for the landlord if the rent relief would subject “the landlord to significant risk of default on their own financial obligations.”

* Protects a tenant that has paid at least 25% of rent during the time period from lease termination and unlawful detainer proceedings until August 1, 2022. 

Your analysis/feedback and position recommendation on this version of the bill is appreciated and needed ASAP.   The bill will be heard in policy committee in late April, which means we need to move quickly.

Click the bill to read the actual bill language:  AB 255

 

 BILL WILL STRENGTHEN PROP 13 AND INCREASE REVENUES

We are pleased to support SB 706 by Senator Pat Bates (R-Laguna Niguel) a bill that seeks to correct an outdated interpretation of property “change of ownership” that has been part of the long running debate around commercial property and Proposition 13.

Similar bills have been introduced in the past but were caught up in the politics of groups pushing for a split roll property tax and were stopped under the misguided notion that fixing this issue would imperil their proposition.  Well, split roll (Prop 15) was defeated by a large margin in Nov. 2020, so hopefully this measure will now move forward,

According to Senator Bates, “Proposition 13 ensures that property taxes do not skyrocket for any California homeowner or business,” said Senator Bates. “But it is not right that some people have exploited an outdated interpretation of Prop. 13 to avoid paying the property taxes that they legitimately owe. While some people tried to use extreme examples last November as a pretext to wipe out Prop. 13’s tax protections for commercial property, the Legislature can instead use a scalpel to prevent further abuses.”

Strong endorsements for the legislation came from Jon Coupal (Howard Jarvis Taxpayer’s Association), Rob Lapsley (CA Business Roundtable), and Rex Hime (CA Business Properties Association) who said of the measure, “Enacting Senator Bates’ bill into law would be a good example of policy over politics. It would provide local governments with resources to meet their many needs.”

Click here for more information from Senator Pat Bates.

 

 AB 1547 AMENDED – WAREHOUSE BUILDING WILL GET MUCH HARDER

 Assemblymember Eloise Gomez Reyes (D-Gran Terrance) has amended AB 1547 with language that many warehouse owners and tenants believe will continue to drive companies out of the State of California. A policy that will make it very difficult to operate any type of warehouse or logistics center as it will give unprecedented tools to NIMBY groups to fight new projects, including requiring a higher level of CEQA review.

As amended, AB 1547 will require local governments, before approving a warehouse development project, to take certain actions to identify and address the potential environmental impacts of the project and to ensure public participation by residents affected by the project on the consideration of the project governments, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program.

According to the author’s office, AB 1547 seeks to require the following prior to the approval of a warehouse development:

* A 1,000-yard buffer zone between the boundary of the site and sensitive land use such as schools, parks, and residential neighborhoods.

* Local notice to the affected community with details about the project.

* Require on-site equipment such as forklifts and other dock machinery to be powered by zero emission technology.

* Require construction equipment to use highest emission standards currently available.

* Conduct an analysis of air quality impacts of the warehouse development taking into account the truck traffic increase caused by the project.

* Require project applicant to hold series of community meetings with affected residents to develop a community benefits agreement.

* Community Benefit Agreement must include: A plan to incorporate zero emission trucks; ensure use of zero emission last mile delivery; and local hire for jobs.

Many industrial warehouse facilities and logistics center employ many of these tools already in how they operate their facilities.  And our industry tries to be good neighbors and address issues that come up with local government and nearby residents.

However, this type of statutory mandate on all facilities, will potentially be used as a cudgel to stop projects that some simply don’t want in an area.  Logistics centers and warehouses are extremely important to the state’s economy – and getting food and goods to people’s homes and stores – we are concerned this bill could hamper operations, push them even further away from urban areas, and make everything more expensive.

Click here to read this outrageous legislation for yourself, AB 1547.

 

 MOBILE SOURCE BILL WOULD HURT GOODS MOVEMENT

Another bill that would have a huge impact on our members that own and/or operate warehouse and logistics facilities is AB 426 (Bauer-Kahan; D-Orinda) which could have a huge negative impact on our state’s ability to move food and goods to market and to your homes.

A large group of industries, including commercial, retail, and industrial real estate, are working together to oppose AB 426. Consistent with the California Toxic Air Contaminant Act, diesel exhaust was identified as a toxic air contaminant in 1998. As required by the law, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) adopted a control plan (the Diesel Risk Reduction Plan) in 2000.

Since that time, CARB has implemented a comprehensive mobile source control program which has, in many cases, far exceeded the Diesel Risk Reduction Plan’s goal of reducing diesel exhaust by 85% by 2020. In addition, CARB continues to adopt new control measures requiring the use of zero and near-zero emission equipment.

The current regulatory mobile source programs by CARB already provided for in California law – including the latest generation of control technologies – have been wildly successful in reducing community exposures to both mobile and stationary source diesel emissions. For example, by January 1, 2023, diesel exhaust in nearly all on-road heavy-duty trucks will be reduced by more than 98%.

AB 426 would fundamentally change the successful two-step identification and control process in the California Toxic Air Contaminant Act as implemented in the Diesel Risk Reduction Plan.

The bill would also grant indirect source rule authority over existing sources in conflict with the Federal Clean Air Act which applies such programs to new or modified sources only.

In addition, this bill would duplicate existing facility-by-facility review and mitigation under the California Environmental Quality Act as well as the myriad regulatory and data collection efforts on mobile sources currently being implemented by CARB.

Although the bill has good intentions, we are forced to oppose because its an incredible overreach that will drive businesses out of the state, make it more difficult to ship food and goods to market and your homes, and will increase the cost over everything that has to move to get to consumers.

 

COVID VACCINE AND THE WORKPLACE

And so, you have more information about dealing with COVID in the workplace, as proud members of the California Chamber of Commerce, we are pleased to provide information they released today about how to deal with issues in the workplace related to vaccinations.

What is your responsibility as an employer to assure your workforce is vaccinated and what risks you do you incur by asking employees to make sure they are vaccinated?  What is the CDC guidance and what is California state law?

Click here for more information about what role you should play as an employer when it comes to keeping your employees, tenants, and guests, safe at your workplace.

BOMA CALIFORNIA Weekly Update- March 19, 2021

Posted: March 19, 2021 | Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

 WAREHOUSE BILL CAUSES CONCERN

 Assemblymember Eloise Gomez Reyes (D-Gran Terrance) has announced that she intends to amend her bill, AB 1547, with language that many warehouse owners and tenants believe will continue to drive companies out of the State of California with another policy that will make it very difficult to operate any type of industrial warehouse or logistics center as it may give unprecedented tools to nearby NIMBYs to fight new projects.

According to the author’s office, AB 1547 will be amended to require the following prior to the approval of a warehouse development:

* A 1,000-yard buffer zone between the boundary of the site and sensitive land use such as schools, parks, and residential neighborhoods.

* Local notice to the affected community with details about the project.

* Require on-site equipment such as forklifts and other dock machinery to be powered by zero emission technology.

* Require construction equipment to use highest emission standards currently available.

* Conduct an analysis of air quality impacts of the warehouse development taking into account the truck traffic increase caused by the project.

* Require project applicant to hold series of community meetings with affected residents to develop a community benefits agreement.

* Community Benefit Agreement must include: A plan to incorporate zero emission trucks; ensure use of zero emission last mile delivery; and local hire for jobs.

Many industrial warehouse facilities and logistics center employ many of these tools already in how they operate their facilities.  And our industry tries to be good neighbors and address issues that come up with local government and nearby residents.

However, this type of statutory mandate on all facilities, will potentially be used as a cudgel to stop projects that some simply don’t want in an area.  Logistics centers and warehouses are extremely important to the state’s economy – and getting food and goods to people’s homes and stores – we are concerned this bill could hamper operations, push them even further away from urban areas, and make everything more expensive.

Here is an article about AB 1547.  We will keep you posted as it progresses.

 

 MOBILE SOURCE BILL WOULD HURT GOODS MOVEMENT

Another bill that would have a huge impact on our members that own and/or operate warehouse and logistics facilities is AB 426 (Bauer-Kahan; D-Orinda) which could have a huge negative impact on our state’s ability to move food and goods to market and to your homes.

A large group of industries, including commercial, retail, and industrial real estate, are working together to oppose AB 426. Consistent with the California Toxic Air Contaminant Act, diesel exhaust was identified as a toxic air contaminant in 1998. As required by the law, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) adopted a control plan (the Diesel Risk Reduction Plan) in 2000.

Since that time, CARB has implemented a comprehensive mobile source control program which has, in many cases, far exceeded the Diesel Risk Reduction Plan’s goal of reducing diesel exhaust by 85% by 2020. In addition, CARB continues to adopt new control measures requiring the use of zero and near-zero emission equipment.

The current regulatory mobile source programs by CARB already provided for in California law – including the latest generation of control technologies – have been wildly successful in reducing community exposures to both mobile and stationary source diesel emissions. For example, by January 1, 2023, diesel exhaust in nearly all on-road heavy-duty trucks will be reduced by more than 98%.

AB 426 would fundamentally change the successful two-step identification and control process in the California Toxic Air Contaminant Act as implemented in the Diesel Risk Reduction Plan.

The bill would also grant indirect source rule authority over existing sources in conflict with the Federal Clean Air Act which applies such programs to new or modified sources only.

In addition, this bill would duplicate existing facility-by-facility review and mitigation under the California Environmental Quality Act as well as the myriad regulatory and data collection efforts on mobile sources currently being implemented by CARB.

Although the bill has good intentions, we are forced to oppose because its an incredible overreach that will drive businesses out of the state, make it more difficult to ship food and goods to market and your homes, and will increase the cost over everything that has to move to get to consumers.

 

COVID WORKPLACE LIABILITY BILL

We are pleased to support AB 247 (Ramos; D-Highland) which will add to and repeal Section 1714.28 of the Civil Code. The bill would provide immunity from civil liability to small business and nonprofit organizations during the COVID-19 emergency.

Section One would provide nine legislative findings and declarations such as improving business confidence to operate, and that small businesses are the backbone of the state’s economy. Nonprofit organizations also play a vital role in building healthy communities. In addition, California has recognized the need for protection from civil liability during times of crisis and so it is the intent of the Legislature to protect small businesses and nonprofit organizations, which continue to make significant contributions to economic development during these unprecedented times caused by the COVID-19 state of emergency.

Section Two of the bill would add Civil Code Section 1714.28 to prohibit a small business or nonprofit organization from being liable for an injury or illness to a consumer due to coronavirus (COVID-19) based on a claim that the consumer contracted COVID-19 while at that small business or nonprofit organization. The relief from liability would be available if the small business or nonprofit organization has implemented and substantially complied with all applicable state and local health laws, regulations, and protocols.

“Small business” in this instance means a business with 100 or fewer employees, which would cover so many of our members.  We will keep you posted on the progress of the bill.

 

COVID VACCINE AND THE WORKPLACE

And so, you have more information about dealing with COVID in the workplace, as proud members of the California Chamber of Commerce, we are pleased to provide information they released today about how to deal with issues in the workplace related to vaccinations.

What is your responsibility as an employer to assure your workforce is vaccinated and what risks you do you incur by asking employees to make sure they are vaccinated?  What is the CDC guidance and what is California state law?

Click here for more information about what role you should play as an employer when it comes to keeping your employees, tenants, and guests, safe at your workplace.

 

SCAQMD WAREHOUSE INDIRECT SOURCE RULE OPPOSED

A broad chorus of opposition, including California Business Properties Association representing over 400 individual companies and every major commercial real estate association, has sent a letter in opposition to the South Coast Air Quality Management District’s (SCAQMD) proposed Warehouse Indirect Source Rule (ISR).

On behalf of the commercial, industrial, and retail real estate sectors, CBPA expressed concerns that the draft ISR Warehouse Actions and Investments to Reduce Emissions “WAIRE Points,” as too complicated, too costly, duplicative of existing efforts, and expressed doubts that the rule will achieve the stated desired outcomes.

California already regulates mobile sources pursuant to its waiver under federal Clean Air Act, and this power is unique in the nation. The California Air Resources Board (CARB) has used this power to adopt the country’s strictest emission laws, including adopting the world’s first mandate to manufacture and sell zero-emission commercial vehicles.

CARB has also stated its intent to adopt regulations by the end of 2021 that will require nearly every equipment type at warehouses to operate in a zero-emission mode.

On behalf of the commercial real estate industry, CBPA strongly requested that SCAQMD not engage in duplicative rulemaking that will have a disastrous effect on the economy of the state, make goods more difficult and expensive to get to consumers, and will have marginal – if any – environmental benefit.

CBPA, NAIOP, ICSC, BOMA, and a host of other business groups also sent a joint letter opposing this rulemaking.  Click here to see the letter.

BOMA CALIFORNIA Weekly Update- March 12, 2021

Posted: March 13, 2021 | Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

SCAQMD WAREHOUSE INDIRECT SOURCE RULE OPPOSED

Last week, joining a broad chorus of opposition, California Business Properties Association representing over 400 individual companies and every major commercial real estate association sent a letter in opposition to the South Coast Air Quality Management District’s (SCAQMD) proposed Warehouse Indirect Source Rule (ISR).

On behalf of the commercial, industrial, and retail real estate sectors, CBPA expressed concerns that the draft ISR Warehouse Actions and Investments to Reduce Emissions “WAIRE Points,” as too complicated, too costly, duplicative of existing efforts, and expressed doubts that the rule will achieve the stated desired outcomes.

California already regulates mobile sources pursuant to its waiver under federal Clean Air Act, and this power is unique in the nation. The California Air Resources Board (CARB) has used this power to adopt the country’s strictest emission laws, including adopting the world’s first mandate to manufacture and sell zero-emission commercial vehicles.

CARB has also stated its intent to adopt regulations by the end of 2021 that will require nearly every equipment type at warehouses to operate in a zero-emission mode.

On behalf of the commercial real estate industry, CBPA strongly requested that SCAQMD not engage in duplicative rulemaking that will have a disastrous effect on the economy of the state, make goods more difficult and expensive to get to consumers, and will have marginal – if any – environmental benefit.

CBPA, NAIOP, ICSC, BOMA, and a host of other business groups also sent a joint letter opposing this rulemaking.  Click here to see the letter.

 

SUPPORT FOR TAX RELIEF

Our industry is pleased to support AB 879 (Rubio; D-Baldwin Park) legislation that would provide much-needed tax relief to California businesses affected by the pandemic, while also generating revenue for the state.

The bill would require the Franchise Tax Board and California Department of Tax and Fee Administration to administer a tax amnesty program from February 1, 2022, through March 31, 2022, for all tax years prior to January 1, 2021.

The bill relieves pressure for tax hikes on corporate taxpayers by bringing in additional state revenue without increasing taxes and provides an avenue for taxpayers to remit owed taxes without costly and onerous penalties.

The measure is sponsored by the California Taxpayers Association a group we are pleased to collaborate with on many issues throughout the year, including joining forces to defeat last year’s split roll property tax measure, Proposition 15.

 

SUPPORT FOR PAGA REFORM BILL

 Our industry is supporting AB 385 (Flora; R-Ripon), a CalChamber sponsored measure that will provide much-needed relief to businesses facing litigation during COVID-19 by amending the Labor Code Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA) so that an employee who files a civil claim that is subject to an arbitration agreement may not pursue a PAGA claim when the employer chooses not to enforce the arbitration agreement.

According to the Chamber, thousands of PAGA lawsuits are filed every year. An employee can bring a PAGA claim against employers for any Labor Code violation as long as that employee alleges, they experienced one violation. For instance, an employee who alleges they missed one rest break can then sue for missed meal breaks, overtime wages, business expense reimbursements, wage statement penalties, waiting time penalties, and more on behalf of all California employees.

When COVID-19 hit California in 2020, employers had to change their business operations to comply with safety orders and protect employees from unnecessary exposure. California’s Labor Code was not designed to address a pandemic and many of the laws are difficult to satisfy in a remote work environment, leaving employers unfairly exposed to PAGA litigation.

California presently leads the nation as far as COVID-19 employment-related lawsuits, with many having been filed against small businesses.

COVID-19 has been devastating to California’s business community. Those that have survived the last year continue to struggle to keep their doors open. AB 385 is an innovative solution to help employers and employees address workplace violation claims quickly and efficiently.

 

NON-ENERGY BENEFITS BILL OPPOSED

The commercial real estate industry, along with a group of allied business groups, is opposing SB 345 (Becker; D-Menlo Park) a bill that would continue the rise of energy costs and expense of complying with energy regulations.  The bill requires the CA Public Utility Commission (CPUC) to come up with a definition for “non-energy benefits” in all distributed energy resource programs.

The CPUC is charged with evaluating cost effectiveness of programs, which is consistent with its core function of ensuring ratepayers are charged reasonable rates for reliable utility services. Environmental and other benefits are already incorporated as a co-benefit of programs at the CPUC. There exist many energy efficiency programs administered by the CPUC. Each time a program is designed to reduce consumption, it not only decreases the load on the energy grid and reduces customer bills, but it also reduces externalities such as carbon emissions from the decrease in necessary procurement that results from energy efficiency programs. For example, the CPUC often considers greenhouse gas (GHG) costs as a function of a GHG price multiplied by total avoided energy that results from a program.

The CPUC’s core expertise is in setting appropriate rates and ensuring oversight over the state’s regulated utilities to ensure appropriate and cost-effective utility service. Its functions are fundamentally economic ones; ensuring that California’s ratepayers are not paying more than they need to for reliable services.

We oppose this bill because prioritization of nonenergy benefits over other cost-effectiveness factors may result in increased costs that burden those very customers sought to be benefited by this bill. Incorporating environmental benefits into all the CPUC’s demand response programs could cause unforeseen difficulties, including unnecessary increases in rates with marginal environmental benefit.

 

EARTHQUAKE RESILIENCE WEBINAR

A new webinar series educating property owners and business leaders on the importance of earthquake resilience is now available to members of the CBPA, BOMA, NAIOP, ICSC, IREM and other leading business organizations.  The next complimentary program is next Wednesday March 17th from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Click here for more information.

“Earthquake resilience should be part of every business plan in California,” says Tracy Hernandez, Founding CEO of the Los Angeles County Business Federation. “Becoming resilient to all kinds of disasters makes good business sense.”

“Earthquakes can have devastating impacts on vulnerable buildings, people and our economy, but they don’t have to be disasters,” says U.S. Resiliency Council Executive Director Evan Reis, PE, SE, who hosts the video program. “These webinars show investing in resilience is good economics, sound business, and responsible public policy.”

The Resilience Advantage webinar series is a cooperative effort of the Los Angeles Area Chamber of CommerceLos Angeles County Economic Development Corp.Los Angeles County Business Federation, and the U.S. Resiliency Council.  The series is sponsored by Optimum Seismic, Inc.

The complete video recording and associated resources from our first set of webinars can be found here.

 

BOMA CALIFORNIA Weekly Update- March 5, 2021

Posted: March 5, 2021 | Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

COMMERCIAL EVICTION EXECUTIVE ORDER EXTENDED

Yesterday the Governor extended the authority for local government to adopt a commercial eviction moratorium through Executive Order N-03-21 to June 30th, 2021.

The purpose of the extension is to put the date into alignment with the residential eviction laws – however, at this point none of the other provisions in statute regarding residential evictions pertain to commercial. Please remember, there is no statewide policy on this, as a local government must act and adopt a local ordinance for a moratorium to be in effect, and moratoriums vary by jurisdiction.  If in doubt, consult your attorneys and/or local government jurisdiction of the property in question.

Here is a link to the official announcement.

 

FEDERAL BILL GOES AFTER CARRIED INTEREST

All real estate groups working together in Washington have had to fight what is known as the “carried interest” bill over and over, and another bill has been introduced this year.  Under the “Carried Interest Fairness Act,” carried interest would be treated as wages taxed at ordinary income rates on real estate partnerships.  Such a policy would discourage investment in development project and further depress the U.S. Economy as it struggles with COVID shutdowns.

BOMA International has been one of the groups in Washington leading the charge against this bad policy.  Here is an existing briefing paper for more information.

 

COALITION CALLS FOR LEGISLATIVE ACTION ON ECONOMIC RECOVERY

We have joined our partners at the California Chamber of Commerce in a coalition of more than 75 allied groups in urging Governor Gavin Newsom and California Legislators to pass measures to promote economic recovery during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The coalition calls on lawmakers to pass 22 bills that would give relief to beleaguered small businesses in the state and provide incentives for larger employers to retain their workforces in California. Additionally, the group specifically asks for policymakers to pass bold and aggressive proposals to create more affordable and market price housing in California.

Click here to read the letter which includes descriptions of the major areas highlighted by the coalition for needed reform.

 

INTERESTING BILLS SO FAR

 Although it is still early, and we are working with our legislative committees and members to prioritize and set positions, here are a few interesting bills we are raising concerns about:

AB 33 (Ting D) Natural gas.
Decarbonization/Natural Gas. Directs all electric utilities to establish a rate structure for “all-electric” buildings, prohibits gas lines in newly constructed schools, and abolishes ability for new construction gas line extension allowances.

AB 84 (Ting D) Employment: COVID-19: supplemental paid sick leave.
Paid sick leave mandate. This bill imposes a significant cost onto small employers, who the State has already acknowledged are suffering due to this pandemic. This paid sick leave mandate would essentially negate any financial relief small employers may receive through the proposed COVID grant programs. Retroactively requires employers with only one or more employees, to provide up to 80 hours of paid sick leave per calendar year to all employees for COVID-19 related reasons.

AB 255 (Muratsuchi D) Tenancy: commercial leases: COVID-19 rent relief.
Could negatively impact commercial leases. Bill declaring the Legislature’s intent to address commercial leases during COVID. Although there isn’t language yet, the author’s staff has indicated it could be used as a vehicle for some type of commercial “rent relief” requirement.

AB 377 (Rivas, Robert  D) Water quality: impaired waters.
A virtually impossible water runoff standard that would require property owners to process and clean rainwater coming off of roofs to be “drinkable.”

AB 970 (McCarty D) Electric vehicle charging stations: permit application: approval.
Electric vehicle charging station permits.  Require an application to install an electric vehicle charging station be acted on within 5 business of submittal.  Although we support quick approval of EV charging permits, this bill would require local planning desks to prioritize this particular permit above other permit requests which could cause unnecessary delays in tenant improvements and other construction.

AB 1017 (Quirk-Silva D) Public restrooms: Right to Restrooms Act of 2021.
Requires local governments to do an inventory of public restrooms that are available to the homeless. May lead to policies that require buildings open to the public allow non-patron use of facilities.

AB 1074 (Gonzalez, Lorena D) Employment: rehiring and retention: displaced workers.
Removes the ability of private employers to choose who they hire by requiring businesses to offer positions to laid-off employees based on a preference system enshrined in state law.

AB 1199 (Gipson D) Homes for Families and Corporate Monopoly Transparency Excise Tax: qualified property: reporting requirements.
Increases the cost of housing in the state of California by imposing an excise tax on certain property owners for the “privilege of renting or leasing” space in the state.

AB 1329 (Nazarian D) Building codes: earthquakes: functional recovery standard.
Requires adoption of stricter seismic regulations. Says if the state does not adopt regulations by Jan 2026, all new construction is considered Risk Category IV.

AB 1547 (Reyes D) Air pollution: warehouse facilities.
A bill that states the intent of the Legislature to enact legislation relating to air pollution at warehouse facilities. Waiting for more information and language, but this is one of several bills that are targeted toward the warehousing, goods movement, and retail sectors of the state.

SB 30 (Cortese D) Building decarbonization.
Building decarbonization bill. Prohibits the design and construction of state buildings to have natural gas hookups. Prohibits state agencies from providing financial or other support for construction projects which are connected to the gas grid. Directs the California Energy Commission to set a zero-emission deadline for new building construction by 2025.

SB 32 (Cortese D) Energy: general plan: building decarbonization requirements.
Building decarbonization mandate. Requires cities and counties to incorporate into their general plan elements to decarbonize newly constructed residential and non-residential buildings.

SB 95 (Skinner D) Employment: COVID-19: supplemental paid sick leave.
Paid sick leave mandate. This bill imposes a significant cost onto small employers, who the State has already acknowledged are suffering due to this pandemic. This paid sick leave mandate would essentially negate any financial relief small employers may receive through the proposed COVID grant programs. Retroactively requires employers with only one or more employees, to provide up to 80 hours of paid sick leave per calendar year to all employees for COVID-19 related reasons.

SB 499 (Leyva D) General plan: land use element: uses adversely impacting health outcomes.
May negatively impact warehousing, manufacturing, retail and goods movement sectors. Requires local land use element for general plans be changed in a way that may impact on the ability to recruit/retain/operate manufacturing, warehouses, and logistics centers.

SB 687 (Hueso D) Emergency response: trauma kits.
Mandates trauma kits be installed in all building that currently require an AED. Does not account for cost or “Good Samaritan” liability protections for property owners/managers.

 

COVID GRANTS FOR SMALL BUSINESSES

Earlier this week Governor Newsom signed a package of bills meant to provide economic relief due to COVID shutdowns.  Several items we as an industry have been advocating for over the past year are included in this package such as direct relief for small businesses and waivers of certain business/licensing fees directly impacting restaurants, bars, and other retail tenants.

The small business grant program now has a $2B pot of funds to draw from.  The grants provide up to $25K for small businesses (defined as up to $2.5M in gross revenue) and can be used for overhead expenses, including rent.

For those of you working with smaller tenants that are struggling, this is a program that you may want to make sure they know about.

Below you can find a more comprehensive press release from the Governor’s office regarding today’s action, and here you can find information from GOBIZ to share with tenants that are looking for assistance:

California Small Business Covid-19 Relief Grant Program On 2/17, Governor Newsom and the California State Legislature Leadership announced an Immediate Action Agreement to support additional funding for the CA Relief Grant program. Please stay tuned for further details pending final legislative action. We appreciate your patience during this time. Visit CAReliefGrant.com for more information. Additional assistance: tax relief (click here); and recovery loans through the California Rebuilding Fund. Sign up for CalOSBA updates here.

 Last legislative session the state was not willing to step-up financially and we saw bills like SB 939, which simply shifted the debt burden from tenants to property owners, in an unfair and unsustainable manner; a plan that would have seen a rent crisis turn into a mortgage crisis and many small businesses lose their properties to the noteholders.

Although the total impact to businesses in the state is far greater than $2B, this funding source will help the smallest businesses keep their doors open and employees employed, and we applaud the Governor and Legislature for stepping up in this way.

 

COVID TAX CONFORMITY

California has yet to fully conform to the federal tax laws, which exempt COVID-19 relief funds as taxable events. This could leave many struggling businesses with major tax liabilities.

On Monday, the Budget and Fiscal Review Committee will consider AB 80 (Burke; D-Inglewood) which would help resolve that issue and bring California into partial conformity with federal tax treatment of deductible business expenses paid for using PPP funds and will allow businesses to deduct up to $150K in expenses from state income taxes.

The measure, sponsored by the CalChamber and supported by business groups including commercial real estate organizations CBPA, BOMA California, NAIOP California, and the International Council of Shopping Centers, is seen as a key component to helping California businesses cope a little better with the COVID shutdowns of the past year.

 

RESTAURANTS AND BAR FEE WAIVERS FOR COVID RELIEF

The agreement to help California businesses dealing with COVID impacts also will provide for two years of fee relief for roughly 59,000 restaurants and bars licensed through the state’s Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control that can range annually from $455 to $1,235.

The agreement also reflects fee relief for more than 600,000 barbering and cosmetology individuals and businesses licensed through the Department of Consumer Affairs.

The fee waiver can be found in SB 94/AB 83.

 

BOMA CALIFORNIA Weekly Update- February 26, 2021

Posted: February 26, 2021 | Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

2,369 LEGISLATIVE BILLS INTRODUCED IN CA STATE LEGISLATURE

 Last Friday was the California State Legislature’s “Bill Introduction Deadline,” and the tidal wave of bills that were introduced totals 2,369 pieces of legislation to deal with for 2021.  When you add in resolutions and other types of non-binding bills the number climbs to 2,476 bills!

Your staff in Sacramento reads every single one of these bills and will start working with our own legislative committees and subject matter experts to identify those that have an impact on your business, tenants, and those you do business with, and will work to support the things that make sense, while opposing the bills that will make it harder for you to operate as an employer.

We have already identified over 422 bills that we will need to analyze further, track through the process, and potentially engage on your behalf.

Because we are buried in bills, this will be an abbreviated Weekly so we can focus on slogging through the big pile of legislation!

 

INTERESTING BILLS SO FAR

 

Although it is still early, and we are working with our legislative committees and members to prioritize and set positions, here are a few interesting bills we are raising concerns about:

AB 33 (Ting D) Natural gas.
Decarbonization/Natural Gas. Directs all electric utilities to establish a rate structure for “all-electric” buildings, prohibits gas lines in newly constructed schools, and abolishes ability for new construction gas line extension allowances.

AB 84 (Ting D) Employment: COVID-19: supplemental paid sick leave.
Paid sick leave mandate. This bill imposes a significant cost onto small employers, who the State has already acknowledged are suffering due to this pandemic. This paid sick leave mandate would essentially negate any financial relief small employers may receive through the proposed COVID grant programs. Retroactively requires employers with only one or more employees, to provide up to 80 hours of paid sick leave per calendar year to all employees for COVID-19 related reasons.

AB 255 (Muratsuchi D) Tenancy: commercial leases: COVID-19 rent relief.
Could negatively impact commercial leases. Bill declaring the Legislature’s intent to address commercial leases during COVID. Although there isn’t language yet, the author’s staff has indicated it could be used as a vehicle for some type of commercial “rent relief” requirement.

AB 377 (Rivas, Robert  D) Water quality: impaired waters.
A virtually impossible water runoff standard that would require property owners to process and clean rainwater coming off of roofs to be “drinkable.”

AB 970 (McCarty D) Electric vehicle charging stations: permit application: approval.
Electric vehicle charging station permits.  Require an application to install an electric vehicle charging station be acted on within 5 business of submittal.  Although we support quick approval of EV charging permits, this bill would require local planning desks to prioritize this particular permit above other permit requests which could cause unnecessary delays in tenant improvements and other construction.

AB 1017 (Quirk-Silva D) Public restrooms: Right to Restrooms Act of 2021.
Requires local governments to do an inventory of public restrooms that are available to the homeless. May lead to policies that require buildings open to the public allow non-patron use of facilities.

AB 1074 (Gonzalez, Lorena D) Employment: rehiring and retention: displaced workers.
Removes the ability of private employers to choose who they hire by requiring businesses to offer positions to laid-off employees based on a preference system enshrined in state law.

AB 1199 (Gipson D) Homes for Families and Corporate Monopoly Transparency Excise Tax: qualified property: reporting requirements.
Increases the cost of housing in the state of California by imposing an excise tax on certain property owners for the “privilege of renting or leasing” space in the state.

AB 1329 (Nazarian D) Building codes: earthquakes: functional recovery standard.
Requires adoption of stricter seismic regulations. Says if the state does not adopt regulations by Jan 2026, all new construction is considered Risk Category IV.

AB 1547 (Reyes D) Air pollution: warehouse facilities.
A bill that states the intent of the Legislature to enact legislation relating to air pollution at warehouse facilities. Waiting for more information and language, but this is one of several bills that are targeted toward the warehousing, goods movement, and retail sectors of the state.

SB 30 (Cortese D) Building decarbonization.
Building decarbonization bill. Prohibits the design and construction of state buildings to have natural gas hookups. Prohibits state agencies from providing financial or other support for construction projects which are connected to the gas grid. Directs the California Energy Commission to set a zero-emission deadline for new building construction by 2025.

SB 32 (Cortese D) Energy: general plan: building decarbonization requirements.
Building decarbonization mandate. Requires cities and counties to incorporate into their general plan elements to decarbonize newly constructed residential and non-residential buildings.

SB 95 (Skinner D) Employment: COVID-19: supplemental paid sick leave.
Paid sick leave mandate. This bill imposes a significant cost onto small employers, who the State has already acknowledged are suffering due to this pandemic. This paid sick leave mandate would essentially negate any financial relief small employers may receive through the proposed COVID grant programs. Retroactively requires employers with only one or more employees, to provide up to 80 hours of paid sick leave per calendar year to all employees for COVID-19 related reasons.

SB 499 (Leyva D) General plan: land use element: uses adversely impacting health outcomes.
May negatively impact warehousing, manufacturing, retail and goods movement sectors. Requires local land use element for general plans be changed in a way that may impact on the ability to recruit/retain/operate manufacturing, warehouses, and logistics centers.

SB 687 (Hueso D) Emergency response: trauma kits.
Mandates trauma kits be installed in all building that currently require an AED. Does not account for cost or “Good Samaritan” liability protections for property owners/managers.

 

COVID GRANTS FOR SMALL BUSINESSES

Earlier this week Governor Newsom signed a package of bills meant to provide economic relief due to COVID shutdowns.  Several items we as an industry have been advocating for over the past year are included in this package such as direct relief for small businesses and waivers of certain business/licensing fees directly impacting restaurants, bars, and other retail tenants.

The small business grant program now has a $2B pot of funds to draw from.  The grants provide up to $25K for small businesses (defined as up to $2.5M in gross revenue) and can be used for overhead expenses, including rent.

For those of you working with smaller tenants that are struggling, this is a program that you may want to make sure they know about.

Below you can find a more comprehensive press release from the Governor’s office regarding today’s action, and here you can find information from GOBIZ to share with tenants that are looking for assistance:

California Small Business Covid-19 Relief Grant Program On 2/17, Governor Newsom and the California State Legislature Leadership announced an Immediate Action Agreement to support additional funding for the CA Relief Grant program. Please stay tuned for further details pending final legislative action. We appreciate your patience during this time. Visit CAReliefGrant.com for more information. Additional assistance: tax relief (click here); and recovery loans through the California Rebuilding Fund. Sign up for CalOSBA updates here.

 Last legislative session the state was not willing to step-up financially and we saw bills like SB 939, which simply shifted the debt burden from tenants to property owners, in an unfair and unsustainable manner; a plan that would have seen a rent crisis turn into a mortgage crisis and many small businesses lose their properties to the noteholders.

Although the total impact to businesses in the state is far greater than $2B, this funding source will help the smallest businesses keep their doors open and employees employed, and we applaud the Governor and Legislature for stepping up in this way.

 

COVID TAX CONFORMITY

California has yet to fully conform to the federal tax laws, which exempt COVID-19 relief funds as taxable events. This could leave many struggling businesses with major tax liabilities.

On Monday, the Budget and Fiscal Review Committee will consider AB 80 (Burke; D-Inglewood) which would help resolve that issue and bring California into partial conformity with federal tax treatment of deductible business expenses paid for using PPP funds and will allow businesses to deduct up to $150K in expenses from state income taxes.

The measure, sponsored by the CalChamber and supported by business groups including commercial real estate organizations CBPA, BOMA California, NAIOP California, and the International Council of Shopping Centers, is seen as a key component to helping California businesses cope a little better with the COVID shutdowns of the past year.

 

RESTAURANTS AND BAR FEE WAIVERS FOR COVID RELIEF

The agreement to help California businesses dealing with COVID impacts also will provide for two years of fee relief for roughly 59,000 restaurants and bars licensed through the state’s Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control that can range annually from $455 to $1,235.

The agreement also reflects fee relief for more than 600,000 barbering and cosmetology individuals and businesses licensed through the Department of Consumer Affairs.

The fee waiver can be found in SB 94/AB 83.

 

EMPLOYER COVID COMPLIANCE PORTAL

In order to help employers better cope with all the fast changing COVID workplace rules, the Governor’s office has directed the California Labor and Workforce Development Agency and the California Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) to provide consolidated resources for employers on a new website, saferatwork.covid19.ca.gov/employers/.

 According to the website, “as the pandemic presents new challenges in health and the workplace, employers must take steps to protect their workers and business from COVID-19. Use the resources available here to learn about COVID-19 workplace requirements such as safety procedures, training for employees on infection prevention, and what to do in case of an infection or outbreak.”

Although the website doesn’t contain new guidance, meaning it doesn’t have new information that employers have to learn; it gathers all the information from existing agency guidance to create one central hub for employers to find all the rules and guidance applicable to them.

 

OPINION: CALIFORNIA EMPLOYERS SHOULD NOT BE THE NEW SOCIAL SAFETY NET

Our friend Loren Kaye, President of the California Foundation for Commerce and Education, has penned a new piece highlighting issues related to some labor groups seemingly using the COVID pandemic as a way to squeeze employers:

“The Super Bowl may be over, but that hasn’t stopped California labor unions and their allies from moving the goal posts.”

“Currently, labor unions are advocating for yet another paid sick leave plan for California workers. They believe the six existing separate leave benefit programs are inadequate to address workplace COVID-19 exposure.”

“Most tellingly, labor unions and advocates are altogether ignoring what had once been their marquee priority to ensure worker safety during the pandemic: a presumption under the workers’ compensation system that front-line workers who contract COVID-19 did so on the job, and therefore qualify for the extensive suite of workers comp benefits.”

“That wish was soon granted, first by Governor Gavin Newsom in his May 6, 2020, executive order, then codified by legislation enacted last September.”

“But wait, there’s more.”  Click here for the full article.

 

BOMA CALIFORNIA Weekly Update- February 19, 2021

Posted: February 20, 2021 | Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

BILL INTRODUCTION DEADLINE TODAY!

 Today is the California State Legislature’s “Bill Introduction Deadline,” and as of today we have already seen more than 2,000 new legislative bills introduced on a wide variety of topics.

Your staff in Sacramento reads every single one of these bills and will start working with our own legislative committees and subject matter experts to identify those that have an impact on your business, tenants, and those you do business with, and will work to support the things that make sense, while opposing the bills that will make it harder for you to operate as an employer.

Because we are buried in bills, this will be an abbreviated Weekly so we can focus on slogging through the big pile of legislation!

 

GOVERNOR/LEGISLATURE – $2B FOR SMALL BUSINESS GRANTS

 On Wednesday, the Governor and the Legislature announced a sweeping agreement to assist Californian’s impacted by COVID, including more than $2B for small businesses, which is a fourfold increase from the amount included in the Governor’s budget last month.

The commercial real estate industry has actively advocated for grants to businesses impacted by COVID closures since last April when the economy started shutting down in earnest.  Our industry wants to make sure tenants come through this emergency still in business and that our properties are not devastated with empty spaces.

The bill carried by Senator Anna Caballero (D-Salinas) is SB 87, includes grants of amounts up to 25K for eligible businesses with gross revenue of up to $2.5M.  Grants can be used for business overhead, including rent.

Last legislative session the state was not willing to step-up financially and we saw bills like SB 939, which simply shifted the debt burden from tenants to property owners, in an unfair and unsustainable manner; a plan that would have seen a rent crisis turn into a mortgage crisis and many small businesses lose their properties to the note-holders.

Although the total impact to businesses in the state is far greater than $2B, this funding source will help the smallest businesses keep their doors open and employees employed, and we applaud the Governor and Legislature for stepping up in this way.

Additionally, according to the Governor’s office, the agreement also “partially conforms California tax law to new federal tax treatment for loans provided through the Paycheck Protection Plan, allowing companies to deduct up to $150,000 in expenses covered by the PPP loan. All businesses that took out loans of $150,000 or less would be able to maximize their deduction for state purposes. Larger firms that took out higher loans would still be subject to the same ceiling of $150,000 in deductibility. More than 750,000 PPP loans were taken out by California small businesses. This tax treatment would also extend to the Economic Injury Disaster Loans as well.”

Businesses heeded the call of the Governor and health experts to shut down – its only right the State of California help ameliorate the economic impacts.
RESTAURANTS AND BAR FEE WAIVERS FOR COVID RELIEF

The agreement to help California businesses dealing with COVID Impacts also will provide for two years of fee relief for roughly 59,000 restaurants and bars licensed through the state’s Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control that can range annually from $455 to $1,235.

The agreement also reflects fee relief for more than 600,000 barbering and cosmetology individuals and businesses licensed through the Department of Consumer Affairs.

The fee waiver can be found in SB 94/AB 83.

 

GOVERNOR TELLS LEGISLATURE TO OPEN SCHOOLS FASTER

Following pressure from business groups last week to open the economy as fast as is safe, including getting kids back to school, the Governor and legislature have been going back and forth on a plan to make it happen.

And yesterday, Governor Newsom asked the Legislature to move it along at a quicker pace, issuing the following statement:

“Since the first week of this year, the Legislature has had before it our Administration’s plan to accelerate and support school reopenings for our youngest students – as safely and quickly as possible. My Administration has not waited: in that time, we have prioritized school staff for COVID-19 vaccinations, launched new online tools for transparency and accountability, provided technical assistance to hundreds of school districts, and are directly supporting over a thousand schools with routine COVID-19 testing. More importantly, local leaders have not waited: every day, more school leaders and staff are coming together to announce safe returns to in-person instruction.

 “Our plan is grounded in the same science that’s been recognized by the medical professionals at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, by the President’s Chief Medical Adviser, Dr. Fauci, and by the President himself.

 “While the Legislature’s proposal represents a step in the right direction, it doesn’t go far enough or fast enough. I look forward to building on the growing momentum to get our schools open and continuing discussions with the Legislature to get our kids back in school as safely and quickly as possible.”

 

 BSC CONSIDERING CHANGES TO ELECTRIC VEHICLE REGS

At the request of the Air Resources Board (ARB), the Building Standards Commission (BSC) in January unveiled a proposal that would mandate at least one fully operational Level 2 EV-Charging station wherever EV-ready spaces are required.

At that same meeting, it was also announced that the California Energy Commission (CEC) would be providing compliance credit with the energy standards that could help cover some of the EV-charging installation costs.

How much credit has yet to be determined; however, when the CEC releases formal language in March, our energy advisors at ConSol will be calculating the monetary value of this credit.

Many believe the EV charger mandate for commercial and multi-family, is inevitable this year due to heavy support from the Governor, growing demand, new funding opportunities, and the fact that such a mandate has been staved-off for more than a decade.

Unfortunately, in response to the Governor’s executive order on EV Charging last summer, ARB is pursuing additional changes to code that could conceivably mandate Level 1 charging for 50% of all parking spaces.  While more manageable from a load perspective, Level 1 (120v outlet) being installed in unsecured commercial parking lots exposed to the elements could represent a significant health and safety problem, not to mention being a potential magnet for use by individuals using the outlets for things other than charging a vehicle.

Bottom line: we will continue to raise the questions: Who is paying for the installation, on-going maintenance, and monthly utility bills?  After all, this represents an on-going revenue stream to the local electrical utility.  How do we safely provide access to consumers in an unsecured parking lot exposed to the elements, especially during a storm?  How do we keep Level 1 chargers from attracting unintended usage?

If you are interested in having a deeper discussion and/or participating in the code process, please let us know.  We are seeking experts to help us analyze proposals and figure out how much they will cost different types of properties.

 

 

BOMA CALIFORNIA Weekly Update- February 12, 2021

Posted: February 13, 2021 | Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

WAVE OF LEGISLATIVE BILLS COMING!

With one week to go until the California State Legislature’s “Bill Introduction Deadline,” we have already seen more than 1,100 new legislative bills introduced, on a wide variety of topics.  But wait, there’s more.  A lot more.  In the next seven days we expect that number to more than double.  The dribble of bills will become a tsunami of new legislation.

Your staff in Sacramento reads every single one of these bills and will start working with our own legislative committees and subject matter experts to identify those that have an impact on your business, tenants, and those you do business with, and will work to support the things that make sense, while opposing the bills that will make it harder for you to operate as an employer.

 

BSC CONSIDERING CHANGES TO ELECTRIC VEHICLE REGS

At the request of the Air Resources Board (ARB), the Building Standards Commission (BSC) in January unveiled a proposal that would mandate at least one fully operational Level 2 EV-Charging station wherever EV-ready spaces are required.

At that same meeting, it was also announced that the California Energy Commission (CEC) would be providing compliance credit with the energy standards that could help cover some of the EV-charging installation costs.

How much credit has yet to be determined; however, when the CEC releases formal language in March, our energy advisors at ConSol will be calculating the monetary value of this credit.

Many believe the EV charger mandate for commercial and multi-family, is inevitable this year due to heavy support from the Governor, growing demand, new funding opportunities, and the fact that such a mandate has been staved-off for more than a decade.

Unfortunately, in response to the Governor’s executive order on EV Charging last summer, ARB is pursuing additional changes to code that could conceivably mandate Level 1 charging for 50% of all parking spaces.  While more manageable from a load perspective, Level 1 (120v outlet) being installed in unsecured commercial parking lots exposed to the elements could represent a significant health and safety problem, not to mention being a potential magnet for use by individuals using the outlets for things other than charging a vehicle.

Bottom line: we will continue to raise the questions: Who is paying for the installation, on-going maintenance, and monthly utility bills?  After all, this represents an on-going revenue stream to the local electrical utility.  How do we safely provide access to consumers in an unsecured parking lot exposed to the elements, especially during a storm?  How do we keep Level 1 chargers from attracting unintended usage?

If you are interested in having a deeper discussion and/or participating in the code process, please let us know.  We are seeking expertise to help us analyze proposals and figure out how much they will cost different types of properties.

 

BUSINESS/COMMUNITY GROUPS ASK GOVERNOR TO REOPEN SCHOOLS

Earlier this week Rex S. Hime, President and CEO, California Business Properties Association, represented the commercial, retail, and industrial real estate industry, along with statewide and local leaders, to urge Governor Newsom to open the state’s schools as soon as possible.

Here is a press release on the event from our friends at the California Business Roundtable:

“SACRAMENTO, CA – Today, business organizations from across California delivered a unified message to urge state and local leaders to work with Governor Gavin Newsom to follow the science and the lessons we’ve learned over the last 11 months and reopen public schools immediately. The prolonged closure of California public schools is hurting the current and future workforce, economic recovery and the mental, physical and emotional wellbeing of children.

“We believe the business community can be a partner to help tackle the challenges ahead for our region, with solutions to ensure our communities, the economy, and families are healthy and thriving,” said Maria S. Salinas, president and CEO of the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce. “The realities of this pandemic – the loss, economic devastation, and the inequities experienced – are heartbreaking. And nowhere are they more evident than in the effects from our schools closing. We urge the safe reopening of schools, with the implementation of appropriate safety protocols and the prioritization of schools in underserved communities, ensuring they receive the help they need first.”

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, since the pandemic started a year ago, nearly 3 million U.S. women have dropped out of the labor force as they have been forced to assume caretaking and homeschooling duties. Before the pandemic, women consisted of more than 50% of the country’s workforce, underlining their importance to the economy. In a recent CBS Evening News interview, President Biden called the sudden loss of women in the workforce a “national emergency.”

“The longer we wait to reopen, the more we risk Black students failing behind and entrepreneurs and small business closing for good,” stated Edwin Lombard, president and CEO of the California African American Chamber of Commerce. “Let’s be clear: the school shutdowns are putting the future of Black children at an academic and economic disadvantage. Some families and students may be excelling with distance learning, but for students and families who have been struggling for these last 11 months, there must be an option to return to in-person learning now.”

Click here to see the full press release as well as a recording of the press conference.

Click here for a news story on the event.

 

 SAFE SCHOOLS INTERACTIVE MAP

Today, the Governor’s office released an online tool to communicate with families and community’s information on status of reopening schools, safety planning and available supports.

A Map is available at the Safe Schools for All Hub and builds on additional transparency, accountability and assistance measures incorporated in Safe Schools for All Plan

Click here to see the news resource focused on schools.

 

 CALCHAMBER URGES PULL BACK OF EMERGENCY COVID RULES

On behalf of all employers in the state of California, including the commercial, industrial, and retail real estate industry, the CalChamber has urged the California Legislature this week to correct a series of costly COVID-19 workplace mandates imposed through an emergency regulation order.

“The regulation, issued by the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) late in 2020, requires employers to take a number of extraordinary steps that include providing costly unlimited paid time off for workers. It further creates an overly broad testing scheme that ignores the realities of current testing availability.”

Click here to read more about the effort and to see the full letter.

 

BOMA CALIFORNIA Weekly Update- February 5, 2021

Posted: February 5, 2021 | Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

CALCHAMBER URGES PULL BACK OF EMERGENCY COVID RULES

On behalf of all employers in the state of California, including the commercial, industrial, and retail real estate industry, the CalChamber has urged the California Legislature this week to correct a series of costly COVID-19 workplace mandates imposed through an emergency regulation order.

“The regulation, issued by the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) late in 2020, requires employers to take a number of extraordinary steps that include providing costly unlimited paid time off for workers. It further creates an overly broad testing scheme that ignores the realities of current testing availability.”

Click here to read more about the effort and to see the full letter.

 

EVICTION MORATORIUM EXTENSION SIGNED INTO LAW

We are providing this story again because of the many questions received over the past week.  This deal is RESIDENTIAL only.  Currently there are no viable funding sources at either the federal or state level for a concurrent program relating to commercial leases.

Last week, Governor Newsom signed into law an extension of the State’s eviction moratorium, language that came together over the past week that includes how to spend $2.6 Billion in federal funds tagged for residential rent relief.

The deal extends the provisions of AB 3088 signed into law last Fall, to June 30, 2021, with a few additions, including how to distribute Federal funds.  The bill establishes the State Rental Assistance Program to allocate $2.6 billion in federal rental assistance. The program will target aid to income-qualified tenants most at-risk with unpaid back rent.

Assistance will also be extended to residential property owners who agree to waive 20 percent of unpaid rent. By agreeing to this waiver, property owners will become eligible for 80 percent in rent reimbursements for amounts owed between April 1, 2020 and March 31, 2021.

As a reminder, this program includes residential leases/properties only — Commercial is NOT included in this deal/bill.

Click here to see what the Governor says about the measure.

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.

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 stymie any economic recovery.

However, another measure has been introduced this year pertaining to non-residential evictions, AB 255 (Muratsuchi).  We are currently working with Assemblymember Muratsuchi to see if the state can help fund small commercial tenants and small property owners in a similar fashion. The federal funds are restricted to residential tenants so the state will have to find an alternate source of funding.

Click here to read SB 91 (Committee on Budget).

 

GLOBE STREET: STATE AND LOCAL REGULATION IS THE BIGGEST UNCERTAINTY IN 2021

Our good friend Timothy Jemal from the NAIOP SoCal chapter is quoted in this story that looks at state and local policy coming our way in 2021, including another attempt to implement an indirect source rule from the local air boards, a policy that will have a massive impact on costs for operating industrial properties – and retail and office properties as well!

Click here to read the story.

 

COMMERCIAL OBSERVER: LANDLORD SUES L.A. COUNTY OVER COMMERCIAL EVICTION BAN

Here is some press coverage regarding the first lawsuit against a commercial local eviction moratorium in California – first in the Nation.

Iten v. County of Los Angeles seeks to end L.A. County’s commercial eviction ban. The pacific legal foundation represents Howard Iten, the commercial property owner and plaintiff in the case.

Click here for the Commercial Observer news story:  Landlord Sues LA County Over Commercial Eviction Ban.

BOMA CALIFORNIA Weekly Update: January 29, 2021

Posted: January 29, 2021 | Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

RESIDENTIAL EVICTION MORATORIUM EXTENSION SIGNED INTO LAW

Today Governor Newsom signed into law an extension of the State’s eviction moratorium, language that came together over the past week that includes how to spend $2.6 Billion in federal funds tagged for residential rent relief.

The deal extends the provisions of AB 3088 signed into law last Fall, to June 30, 2021, with a few additions, including how to distribute Federal funds.  The bill establishes the State Rental Assistance Program to allocate $2.6 billion in federal rental assistance. The program will target aid to income-qualified tenants most at-risk with unpaid back rent.

Assistance will also be extended to residential property owners who agree to waive 20 percent of unpaid rent. By agreeing to this waiver, property owners will become eligible for 80 percent in rent reimbursements for amounts owed between April 1, 2020 and March 31, 2021.

As a reminder, this program includes residential leases/properties only — Commercial is NOT included in this deal/bill.

Here is what the Governor says about the measure.

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.

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 stymie any economic recovery.

However, another measure has been introduced this year pertaining to non-residential evictions, AB 255 (Muratsuchi).  We are currently working with Assemblymember Muratsuchi to see if the state can help fund small commercial tenants and small property owners in a similar fashion. The federal funds are restricted to residential tenants so the state will have to find an alternate source of funding.

Click here to read SB 91 (Committee on Budget).

 

STATE AGENCIES FOCUS ON VACCINE DELIVERY

The State of California has made the wrong kind of headlines recently noting our state was amongst the slowest in the nation getting the COVID-19 vaccine distributed.  There are several underlying reasons why this is happening, one of them, however, is simply the complicated nature of the priority system adopted at the state and federal levels.

On behalf of the commercial, retail, and industrial real estate sector, we have been working directly with the Governor’s office, the California Department of Public Health, and partners at other business groups, to make sure essential workers in our industry receive the vaccine in a timely manner.

Under the prioritization plan we accomplished that by making sure our essential employees working in “industrial, commercial, residential, and sheltering facilities and services,” were prioritized in group 1b, which is as high as you can be without being in a healthcare/childcare classification.

However, to speed the delivery of the vaccine, the Governor adjusted the strategy this week which includes a few changes including expanding how the health care system delivers the vaccine and speeding up the ability for some older Californians.  This has been meshed with the priority system above, so essential workers in our industry are still in the queue.

COVID-19 vaccines are currently available only for:
• Health care workers;
• Long-term care residents;
• Individuals 65 and older;
• Those at risk of exposure at work in the following sectors: Education and childcare; Emergency services; Food and agriculture.

Next on the priority list for vaccinations are:
• Those at risk of exposure at work in the following sectors: Transportation and logistics; Industrial, commercial, residential, and sheltering facilities and services; Critical manufacturing.

We understand the rules seem to be constantly evolving and we are doing our best to make sure you are informed.

Here is a new website being piloted under the new changes to help Californian’s know when they are eligible for the vaccine.  You will probably also have a local/county and/or healthcare provider websites.  Sign-up for them all to make sure you can access the vaccine as soon as possible. Click here to view the website.

 

LAWSUIT FILED AGAINST L.A. COUNTY COMMERCIAL EVICTION BAN

Although we reported this last week, we are presenting the information again to assure our members are informed.  The first lawsuit against a commercial local eviction moratorium was filed in Los Angeles County.  Iten v. County of Los Angeles seeks to end L.A. County’s commercial eviction ban. The pacific legal foundation represents Howard Iten, the commercial property owner and plaintiff in the case.

Below is the PLF press statement, here is a link to the case page, and the online press release can be found, here.

From the PLF press release:
Los Angeles; January 19, 2021: Today, the owner of a commercial building filed a lawsuit challenging Los Angeles County’s moratorium on commercial evictions. The lawsuit is the first to challenge a commercial eviction moratorium. 

 Howard Iten is a retired auto mechanic who leases his garage to an auto repair franchisee, and he relies on the income from the lease for his retirement. Although his tenant’s business has been open through the pandemic, the tenant owes Iten more than $30,000 in rent. 

 “The County can’t put the burden of the pandemic only on the shoulders of landlords,” said Damien Schiff, a senior attorney at Pacific Legal Foundation. “L.A. County’s heavy-handed response to COVID-19 has hit businesses hard. It’s unfair and illegal for the County to force commercial landlords to bear the costs of those policies.” 

 Filed in the U.S. District Court, Iten v. County of Los Angeles seeks to end L.A. County’s commercial eviction ban. PLF represents Howard Iten free of charge. 

BOMA CALIFORNIA Weekly Update- January 22, 2021

Posted: January 23, 2021 | Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

***BREAKING NEWS:  JUDGE RULES IN FAVOR OF TEJON RANCH

This afternoon, a Kern County Superior Court Judge ruled in favor of Tejon Ranch and Kern County over its 2019 re-entitlement of Grapevine. The judge decisively rejected the Center for Biological Diversity’s lawsuit — their 12th — against Tejon Ranch.

Many are pointing to this as a form of CEQA lawsuit abuse and an example of why housing and commercial space (homes and jobs) is so difficult and expensive to build in California.

Click here for more information on the Tejon Ranch victory:

 

BOMA CALIFORNIA BOARD PLANS FOR THE FUTURE

 The BOMA California Board of Directors gathered yesterday on a ZOOM call, bringing together members from each of the eight local associations and industry leaders from some of California’s most respected real estate companies.

BOMA California is a federation of all eight metropolitan BOMA local associations and serves as the collective membership’s legislative and regulatory advocate.

The mission of BOMA California is to preserve and promote the interests of California commercial real estate professionals through legislative and regulatory advocacy.

Issues facing the industry in the next year include how to manage with prolonged COVID-19 shutdowns and the economic fallout, oncoming energy code mandates including commercial solar and EV charging, a push to force even deeper building “decarbonization,” and the hundreds of bills introduced in the California State Legislature.

Issues related to statewide energy mandates have become one of the largest sources for expense increases in tenant improvements.  We are already engaging with the agencies updating the Energy and Building Codes that will allow us to identify and fix proposals that are not cost effective before they are adopted.

However, a significant portion of the BOMA Cal meeting was dedicated to soliciting feedback from each of the local association leadership.  The meeting marked the start of a strategic planning process that BOMA Cal leaders hope will identify way to make the organization better serve BOMA members in California.

BOMA California is all about advocacy for the commercial real estate industry, whether before a board of supervisors, the California State Legislature, state agencies like the State Fire Marshal’s office or the Public Utilities Commission, or the U.S. Congress, we are focused on serving the industry interests.

Thank you to everyone who serves the industry through volunteering time, expertise, and funding support, at every level of BOMA.  Thank you to those companies who share these valuable resources and assure they have the time to engage.
 LAWSUIT FILED AGAINST L.A. COUNTY COMMERCIAL EVICTION BAN

Earlier this week, the first lawsuit against a commercial local eviction moratorium was filed in Los Angeles County.  Iten v. County of Los Angeles seeks to end L.A. County’s commercial eviction ban. The pacific legal foundation represents Howard Iten, the commercial property owner and plaintiff in the case.

Below is the PLF press statement, a link to the case page, and the online press release can be found by clicking here.

From the PLF press release:

Los Angeles; January 19, 2021: Today, the owner of a commercial building filed a lawsuit challenging Los Angeles County’s moratorium on commercial evictions. The lawsuit is the first to challenge a commercial eviction moratorium. 

 Howard Iten is a retired auto mechanic who leases his garage to an auto repair franchisee, and he relies on the income from the lease for his retirement. Although his tenant’s business has been open through the pandemic, the tenant owes Iten more than $30,000 in rent. 

 “The County can’t put the burden of the pandemic only on the shoulders of landlords,” said Damien Schiff, a senior attorney at Pacific Legal Foundation. “L.A. County’s heavy-handed response to COVID-19 has hit businesses hard. It’s unfair and illegal for the County to force commercial landlords to bear the costs of those policies.” 

 Filed in the U.S. District Court, Iten v. County of Los Angeles seeks to end L.A. County’s commercial eviction ban. PLF represents Howard Iten free of charge. 

LOOKING FORWARD

Posted: January 15, 2021 | Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

CBPA IN REVIEW AND LOOKING FORWARD; LAST YEAR, 2021, AND BEYOND

Please see the message below from Rex S. Hime, President and CEO, California Business Properties Association, looking back at a tough year, and setting the framework for moving forward.

—–

California Commercial Real Estate Leaders:

Thank you for continuing to support California Business Properties Association (CBPA) through your association’s affiliation and/or your company’s direct membership.  CBPA provides a critical service to the commercial real estate industry as your voice of on legislative and regulatory issues in California that would otherwise be dominated by non-business advocacy groups that do not see the benefits of growth, economic development, and having a thriving real estate sector.

CBPA maintains a very small staff – five – that endeavors to cover every legislative and regulatory issue that has a potential to impact our industry.  A key to CBPA success is longevity and depth of knowledge of our industry. I have served our industry since 1984, and our two primary professional staff together have almost 30 years at CBPA combined!

2020 saw our staff stretched thin – not just because of the pandemic which impacted all of our members, but because of the increased amount of activity on the legislative and regulatory fronts, It was also an election year, which meant our political engagement obligations were also greatly increased.

Despite the world being turned upside down due to the pandemic, I am proud to report that CBPA has had great successes on several key issues in 2020.

First and foremost, CBPA was at the tip-of-the spear battling Split Roll Property Tax and defeating Proposition 15.

In 2020, public employee unions and tech billionaires sponsored a signature gathering drive and campaign that put the first split roll measure on the ballot.  By raising funds, organizing our members, and running a coordinated statewide campaign with allied groups, we played a major role in defeating Prop 15.

Specifically, CBPA helped raise over $70M that was needed to run a statewide campaign to protect you and your properties from an $11B annual tax increase.  This was the culmination of several years of preparing for the split roll fight through maintaining an active coalition of groups and a minimum amount of funding to track and respond to the chess moves from the very beginning of the game.

Even before the proposition efforts of the public employee unions coalesced into a proposition, CBPA led the efforts in in the Capitol to stop several legislative efforts to enact a split roll and several attempts to enact de facto split roll policies in the form of parcel taxes based on square footage.  Meeting these efforts wherever they emerged were important in our final success.

The battle over Proposition 15 in 2020 was the final exciting conclusion to the year, but it took many less public and less exciting maneuvers in prior years to assure our industry was successful.  Your ongoing support when there wasn’t an imminent threat is what allowed that work to happen.

In 2020, CBPA along with leaders from all our affiliate groups came together to defeat SB 939, a bill that would have extended commercial eviction moratoriums statewide through 2021 and overturned many of your leases, leaving you with major debt from tenant improvements.

Under cover of a worldwide pandemic, this bill had the potential to completely change the way commercial real estate leases work in California and put our industry at a severe long-term disadvantage.

We expect a similar push in 2021, and a bill (AB 255) has already been introduced on this topic, though we hope our success in defeating SB 939 will level the playing field a bit as legislators go into the year with a much better understanding of the complicated Constitutional and pragmatic management issues raised by simply sweeping aside standing business-to-business contracts.

CBPA also worked with members to stop a third attempt to ban all dual agency commercial brokerage firms and transactions in the state.  This is an ongoing effort by a well-funded company who has hired lobbyists and PR firms to undermine our industry.  Its important to have a sentinel standing watch to identify these efforts as early as possible, before they evolve.

These are all major issues pushed by well-financed activists that threaten to turn your business on its head.

During COVID-19 CBPA has worked with the Governor and allied business groups to help shape re-opening plans, re-write those plans when the virus has surged and the state has pulled back the re-opening, and provided technical guidance for commercial real estate to assure our members know the rules and are able to open quickly and safely.

Each year – even during a pandemic – the California State Legislature introduces over 2,500 legislative bills.  CBPA is the only group that reads every one of those with an eye on how the proposed policy will have an impact on retail, industrial, and commercial property owners, managers, and our tenants.  Our small staff of five also covers the 10 state agencies that promulgate regulations – from air quality to building codes – that impact your operations and ability to hire and maintain employees.

CBPA helped lead the way in re-writing the state’s benchmarking law and worked with the Energy Commission to show how rules on lighting code were increasing costs and actually stopping some upgrades from happening.  We got the policy, which was getting in the middle of many lease transactions, changed.  These changes to the energy code have cut costs and difficulty several fold while still enabling energy savings.

CBPA has led the five-year effort to make sure the state’s mandatory benchmarking law was written re-written in a way that could be complied with at minimal cost and disruption to your business and set an example for other states and major cities to follow.

In 2020, CBPA continued to lead the effort to reform CEQA; craft a workable and affordable building code; and educate state regulators about challenges related to other onerous mandates such as Zero Net Energy.

And we are seeking to protect brokerage firms from proposed legislation that could change the way they do business.  In 2020, CBPA helped avert a mandate for all buildings to install electric vehicle charging stations, whether their tenants wanted them or not. Through education and negotiation, we ultimately crafted and passed a policy that underscores property owner rights. In 2021, we expect to work with the state to come up with a plan for EV chargers that increases their numbers while incentivizing their installation and assuring a reasonable payback period.

CBPA has also worked with the state since 2007 to hold off on a commercial real estate solar panel mandate in the building code, biding time until it made sense.  We have spent time and effort on several bills that would not only have mandated solar before market forces brought costs down but would have limited the ways in which your company could monetize your own rooftops. In 2021 we are again negotiating with the state and guiding them to a policy that will make sense and produce more rooftop solar in our industry.

Again, these are just the big items – each year we engage on more than 500 bills, most of which would have a negative impact on your business, as well as represent industry issues with state agencies and as part of regulatory processes.

2021, however, will again be critical.  With supermajorities in both the Assembly and the Senate, we need your help and engagement now more than ever. Aside from the issues already mentioned, we expect to see a slew of bills that could impact your company’s operations on everything from hiring and scheduling, to how you negotiate leases, to the taxes you pay.

As the only association in the State of California dedicated to commercial real estate issues, your membership is making sure that your industry and your company has representatives in the Capitol protecting your interests daily.

Thank you to the following organizations that make this work possible: The International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC), the California Chapters of the Commercial Real Estate Development Association (NAIOP), the Building Owners and Managers Association of California (BOMA), the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA), the Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM), and the Association of Commercial Real Estate – Northern and Southern California (ACRE) the National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts (Nareit), AIR Commercial Real Estate Association (AIR CRE), and the California Association for Local Economic Development (CALED).

This coalition means CBPA currently represents over 10,000 members, making it the largest consortium of commercial real estate professionals in California.

Again, thank you for “doing your part” and supporting the commercial, industrial, retail real estate industry through your membership in CBPA which makes all these successes possible.

Respectfully,

Rex S. Hime

BOMA CALIFORNIA Weekly Update- January 8, 2021

Posted: January 8, 2021 | Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

GOVERNOR NEWSOM APPOINTS REX HIME TO HISTORIC POST

In what is believed to be a historic gubernatorial action in California, CBPA President and CEO Rex S. Hime has been re-appointed to the California Exposition and State Fair Board by Governor Newsom.  Hime has now been appointed by six different California Governors from both political parties (Newsom, Brown, Schwarzenegger, Davis, Wilson, and Reagan to various positions.

“I thank Governor Newsom for his confidence in re-appointing me to the State Fair Board,” Hime said. “Giving back to the State of California through serving in various policy capacities has been a great honor.  I am so thankful to have had the opportunity – and trust – for so many years.”

The announcement was made in a press release from the Governor’s Office, which stated the following about Hime:

“Rex Hime, 72, of Loomis, has been reappointed to the California Exposition and State Fair Board of Directors, where he has served since 1996. Hime has been President and Chief Executive Officer at the California Business Properties Association since 1984. He was Senior Assistant to the Minority Caucus Chairman at the California State Assembly from 1983 to 1984 and held multiple positions at the California Commission for Economic Development from 1979 to 1983, including Executive Director and Deputy Director. Hime earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of California, Davis School of Law. This position requires Senate confirmation and there is no compensation. Hime is a Republican.”

Congratulations Rex!

Click here to see the full press release from Governor Newsom’s office.

 

THEY’RE BACK (MAYBE)!

The California Legislature was supposed to return earlier this week to start the 2021 Legislative year.  However, due to the ongoing COVID-19 restrictions on public gatherings and concerns due to recent positive tests amongst Capitol denizens, the return was delayed until this coming Monday.

If they do come back, we will see an immediate flurry of activity after going into deep hibernation over the holidays.  Almost immediately upon returning for their opening Session on Monday, scores of new bills will be introduced, picking up right where they left off on issues such as the budget, water, and taxes.

 

 GOVERNOR RELEASES 2021-22 BUDGET

Speaking of the State Budget….  The state Constitution requires Governors to submit a budget proposal for the next fiscal each year by January 10, and Governor Newsom released his 2021-22 Plan earlier today.

So, the annual budget battle begins again.  However, this year the state is planning on a surplus – which may make the battles even more intense, as members of the majority party fight to lock-in a share of that new revenue for new and existing programs. And the state is also reeling with a potential COVID-19 induced slowdown in economic activity.

Over the next few months this budget will be dissected, disconnected, taken-apart, reconfigured, lambasted, and generally go through the standard process.

Among the budget highlights, the Governor is proposing funding to directly help residents, open schools, support business, and fund vaccinations.

Click here for a press release, summary, and full California State Budget 2021-22 details.

 

REGULATORY ACTIONS ON COMMERCIAL SOLAR AND EV CHARGING

Over the month of December, California regulators did not take much time off, and in fact seemed to increase the number of meeting they held to enable a myriad of regulations to march forward.  Among them and of particular interest to the Commercial Real Estate Industry are new regulations relating to Solar on new construction and installation of Electric Vehicle Charging Stations in parking lots.

Several members of our industry stepped up over the break to help analyze and comment on both the Solar and EV regs.  We thank our dedicated members for helping during this time.  Neither regulation has started the official process yet, meaning the agencies are still gathering information and data and asking for suggestions from industry and advocates alike.  So far, we feel like the industry provided information has been well received.

Please stay tuned – both solar and EV will “flare” up early in the year and your help and assistance will be critical to assure the final mandate is something that our industry can comply with and that makes sense for our tenants.

Weekly Update- November 20, 2020

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

HAPPY THANKSGIVING

BOMA CALIFORNIA would like to wish all of you a very Happy Thanksgiving and hope you get some time off.

California is a great state, we live in a wonderful country, and we have a lot to be thankful for. We hope you get to spend some quality time with loved ones next week even if its through ZOOM!

Please take a moment to reflect and thank the men and women in uniform who are serving our country overseas away from their families at this time and be sure to protect yourself and loved ones from COVID.  Have fun and relax but be smart about it!

 

WEEKLY ALERT ON HIATUS

Please note, the Weekly Alert will be on hiatus from now until the new year. But don’t worry, if anything major happens, we’ll be sure to let you know.

We will return from our short-hibernation on to our regular schedule on Friday, January 8, to bring you all the news, gossip, and inside-information from Sacramento. Also, we do need our rest as 2021 is going to be a very busy year battling all the crazy bills and regulatory proposals coming out of Sacramento!

In the meantime, if you have any questions, comments, or need information, please email Matthew Hargrove mhargrove@cbpa.com .

 

BILL IDEAS FOR 2021 – “THERE OUTTA BE A LAW!”

Last call for bill ideas!  Before the Legislature reconvenes in January, we need your ideas on proactive changes to the law that our industry should consider pursuing.

Are there issues in statute that could be made better, more efficacious? Something not addressed in statute that should be fixed?

Let us know so we can do the needed research and work with authors to get a bill introduced by the appropriate deadlines

 

NEW STAY AT HOME ORDER ENACTED IN MOST OF CALIFORNIA

According to the Governor, “COVID-19 is increasing at alarming rates in California and we all need to do our part to stop the surge. Effective November 21, stop non-essential activities between 10:00 pm to 5:00 am in counties in the Widespread (purple) tier.”

This new order is essentially a curfew in many communities. The ongoing rules with regards to COVID continue to shift and change and continue to keep many of our buildings empty and offline.

CBPA is working directly with the Governor’s office to inform the statewide rules and provide real-time information regarding the commercial, retail, and industrial real estate sectors. Although many of our suggestions have been incorporated into the Governor’s actions, many have not.

We will continue to work with our partners in Sacramento including the California Retailers Association, the CalChamber, the California Manufacturing and Technology Association, and the California Business Roundtable, among many others, to represent the business perspective and fight to re-open California’s economy as soon as practicable.

Click here for more information from the Governor on COVID tiers and California’s reopening status.

 

BERKELEY IGS POLL/DEFEAT OF PROP 15 SHOWS PROP 13 STILL SUPPORTED

In its the final pre-election survey completed in late October the Berkeley IGS Poll asked voters their views about the landmark 1978 property tax reduction initiative, Proposition 13, as well as about the current levels of state and local taxes that the average Californian has to pay.

The findings indicate that California voters continue to broadly support Proposition13 and would endorse its passage by a wide margin if it were up for a vote again today. While there has been a steady increase in the proportion of voters with no opinion of the iconic initiative over the years, among voters voicing an opinion, supporters outnumber opponents by a nearly three to one margin (53% to 19%).

There was also a clear relationship between how voters viewed Proposition 13 and how they were intending to vote on this year’s “split roll” property tax initiative, Proposition 15. By greater than an eight-to-one margin (76% to 9%) No voters on Proposition 15 were nearly universally supportive of Proposition 13 if it were up for a vote again today. By contrast, Yes voters on this year’s split roll property tax initiative were more evenly divided about how they would vote on the original Proposition13.

In addition, the poll found that an historically large proportion of voters (81%) now feels the level of state and local taxes paid by the average Californian is high, while just 19% consider taxes in the state to below or about right. In previous statewide surveys dating back to 1977, the only other times that greater than three in four voters described the level of state and local taxes as being high were in 1982 and 1991, both years in which the state was experiencing an economic downturn.

By a nearly five-to-one margin (78% to 16%) voters also agreed that taxes in California were already so high that they were driving many people and businesses out of the state.

Click here to read in depth findings of the IGS Poll.

 

GOVERNOR RELEASES TASK FORCE ON BUSINESS AND JOBS RECOVERY REPORT 

From the office of the Governor:

Amid surge in COVID-19 cases, the report by Co-Chairs Ann O’Leary and Tom Steyer reaffirms the state’s health-first approach as the foundation for a safe and sustainable reopening

Report highlights innovative proposals and partnerships launched by the Task Force and identifies priorities and challenges as the state works to rebuild a more equitable, sustainable and resilient economy

Task Force leaders from across a broad range of economic and social sectors represent a diversity of California voices and perspectives impacted by the pandemic

Governor announces launch of $25 million California Rebuilding Fund to support small businesses by offering loans and free advisory services.

Click here to read the full report.

 

REMARKABLE!  LEGISLATIVE ANALYST PREDICTS $26B STATE BUDGET SURPLUS

The nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s Office projects California will have a $26 billion BUDGET SURPLUS in the next budget cycle.  This windfall is something completely unexpected after almost a year of economic shutdowns.

The LAO’s California Fiscal Outlook says the predicted economic disaster of COVID shut downs has not actually befallen the economy and that state revenue’s continue to hit levels more consistent with rosier economic times.

The report notes that schools and community colleges can expect a record one-time surplus of $13.1 billion in 2021-22.

This surplus will make the budget discussion even more interesting as we expect it to trigger lively discussions over how the state spends this money and whether the Legislature commits one-time funds to ongoing programs.

 

 PROP 15/SPLIT ROLL PROPERTY TAX DEFEATED!  NOW WHAT?

As we have previously reported, and celebrated, Proposition 15 was defeated by well over half a million votes and the business community has been able to avoid an $11B ongoing annual tax.  However, we don’t expect tax-increase advocates to give up – even with the $26B windfall noted above.

So, what can we expect public employee unions and other advocates of increased taxes to do next?

First, please don’t expect the idea of a Split Roll Property Tax to disappear, even though it suffered a resounding defeat after an $80M campaign advocacy effort.  Enacting a split roll is an idea that a certain segment of California voters support but more importantly it engenders almost a religious zealotry withing the membership of some public employee unions and other tax increase advocacy groups.  So, we must remain vigilant on this issue.

Now, predicting what the Legislature will do is difficult, but we can expect attempts to enact a “Wealth Tax,” decrease corporate tax breaks, resurfacing of the idea to tax services, and other targeted tax increases such as sales tax bump.

Our friends at the CalChamber have looked into their crystal ball and share what they see on the horizon.  Click here to read.

 

WHAT WILL TAX INCREASE ADVOCATES NOW DO?

Long-time political Columnist Dan Walters also takes a crack at predicting what the Tax Increase Advocates will do next.  Click here to read Dan Walters’ thoughts on potential taxes that will be proposed.

 

CONGRESS AND THE LEGISLATURE

Due to several very tight races in which leads have swapped back and forth, there is no clear outcome on the partisan makeup of the Congressional Delegation nor the CA State Legislature yet.

However, as it currently stands the Congressional Delegation has a net increase of four Republicans – 42 Democrats and 11 Republicans.

The California State Senate has a net increase of two Democrats – 31 Democrats and 9 Republicans.

The California State Assembly has a net increase of one Republican – 60 Democrats and 19 Republicans and one independent (No Party Preference).

 

ALL THE RESULTS

The best place to find all the statewide elections results is at the California Secretary of State’s website below or click here.

https://electionresults.sos.ca.gov/returns/ballot-measures

BOMA CALIFORNIA WEEKLY UPDATE- November 13, 2020

Posted: November 13, 2020 | Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

PROP. 15 – CA’S $11B SPLIT ROLL PROPERTY TAX – DEFEATED!

WE DID IT!  THANKS TO ALL OF YOU!

CBPA is pleased to announce that we called the race for Prop. 15 – Split Roll Property Tax – and it has been DEFEATED!

This has been an effort years in the making and it could not have been done without your unwavering support.  We at CBPA have never seen our industry come together like we did to defeat this threat.  You, our members, helped educate peers, tenants, family members; you have helped speak with policymakers; and you stepped-up to help us raise the $50M+ we knew would be needed to be successful.

Aside from our industry and all of our groups that came together to fight this (CBPA, ICSC, BOMA, NAIOP, AIR CRE, RILA, NAREIT, IREM), we want to acknowledge our friends at the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, California Business Roundtable, and the California Chamber of Commerce, for their ceaseless advocacy and support on our industry’s behalf.

We are going to celebrate, as we now turn our attention to the 2021 Legislative Session and the fire hydrant of bills that will soon be coming our way.  We can expect continued targeting of our industry and will need to stay together to continue to fend off bad ideas like Prop. 15!

But for now, thank you and congratulations!

 

PROP 15 DEFEATED BY CALIFORNIA VOTERS

The following is a press release from the No on Prop. 15 Campaign:

Largest Property Tax Increase in California History Rejected by More Than 3.5%

SACRAMENTO, CA – Proposition 15, the largest property tax increase in California history, was defeated today by a margin of more than 550,000 votes, ending a challenge by Service Employees International Union, California Teachers Association, California State Parent Teacher Association and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to dismantle major portions of Proposition 13, the greatest tax protection measure left in the highest taxed state in the country overwhelmingly passed by voters more than 40 years ago.

“From day one, we knew that if voters understood the harm this deeply flawed tax hike would impose on California’s economy and its families, farmers and small businesses, voters would reject this ill-advised effort,” said Rob Lapsley, president of the California Business Roundtable and co-chair of the No on Prop 15 campaign. “Today’s victory should send a clear message to the proponents and warn all politicians that voters will continue to reject attempts to dismantle Prop 13.”

“California voters understood the very real threat Proposition 15 presented to small businesses, farmers and consumers,” said Allan Zaremberg, president and CEO of the California Chamber of Commerce. “Voters in California smartly recognized that enacting the largest tax hike in California history would have been devastating to jobs, our economy and California’s future competitiveness.”

The robust opposition effort to defeat Prop 15 included a broad and diverse coalition which came together to educate voters about Prop 15’s many flaws and real-world impacts of an $11.5 billion per year tax increase. The main No on Prop 15 committee was led by the California Business Roundtable, the California Business Properties Association, the California Chamber of Commerce and the California Taxpayers Association.  The bipartisan coalition, one of the most diverse coalitions ever assembled, also included social justice and civil rights organizations including the California State Conference of the NAACP, California State National Action Network, Latino groups, veterans, local chambers of commerce, private-sector labor unions and hundreds of small businesses across California.

“Across California, voters in the vast majority of counties cast their ballots in opposition to Prop 15,” added Rob Gutierrez, president of the California Taxpayers Association. “What’s clear from the data so far is Prop 15 lost in 43 of California’s 58 counties. Democrats, Republicans and independents understood the importance of protecting jobs and keeping consumer costs down and joined together to reject this measure.”

Rex Hime, president and CEO of the California Business Properties Association added, “Small businesses and property owners now have the opportunity to focus on making ends meet instead of formulating plans to close their doors. I am optimistic that Californians are getting wise to the game of being told that a tax does not impact them.  Every tax gets passed along or increases the cost of everyday goods and services.  And that was certainly the case with Prop. 15.”

Additional opposition efforts were organized by the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, Family Farmers Against Prop 15, led by the California Farm Bureau Federation, Agricultural Council of California and Western Growers Association, as well as The Alliance of California’s Farmers and Ranchers, an association of commodity groups including dairies and the rice industry.

“Farmers can breathe a little easier this evening knowing their hard work made the difference to turn back the largest property tax increase in California history which would have created havoc for family farmers and ranchers across our state,” added California Farm Bureau Federation president Jamie Johansson, which formed the Family Farmers Against Prop 15 coalition. “For months we have said Prop 15 would hurt farmers, ranchers and ultimately all families through higher prices. What’s clear from these results is that more than 8 million California voters recognized this reality and agreed with our efforts to stop this ill-advised initiative.”

Prop 15 also suffered from significant flaws that could destabilize the entire property tax administration system, leading the California Assessors’ Association that represents the local elected officials charged with implementing many of Prop 15’s provisions to oppose the measure.

“Prop 15 was a direct assault on Prop 13’s protections that have provided certainty and stability to property owners throughout California. Prop 15’s proponents, many of the same special interest groups that opposed Prop 13 in 1978, should think long and hard about targeting property owners in the future,” concluded Jon Coupal, president of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, which has spent decades promoting and protecting Prop 13.

 

ABOUT NO ON PROP 15 – STOP HIGHER PROPERTY TAXES AND SAVE PROP 13

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. For more information, please visit https://cshpt.vervelab.net/t/t-l-xidhukk-qdjlklylj-y/ .

 

CONGRESS AND THE LEGISLATURE

Due to several very tight races in which leads have swapped back and forth, there is no clear outcome on the partisan makeup of the Congressional Delegation nor the CA State Legislature yet.

However, as it currently stands the Congressional Delegation has a net increase of four Republicans – 42 Democrats and 11 Republicans.

The California State Senate has a net increase of two Democrats – 31 Democrats and 9 Republicans.

The California State Assembly has a net increase of one Republican – 60 Democrats and 19 Republicans and one independent (No Party Preference).

 

ALL THE RESULTS

The best place to find all the statewide elections results is at the California Secretary of State’s website:

https://electionresults.sos.ca.gov/returns/ballot-measures

BOMA California Weekly Update- November 10, 2020

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

PROP 15 – CA’S $11B SPLIT ROLL PROPERTY TAX – DEFEATED!

Please see the following message from Rex S. Hime:

California Commercial Real Estate and Business Leaders,

I am pleased to announce that we are finally calling the race for Prop. 15 – Split Roll Property Tax has been defeated!

This has been an effort years in the making and it could not have been done without your unwavering support.  I have never seen our industry come together like we did to defeat this threat.  You have helped educate peers, tenants, family members; you have helped speak with policymakers; and you stepped-up to help us raise the $50M+ we knew would be needed to be successful.

As someone who had been involved for over 40 years helping to defend Proposition 13, this win especially warms my heart in knowing that sustained attacks on Prop. 13 and lots of spending has been unable to topple this law.

Aside from our industry and all of our groups that came together to fight this (CBPA, ICSC, BOMA, NAIOP, AIR CRE, RILA, NAREIT, IREM), I want to acknowledge our friends at the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, California Business Roundtable, and the California Chamber of Commerce, for their ceaseless advocacy and support on our industry’s behalf.

We are going to celebrate, as we now turn our attention to the 2021 Legislative Session and the fire hydrant of bills that will soon be coming our way.  We can expect continued targeting of our industry and will need to stay together to continue to fend off bad ideas like Prop. 15!

 Best,

Rex S. Hime

President & CEO

California Business Properties Association

 

PROP 15 DEFEATED BY CALIFORNIA VOTERS

The following is a press release from the No On Prop. 15 Campaign:

Largest Property Tax Increase in California History Rejected by More Than 3.5%

SACRAMENTO, CA – Proposition 15, the largest property tax increase in California history, was defeated today by a margin of more than 550,000 votes, ending a challenge by Service Employees International Union, California Teachers Association, California State Parent Teacher Association and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to dismantle major portions of Proposition 13, the greatest tax protection measure left in the highest taxed state in the country overwhelmingly passed by voters more than 40 years ago.

“From day one, we knew that if voters understood the harm this deeply flawed tax hike would impose on California’s economy and its families, farmers and small businesses, voters would reject this ill-advised effort,” said Rob Lapsley, president of the California Business Roundtable and co-chair of the No on Prop 15 campaign. “Today’s victory should send a clear message to the proponents and warn all politicians that voters will continue to reject attempts to dismantle Prop 13.”

“California voters understood the very real threat Proposition 15 presented to small businesses, farmers and consumers,” said Allan Zaremberg, president and CEO of the California Chamber of Commerce. “Voters in California smartly recognized that enacting the largest tax hike in California history would have been devastating to jobs, our economy and California’s future competitiveness.”

The robust opposition effort to defeat Prop 15 included a broad and diverse coalition which came together to educate voters about Prop 15’s many flaws and real-world impacts of an $11.5 billion per year tax increase. The main No on Prop 15 committee was led by the California Business Roundtable, the California Business Properties Association, the California Chamber of Commerce and the California Taxpayers Association. The bipartisan coalition, one of the most diverse coalitions ever assembled, also included social justice and civil rights organizations including the California State Conference of the NAACP, California State National Action Network, Latino groups, veterans, local chambers of commerce, private-sector labor unions and hundreds of small businesses across California.

“Across California, voters in the vast majority of counties cast their ballots in opposition to Prop 15,” added Rob Gutierrez, president of the California Taxpayers Association. “What’s clear from the data so far is Prop 15 lost in 43 of California’s 58 counties. Democrats, Republicans and independents understood the importance of protecting jobs and keeping consumer costs down, and joined together to reject this measure.”

Rex Hime, president and CEO of the California Business Properties Association added, “Small businesses and property owners now have the opportunity to focus on making ends meet instead of formulating plans to close their doors. I am optimistic that Californians are getting wise to the game of being told that a tax does not impact them. Every tax gets passed along or increases the cost of everyday goods and services. And that was certainly the case with Prop. 15.”

Additional opposition efforts were organized by the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, Family Farmers Against Prop 15, led by the California Farm Bureau Federation, Agricultural Council of California and Western Growers Association, as well as The Alliance of California’s Farmers and Ranchers, an association of commodity groups including dairies and the rice industry.

“Farmers can breathe a little easier this evening knowing their hard work made the difference to turn back the largest property tax increase in California history which would have created havoc for family farmers and ranchers across our state,” added California Farm Bureau Federation president Jamie Johansson, which formed the Family Farmers Against Prop 15 coalition. “For months we’ve said Prop 15 would hurt farmers, ranchers and ultimately all families through higher prices. What’s clear from these results is that more than 8 million California voters recognized this reality and agreed with our efforts to stop this ill-advised initiative.”

Prop 15 also suffered from significant flaws that could destabilize the entire property tax administration system, leading the California Assessors’ Association that represents the local elected officials charged with implementing many of Prop 15’s provisions to oppose the measure.

“Prop 15 was a direct assault on Prop 13’s protections that have provided certainty and stability to property owners throughout California. Prop 15’s proponents, many of the same special interest groups that opposed Prop 13 in 1978, should think long and hard about targeting property owners in the future,” concluded Jon Coupal, president of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, which has spent decades promoting and protecting Prop 13.

 

 

Weekly Update- November 6, 2020

Posted: November 6, 2020 | Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

ELECTIONS NOVEMBER 2020!

Election Day has come and gone but the votes are still being counted in what has turned out to be one of the wildest elections ever.  Record numbers came out to vote in an election that will see the highest vote total ever for a winning Presidential candidate and a sharply divided electorate with several states still undecided.

 

PROPOSITION 15 – SPLIT ROLL PROPERTY TAX – UPDATE!?

The battle over implementing an $11B split roll property tax that has all but consumed the commercial real estate industry for the past year appears to be going down to defeat.  As of today, Prop.15 has 48.3% of the voters saying “yes,” while 51.7 of the voters have said “no.”

Recent updates have moved the numbers further in favor of defeat, however because it remains close, we are not celebrating yet.  We remain cautiously optimistic and will continue to watch the numbers as all the votes are counted.

CBPA and the commercial real estate industry helped raise more than $50M to defeat this effort and our CEO Rex Hime has been part of the No On Prop. 15 executive board since the organization was created several years ago to prepare for this battle.

 

PROPOSITION 21 – RENT CONTROL – VICTORY!

In a much less ambiguous outcome, Proposition 21, the second attempt in two elections to enact statewide rent control, has been soundly defeated, with 59.7% of the voters saying “No” and just over 40.2% voting “Yes.”

 

CONGRESS AND THE LEGISLATURE

Due to several very tight races in which leads have swapped back and forth, there is no clear outcome on the partisan makeup of the Congressional Delegation nor the CA State Legislature yet.

However, as it currently stands the Congressional Delegation has a net increase of two Republicans – 45 Democrats and 8 Republicans.

The California State Senate has a net increase of two Democrats – 31 Democrats and 8 Republicans.

The California State Assembly has a net increase of one Republican – 60 Democrats and 20 Republicans.

 

ALL THE RESULTS

The best place to find all the statewide elections results is at the California Secretary of State’s website:

https://electionresults.sos.ca.gov/returns/ballot-measures

Weekly Update: October 30, 2020

Posted: October 30, 2020 | Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

ELECTION DAY IS TUESDAY; VOTE NO ON SPLIT ROLL AND RENT CONTROL

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

Prop 15 – Split Roll Property TaxVOTE NO!!!

Prop 21 – Statewide Rent ControlVOTE 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!

 

 

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.

© 2007-2012 Building Owners and Managers Association of California (BOMA Cal)