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  • Archive for July 8th, 2011

    Jul 8


    Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

    On Wednesday, July 20, at 9:00 a.m. in Sacramento the California Energy Commission is holding a workshop to solicit comments on the Draft Staff Report “Achieving Energy Savings in California Buildings.”  The report addresses challenges and potential strategies for the state to consider as regulatory strategies to achieve more energy savings. 

    Industry input is imperative in this process. 

    This is your opportunity to comment on proposals for achieving zero-net-energy residential buildings by 2020 and zero-net-energy commercial buildings by 2030.   Achieving these goals will require enormous efficiency improvements in both building construction (envelope) and in the ever increasing number of electric devices they contain (plug-load).

    Recommendations regarding the requirements of Assembly Bill 758 (Skinner and Bass, Chapter 470, Statutes of 2009) for the Energy Commission to develop a comprehensive program to achieve greater energy savings in the state’s existing buildings will also be discussed.

    Materials for review will be posted at the following website: www.energy.ca.gov/2011_energypolicy/index.html. Note, not all materials are currently posted, so you may need to check back. 

    Your Sacramento representatives will be present at this meeting; however, it is very important that as experts and practitioners you provide us with overall and technical comments on these proposed rules.  If our industry does not provide comments, these mandatory rules will potentially be written by individuals with no practical experience managing commercial properties. 

    Please pass along any comments you have to be included in the industry response to Matthew Hargrove participate directly.

    Jul 8


    Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

    As the state moves forward implementing mandatory statewide commercial recycling regulations, the responsible regulatory agency, CalRecycle, is conducting a workshop to seek stakeholder input.  As part of the state’s regulate greenhouse gas emissions under the landmark AB 32, the proposed mandatory commercial recycling rules attempt to reduce greenhouse gases by focusing waste reduction within the commercial sector and requiring businesses and multifamily units of 5 units or more that produce more than four cubic yards of solid waste per week to recycle. 

    At the workshop, staff will present the results of additional economic analyses done for the proposed regulation and changes to the regulatory language since January.  The meeting will be held on Tuesday, July 19, 2011, at 1:30 p.m. at the CalEPA Building in Sacramento. Participation via webcast will be available.  Click here to register for the webcast.

    Since this regulation may have a major impact on our members, we encourage those interested and knowledgeable in this area to review the regulations and either participate in the workshop or provide us with feedback and concerns to carry to the meeting on your behalf.

    More information can be found on the Mandatory Commercial Recycling regulations by clicking here. 

    Jul 8


    Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

    AB 631 (Ma; D-San Francisco) a bill which clarifies that properties providing Electric Vehicle (EV) charging stations in their parking lots are not considered public utilities, passed the Senate Energy Committee on a bi-partisan vote.

    AB 631 codifies the summary conclusion of the July 2010 Phase 1 Decision (D, 100-07—044) in the Alternative-Fueled Vehicle Rulemaking (R. 09-08-009).  In that decision the CPUC concluded that based on current law providers of EV charging services were not considered or regulated as public utilities.

    The California Energy Commission (CEC) projects the number of EV charging stations could grow from approximately 32,000 in 2011 to 1.5 million by 2020.  By putting this decision into state law, AB 631 provides regulatory certainty to businesses that want to provide EV charging services and will induce more businesses to install EV charging infrastructure. 

    As the demand for EV charging stations from tenants/patrons grows – and as mandates are adopted in some jurisdictiond to provide such services – this bill is essential.  It will allow investors to recover capital costs in equipment without undefined and unnecessary regulation, and allows properties the flexibility to provide such services for free, charge a per use fee, or negotiate it into a lease.

    Jul 8


    Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

    Our friends at ICSC have alerted us that the Carried Interest tax increase on commercial real estate partnerships and LLCs is being seriously considered as part of the agreement to raise the debt ceiling.

    Discussions are expected to take place over the weekend. Please contact your Senators and Congressman on Friday, July 8, to let them know that this tax increase will be devastating to commercial real estate partnerships and LLCs.

    While much of the discussion has focused on closing a perceived tax loophole on hedge funds and private equity firms, many members of Congress fail to realize that the commercial real estate industry will be most impacted by the proposal. If a carried interest tax increase is enacted, hedge and private equity fund managers will reprice, restructure or move overseas; all tactics that real estate partnerships are unable to utilize. In other words, a change in the taxation of carried interest will barely impact Wall Street, but it will cripple Main Street.

    Last year, the commercial real estate industry made a tremendous impact by reaching out to their Members of Congress and educating them on the harm that this tax increase will have on the real estate industry and local communities. ICSC is asking you to ramp up the pressure again by calling 202-224-3121 and asking to speak to your Congressman and Senators or sending their offices an email by clicking here. Placing a phone call will be a more timely way to reach your Members of Congress. Please remember to reference the following points:

    – A tax increase on carried interest will have serious unintended consequences to real estate partnerships and local communities.

    – With the commercial real estate industry under serious strain due to current economic conditions, raising this carried interest tax on real estate will not only threaten economic development projects, but it will also jeopardize the related jobs that those projects create.

    – This tax increase will hit small to medium-size developers the hardest. These developers are already struggling with the current credit crisis, and this proposal will further limit available capital in the real estate market.

    – While the original target was private equity and hedge fund managers, this proposal will disproportionately impact real estate partnerships, which represent nearly half of all partnership tax returns.

    Thank you for taking time to contact your Members of Congress on this critical issue.

    Jul 8


    Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

    The commercial real estate industry has been working for several months to defeat AB 350 (Solorio; D-Santa Ana) –  legislation that forces employers to discriminate against their existing employees, gives hiring preference to employees from competing companies, and seriously impedes the ability of businesses to run efficient, quality operations. 

    With funding from BOMA International’s Industry Defense Fund and matching commitments from all California local associations and several individual companies, we have been able to ramp up our efforts to educate legislators about the negative impacts of this Job Killer bill.  But we won’t be successful without YOUR HELP and engagement.  Below are some recent updates and some ways you and your company can get involved in this important fight.  If you can help fund this effort, please contact us immediately.

    Visit our new web site: www.AB350AreYouKiddingMe.com.  Launched yesterday, this web site will serve as the clearing house of information for the campaign and the coalition efforts around this bill.

    Please take a moment to officially join the coalition.  This will give us permission to list your organization/company as part of the growing coalition. You can do this replying to this e-mail with your permission, or signing up on-line here.

    Check out the new materials available including a fact sheet, sample letter to Senators, coalition form by clicking here and visiting the “how you can help” webpage. 

    Help us provide real-life examples. A large part of this effort is going to involve in-district advocacy and press efforts. The local faces of businesses and employees hurt by this legislation will be important in this effort. Provide examples of how being unable to properly vet employees at your properties could be a problem for your business.

    “Are you kidding me?” is the most common reaction this bill elicits from people that learn about its provisions.  California’s economy is still struggling. Unemployment is near 12%.  The legislature has real problems to address, like creating jobs and reviving our economy.

    But instead of solving real problems, some legislators are pushing misguided legislation that puts government in charge of who private businesses can hire, forces businesses to discriminate against their current employees and seriously erodes businesses’ ability to control the quality of their work product.