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  • Archive for June 16th, 2014

    Jun 16

    CALIFORNIA COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE SUMMIT; SUCCESS!

    Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

    This week the annual California Commercial Real Estate Summit (CCRES) was held in Sacramento and attended by over 100 real estate leaders who converged on California’s Capitol to advocate on behalf of the commercial, retail, and industrial real estate industry.  Fifteen teams of real estate advocates met with half of the state Legislature to talk about split roll property tax, building liens, and electric vehicle charging station legislation.

    The focus of this year’s CCRES was support for Proposition 13 and opposition to moving forward with proposals to allow a split roll property/parcel tax.  Reports back from those who met with Legislators ranged from support of Proposition 13, to vague understanding of its provisions, to downright hostility.  Our job was to explain the day-to-day realities of the real estate industry and how protections from unfettered property tax increases has meant the difference between success and failure.  We also tried to explain how the state’s stable tax structure benefits our tenants and the state’s small businesses.

    The goal of the California Commercial Real Estate Summit is to increase public policy and political awareness of state issues impacting commercial, industrial, and retail real estate, and to foster collaborative efforts among business leaders from all sectors of California and their representatives in the State Legislature.

    We would like to thank all of our Members who took the time to attend the CCRES!

    Jun 16

    COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE LEGISLATORS OF THE YEAR

    Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

    We were also pleased to present our 2014 Legislators of the year award to the following policymakers: Assemblymember Sebastian Ridley-Thomas (D-Los Angeles) and Senator Cathleen Galgiani (D-Stockton).

    Both of these legislators have gone above and beyond to understand issues related to commercial real estate.  They have been approachable, listened to our issues, and have helped us fix bills that needed input from professionals in our industry.  We want to thank Senator Galgiani and Assemblymember Ridley-Thomas for their continued support!

    Jun 16

    PROP 13 RESOLUTION QUIETLY KILLED IN SENATE

    Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

    You think there isn’t hostility in the Legislature towards Proposition 13?  Think again.  A simple little resolution to recognize the proposition’s 36 years of protecting taxpayers was fiddled with then killed in committee.  It’s a fun story to read, for political junkies;  scary and frustrating for anyone that pays property taxes…Click here to read the story.

    Jun 16

    NFIB STUDY SHOWS MIN WAGE BILL HURTS ECONOMY

    Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

    The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) released a study revealing the loss of more than 323,000 CA jobs (57% being small business jobs) and reduction of $224 billion in real output, if SB 935 (Leno; D-San Francisco) passes.  SB 935 proposed to raise the state minimum wage to $13/hour and indexes the minimum wage to inflation.

    SB 935 passed the Senate on a partisan vote with the bare minimum of support needed.  This is an important issue to our industry and over the next few weeks we will be working with our partners in Sacramento to mobilize job producers and share this NFIB data and our own members’ “real world” stories with the Legislature and Governor about how such an increase – the second minimum wage increase in less than two years – will severely damage small businesses and jobs.

    Click here to see the NFIB study.

    Jun 16

    ***ACTION NEEDED*** LIEN AND LIABILITY BILLS UPDATE

    Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

    Two labor-backed bills that could place pull your business into labor disputes that you have nothing to do with, will be heard in the Senate in the next two weeks.  We vociferously oppose both bills.

    AB 2416 (Stone; D-Scotts Valley) Unproven Wage Liens, passed the Assembly Labor Committee this week.  This bill creates a dangerous and unfair precedent in the wage and hour arena by allowing employees to file liens on an employer’s real or personal property, or property where work was performed, based upon alleged yet unproven wage claims.

    At the CCRES our members reported that there was a lot of confusion within the Legislature about what the bill actually does, how it is different from a Mechanic’s Lien, and what the transactional impact is.  Here are some materials that will help answer some of those questions:

    ***ACTION NEEDED*** The bill will be heard on Tuesday in the Senate Judiciary Committee.  Here is a list of the members.  Please call any member with which you have a relationship with and/or have property in that district, and let them know how this bill will negatively impact your ability to provide jobs once you are targeted by advocates using this law as a leverage point in negotiations.

    AB 1897 (Hernandez; D-West Covina) Labor Contracting; Client Liability.  This bill would force one company to essentially insure the wage and hour obligations, workers’ compensation coverage, and occupational health and safety duties of a separate employer’s employees, which will discourage the use of contractors and their employees.

    The CalChamber has identified both bills as “Job Killers,” and a large coalition of business groups are marshalling our forces in Sacramento to educate legislators about negative impacts of this measure.  This bill will be heard on June 24 in the Senate Judiciary Committee.

    Jun 16

    WORKSHOP ON LIGHTING EFFICIENCY FOR COMMERCIAL

    Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

    California Energy Commission staff is conducting a workshop to present draft revisions to be considered for inclusion in the 2016 Building Energy Efficiency Standards (Standards) (California Code of Regulations, Title 24, Parts 1 and 6). These draft revisions apply to residential and non-residential buildings and include measures relating to lighting.

    The provisions have proven to be much more expensive than was reported in the initial adoption.  Many companies in our industry have been shocked to see what it costs to comply with these provisions.  If that applies to your company, and you have some experience to share, please take the time to participate in this workshop.  The CEC can’t fix an issue if it doesn’t have information from practitioners on cost.

    The workshop will be used to solicit public comment on proposed draft revisions to the Standards, and will be held:

    Tuesday, June 24, 2014, 9:00 a.m.

    CALIFORNIA ENERGY COMMISSION

    1516 Ninth Street, Hearing Room A

    Sacramento, California

    TO CALL IN:  Parties and the public may attend the Public Workshop in person at the above location or by telephone and/or by computer via our “WebEx” web conferencing system. For additional details on how to participate via WebEx, Click here.

    Click here for more information.

    Jun 16

    RECYCLED WATER: STATE RESPONDS TO INDUSTRY CONCERN

    Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

    In response to concern raised by industry the Department of Public Health (DPH) has reversed an interpretation issued by a local DPH engineer that would have prohibited the use of recycled water in commercial buildings that contain a cafeteria or snack bar facility.  Many commercial buildings in California are now using recycled water in bathrooms, cooling towers and for landscaping purposes.  Regulations adopted by the Department of Public Health prohibit the use of recycled water within large-scale food processing facilities.  However, those same DPH regulations make it clear that this prohibition does not apply to “cafeterias or snack bars”.

    Earlier this year, a local DPH engineer rejected a proposed use of recycled water in a six-story office building because one of the floors contained a cafeteria facility.  Industry objected to this local interpretation and brought it to the attention of the state DPH office which promptly issued a statement indicating that the proposed use of recycled water was indeed acceptable under California’s health and safety regulations.

    Jun 16

    JOB KILLERS AT FIRST HOUSE DEADLINE

    Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

    Last week was a major legislative Constitutional deadline in the State Capitol known as the “First House Deadline.” It’s basically the halfway point of the legislative session.  So how are the bills tagged as “Job Killers” doing?

    The California Chamber of Commerce’s original “job killer” list of 2014 included 27 measures that would have a very negative impact on the California job climate and economic recovery if they were to become law.  The list serves as a rallying call for allied business-iruented groups in Sacramento and helps focus coalition efforts.

    Here is how the Sacramento Bee summed it up:  “Last week’s casualties included measures to impose a moratorium on “fracking” to develop California’s oil reserves (Senate Bill 1132), to require disclosure labels on foods containing genetically modified ingredients (SB 1381) and to raise taxes on corporations deemed to pay executives too much (SB 132).”

    “However, several others on the list survived, including one requiring employers to grant paid sick leave to workers (Assembly Bill 1522), expanding liability for contractors wage and hour violations (AB 1897), and allowing employees to file liens for unpaid wages (AB 2416).”

    “One major tax bill on the list, making it easier to raise property taxes on commercial property when it changes hands (AB 2372), was modified enough to gain the Chamber of Commerce’s support and passed the Assembly.”

    Click here to read the Bee’s “the Buzz” article.

    Jun 16

    TITLE 24 – ENERGY CODE COMPLIANCE TOOLS – ARE YOU READY?

    Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

    At its May 14 Business Meeting, the Energy Commission approved Integrated Environmental Solutions’ (IES) Virtual Environment 2013 software. Also referred to as VE 2013 Feature Pack for Title 24, it is the first commercial software to be approved for demonstrating performance compliance with the nonresidential provisions of the 2013 Building Energy Efficiency Standards. Click here to visit the IES website for more information.

    The Energy Commission also approved an updated version of CBECC-COM at its April 22, 2014 Business Meeting. CBECC-COM v2 improvements include a 2D simplified geometric input method, and for additions and alterations to existing buildings – also known as Existing+Additions+Alterations projects (E+A+A).  CBECC-Com is a public domain software program developed by the Energy Commission to determine compliance with the 2013 Building Energy Efficiency Standards.  CBECC-Com uses EnergyPlus v8.0 to perform simulations and Sketchup (v8.0/Pro) with OpenStudio-SketchUp Plugin for geometry input.

    Click here for Up-to-date information for downloading and using all Energy Commission-approved standards compliance software.

    For compliance assistance with the 2013 Building Energy Efficiency Standards, contact the Energy Standards Hotline toll-free in California at 800-772-3300 and outside California at 916-654-5106, or via email at title24@energy.ca.gov.

    Jun 16

    GOV’S ENVIRONMENTAL AND ECONOMIC LEADERSHIP AWARDS

    Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

    Below is information regard the Governor’s Environmental and Economic Leadership Awards.  The GEELA program recognizes individuals, organizations and businesses that have demonstrated exceptional leadership for voluntary achievements in conserving California’s resources, protecting and enhancing the environment, building public-private partnerships, and strengthening the state’s economy. Applications are due Friday, July 11, 2014.

    If you have given similar awards locally, we highly encourage you to move those projects forward for statewide recognition.  In years past several commercial properties have participated in this program. If you are at a local association, we encourage you to look at member companies that have recently been recognized, as the same nominating materials can easily be adapted to this recognition.  If you have a potential nomination, please strongly consider submitting!

    Click here for the 2014 Governor’s Environmental and Economic Leadership Awards (GEELA) program.

    Jun 16

    FIRST HOUSE DEADLINE

    Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

    Today is a major legislative Constitutional deadline in the State Capitol.  Commonly known as the “First House Deadline,” officially called, “House of Origin Deadline,” it marks the point in the two year legislative session by which every bill must have made it through the chamber in which it was introduced.  The last two weeks saw many bills major bills – many of them opposed by the business community — muster enough votes to pass.  However, we also had some success defeating bills we oppose and scores will now be tagged as “dead.”

    The process starts again in with policy committees cranking up next week.  The Legislative Session  goes throughout the summer and all bills must be dealt with prior to Final Recess adjournment on August 31.

    Jun 16

    CHANGE OF OWNERSHIP BILL PASSES ASSEMBLY

    Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

    AB 2372 (Ammiano; D-San Francisco) passed the Assembly on a bi-partisan 59-9 vote.  As we have reported in the past two weeks, CBPA along with the CalChamber and several other business groups, have been working with the Chair of the Assembly Revenue & Taxation Committee Raul Bocanegra (D-Pacoima) to negotiate with the author and sponsors of the measure.  A potentially historic agreement was reached last week and we have been cautiously supportive of the measure as we have been assuring that language in the bill does not have unintended consequences.

    Over the years, some complicated property purchase deals have been used by anti-Prop 13 advocates as “examples” of skirting Proposition 13’s change of ownership rules, whether they were doing that or not.  These “examples” have then become cause celebre and used as a weapon to galvanize anti-Prop. 13 grassroots groups, and coupled with the sophistry of claiming revenue declines, to undermine the law as a whole.  This agreement is meant to update some of the laws implementing statutes to address that specific issues that some transactions have been designed to “game” the system.

    As an organization, we have always staunchly defended Proposition 13 and will continue to do so.  However, part of an effective defense of the law recognizes that some of the original implementation language may need to be updated to assure the goals of Prop. 13 are being met.  We believe this is one of those cases.

    CBPA has worked very closely with tax lawyers from many of our member companies to make sure that the language is addressing the area we are trying to fix and not bleeding over to other parts of the law.  We are also closely coordinating with other business groups in Sacramento to make sure your interests – and the legitimate protections that Prop. 13 was meant to provide – are protected.

    Click here to read the language that is currently in AB 2372