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1972 – Over 45 years of service to the commercial industrial retail real estate industry – 2018.

2018 Year In Review

2018 YEAR-END WRAP UP

 

During the 2018 legislative session, the commercial, industrial, and retail real estate industry had many policy successes on key issues even though we still have lopsided legislative majorities in both Houses of the California State Legislature. Below are just some of the highlights – good and bad – from 2018.

COMMERCIAL TAX LAWSUIT — In conjunction with the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association (HJTA), CBPA, BOMA California, and the California Business Roundtable have filed suit in the Superior Court in San Francisco challenging the city’s special tax on commercial property (Proposition C – passed in June 2018), an illegal and punitive gross receipts levy which will reduce commercial property values in the city by up to 12% and have ramifications across the state. The basis for the lawsuit is that the California Constitution clearly holds that special taxes at the local level have required a two-thirds vote of the electorate as mandated by Propositions 13 and 218. We assert because the tax is expressly for a special purpose, it required a 2/3 vote of the city’s electorate; Measure C, received a scant 50.87% vote.

IN A BLUE WAVE WE HELPED ELECT ONE OF OUR OWN/DEFEAT RENT CONTROL — The November 2018 Elections saw a Democrats sweep every statewide office, including a 19% win for Gavin Newsom. Both houses of the Legislature also no have a Supermajority of Democrats, as well at the National-level the Democrats have taken over the house of Representatives. However, our industry was able to find some success in this “Blue Wave” of a year including helping to elect someone from our own industry, Eleni Kounalakis, as Lt. Governor, and soundly defeating Proposition 10, the rent control measure.

SPLIT ROLL TAX BALLOT MEASURE – CBPA is an Executive Committee member of the political effort to push back against the myriad of groups attempting to put a split roll measure on the ballot. After more than four years of rebutting arguments with editorial boards, at school board meetings, and a statewide education campaign, to defeat SCA 5, leaders of the “Make It Fair” campaign (funded primarily by public employee unions) paid signature gatherers to hit the streets and ultimately collected enough to put the measure on the Nov. 2020 ballot. Our goal now is to raise money to execute a statewide campaign to educate voters about the debacle that split roll property tax will be to owners and tenants alike.

LEGISLATIVE/POLITICAL EVENTS – CBPA members and leadership participated in several high-level events which provided access to peers and policymakers. Starting in January CBPA hosted a Legislative Luncheon in Sacramento which was attended by twenty Assemblymembers and Senators from both parties. In April, we hosted a Legislative Meeting at which CBPA members could weigh-in on industry positions on over 500 bills. In June, our industry converged on Sacramento to attend the “California Commercial Real Estate Summit,” in which real estate leaders met with Gubernatorial staff and over 1/3 of the Legislature. In October, CBPA co-hosted an event in with the Lt. Governor Newsom who is considered by far and away the favorite to win. That was an important meeting as we were able engage on his position on Split Roll property tax and may have detected an ability to work with him on comprehensive tax reform.

LEGISLATION – On behalf of the commercial real estate industry, CBPA tracked 1,157 pieces of legislation in the CA State Capitol this legislative session and directly engaged on over 400 bills. A full listing of bills, positions, and outcomes can be provided separately.

REGULATIONS – On behalf of the commercial real estate industry, CBPA engaged regulatory agencies ranging from the California Energy Commission to the Division of the State Architect to the Department of Water Resources. This year, CBPA staff or members served on the newly formed State Access Code Collaborative, Adult Changing Station workgroup, Ghost Ship Fire Task Force, Benchmarking and Submetering Task Force, the CEQA Workgroup, and several Building Standard Commissions workgroups including the Green Building Code and Fire Code Workgroups.

LACTATION ACCOMODATION DEAL – We worked very hard with Assemblymember Limón to come up with a bill that increases requirement for accommodating lactating mothers, while assuring companies can comply. AB 1976 is based on current federal/state law that now requires employers’ to provide a room or location for lactation, other than a bathroom. The author worked with our industry and took significant language to deal with situations where there is no alternative and to assure the requirement was enforce only when an accommodation was actually needed. We are please the Governor signed this bill into law and vetoed a competing measure, SB 937, that our industry opposed.

DUAL AGENCY BILL DEFEATED – AB 1059 (Gonzalez-Fletcher – D) a bill that puts an outright ban on dual-agency transactions and firms that conduct dual-agency deals, was stalled in its first policy committee, but came back early in 2018. We were prepared and employed a statewide strategy to educate policymakers on why dual agency real estate transactions and firms in the commercial context were a healthy and positive part of our transactions. We were able to defeat the bill in committee as it fell two votes short.

 

To read the entire list, CLICK HERE!