Thursday, March 29, 2012

BOMA International Advocacy Update - Congress Reviews Tax Extenders Review, GSA Operation and Maintenance Requirement, CMBS Loan Case, Building Access for Union Activities

BOMA San Francisco Members:

Please take a moment to review a brief advocacy update from our BOMA International Team:

Congress to Begin Review of Tax ‘Extenders’ Next Month

House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp (R-Mich.) and Select Revenue Measures Subcommittee Chairman Pat Tiberi (R-Ohio) announced last week that they would begin taking a look at the various tax ‘extenders’ that expired at the end of 2011 in a hearing in late April. In addition, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D- Nev.) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) entered into a colloquy earlier this month on the need to find a way to address these same expiring provisions. BOMA International continues to work with a broad coalition of interests asking that these provisions be extended as soon as possible for at least 2012, if not longer.

GSA Operation and Maintenance Requirement – Your Feedback Needed

The General Services Administration (GSA) is currently in the process of updating the National Operations and Maintenance specification. They are seeking industry input from operations and maintenance vendors already under contract with GSA or those interested in working with GSA in the future. Industry input is valuable in helping develop requirements that improve GSA's facilities, reduce costs and simplify the contractor’s ability to maintain GSA facilities.

Please review the request for information and respond per the instructions.

Precedent Setting CMBS Loan Case Continues with BOMA Support

BOMA International and BOMA/Metro Detroit have filed an Amicus Brief in the Michigan Supreme Court to reverse a Michigan Court of Appeals’ decision involving the interpretation of loan agreements used for commercial mortgage backed securities (CMBS). Funded with assistance from the Industry Defense Fund, the brief challenges a Circuit Court decision that changes a loan from non-recourse, which has no guaranty and is secured only by the mortgage on the property, to a recourse loan, where there would be personal liability. This case could severely impact nearly $700 billion in CMBS loans that are currently outstanding and threaten an already fragile commercial real estate market.

BOMA International and BOMA/Metro Detroit were joined on the brief by the International Council of Shopping Centers, the National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts, NAIOP-The Commercial Real Estate Development Association, the National Multi Housing Council and the National Apartment Association.

NLRB Case of Building Access for Union Activities Being Appealed

An appeal is under way to attempt to reverse a decision made last year that significantly impacts how building owners handle union protestors on their property. In the case, “New York New York Hotel & Casino,” the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) found that the Las Vegas casino violated federal labor law by prohibiting off-duty employees of restaurants inside the casino from distributing handbills on casino property. The handbills sought public support for the organizing efforts of employees of the restaurants, which are operated by a contractor inside the New York New York Hotel & Casino. Because of this case, it may now be possible for off-duty contractors to obtain similar access to common areas in other commercial buildings for various union-related activities. A decision on the appeal will likely come later this year.

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