Thursday, December 15, 2016

UPDATE - San Francisco Commercial Water Conservation Ordinance Deadline for Compliance on January 1, 2017 - Affidavit Required

UPDATE - December 15, 2016

BOMA San Francisco Codes and Regulations Committee members heard from representatives with the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) recently regarding this law. 

With the upcoming compliance deadline of January 1, 2017, the SFPUC has introduced the Plumbing Fixture Replacement Program (PREP) where they will provide free toilets and urinals for residences and businesses in San Francisco.



You're encouraged to apply online now to determine if their property qualifies for this program. To get started, read the Eligibility Criteria below.

Looking for rebates? Apply to the SFPUC's high-efficiency toilet and urinal rebate programs ending 12/31/2016.

Eligibility Criteria

The PREP Program will offer free high-efficiency toilets and/or urinals, plus free installation. It will be available to residential and non-residential properties in the SFPUC's retail service area that meet the following eligibility requirements:
  • Have existing toilets that use at least 3.5 gallons per flush (gpf) (toilets rated 1.6 gpf or less are not eligible) and/or urinals that use more than 1.0 gallon per flush. 
  • Accommodate installation of new high-efficiency models without major plumbing alterations or repairs. Properties with abnormal site conditions (e.g. rotted flooring, atypical plumbing configurations, etc.) will not be eligible for the PREP Program until conditions are improved.
  • Install showerheads, faucets and/or faucet aerators that comply with the California Plumbing Code by the time PREP installations are complete.

UPDATE - August 31, 2016

Please be aware that state and local measures require all building owners in San Francisco replace old, water-wasting plumbing fixtures and repair leaks. Commercial properties have until January 1, 2017 to comply

By that date, building owners must submit a Commercial Conservation Affidavit to the San Francisco Department of Building Inspection (DBI), verifying that all fixtures currently installed at time of their self-inspection are water efficient and code-compliant. Commercial property owners must replace any existing fixtures that exceed the following maximum water use rates:
  • Showerheads must not exceed a maximum flow rate of 2.5 gallons per minute (gpm)
  • Faucets and faucet aerators must not exceed a maximum flow rate of 2.2 gpm
  • Toilets must not exceed a maximum flow rate of 1.6 gallons per flush (gpf)
  • Urinals must not exceed a maximum flow rate of 1.0 gpf
For more information on how to comply with San Francisco’s Commercial Conservation Ordinance, visit or or call DBI’s Plumbing Inspection Division at (415) 558-6058.

The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) continues to help properties save water through fixture rebates for the replacement of non-compliant toilets and urinals (program ends December 31, 2016); free water-efficient showerheads and aerators and standard toilet leak repair parts; free Water-Wise Evaluations; and other assistance. Visit or call (415) 551-4730 for more information about the SFPUC’s conservation services.

Original Post - August 5, 2014

Working with BOMA San Francisco, the City of San Francisco enacted a Commercial Water Conservation Ordinance in 2009 that requires all commercial property owners to provide certain water conservation measures for their buildings by January 1, 2017. The intent of this law is protect natural resources, address increasing demand for water, and cut greenhouse gas emissions through reduced water use. The required improvements also will reduce water and sewer costs for commercial properties.

It is advantageous for all commercial property owners to comply with the requirements now. Even though the  statutory deadline is in 2017, the savings in water and sewer costs typically pay for themselves within one to three years.  The following information is a summary of the requirements found in Chapter 13A of the San Francisco Building Code (SFBC).

Who Must Comply?

On or before January 1, 2017, all owners of:
  • Commercial buildings;
  • Any portion of a residential building, which is used for commercial purposes;
  • Any portion of a residential building converted to a tourist hotel;
  • Any portion of a residential building which is occupied as a hotel or motel unit and which has a certificate of use for tourist occupancy;
  • Any building or portion thereof which is a live/work occupancy
  • Mobile homes.
Owner’s compliance is also required when one of the following situations occurs:
  • Building Additions
    • If a building addition will increase the floor area of the building by more than 10 percent, the entire building must comply as a condition for issuance of a Certificate of Final Completion and Occupancy.
  • Building Alterations and Improvements
    • If the cost estimated in a building permit for an alternation or improvement is greater than $150,000, compliance is required in all facilities that serve the specific area of alteration or improvement and is a condition for issuance of a Certificate of Final Completion and Occupancy or final permit sign off.
  • Alternations or Improvements to Rooms with Water Conservation Devices
    • If an alteration or improvement of any cost is located in a room that contains a faucet, shower, water closet (toilet), or urinal, compliance is required in that room as a condition for issuance of a Certificate of Final Completion and Occupancy or final permit sign off.
Please click here for more information about what the law requires.  If you have any questions, please call SFDBI's Plumbing Inspection Division at (415) 558-6570.

For more information on financing options, efficient toilet and urinal rebates, and free water-efficient device which can help achieve compliance with the water conservation ordinance, please contact the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission at (415) 551-4730 or click here.

San Francisco's Folsom-Howard Streetscape Project - Two Upcoming Workshops for BOMA Members

You may be aware that BOMA San Francisco members in the South of Market area of San Francisco  have provided input on the possible changes as part of the Folsom-Howard Streetscape Project.

The Folsom-Howard Streetscape Project is an effort to prepare for continued growth in the South of Market (SoMa) neighborhood.

The SFMTA feels that demand on SoMa’s streets is increasing and will only continue to rise. The City estimates a 212% increase in SoMa residents and a 140% increase in SoMa workers by the year 2040. As such, there is a need to prepare thoughtfully for the coming growth that will place more demand on the neighborhood’s transportation network.

This project will focus on updating and upgrading the Folsom-Howard couplet. It will prioritize traffic safety, community livability and enhancing the neighborhood’s existing character. The initiative will also improve transit access and examine traffic circulation modifications. It will include bicycle, transit, pedestrian, curbside management, and traffic improvements on Folsom and Howard streets while addressing safety needs and future transportation demand in the growing South of Market Neighborhood.

The SFMTA are in the early planning stages and will be hosting two open houses so that BOMA members and other stakeholders can provide their comments. These events are an opportunity for the public to learn about the project goals and possible improvements, as well as provide ideas and feedback on the future of Folsom and Howard streets.

Two open house events will accommodate those with scheduling conflicts. Both open houses will be similar, hosting the same materials, information and opportunity to provide feedback.

For more information, please feel free to email the project manager, Paul Stanis, at

Thursday, December 8, 6:00 PM – 7:30 PM

SoMa Recreation Center (Gene Friend Recreation Center)

270 6th St (between Howard and Folsom)

Saturday, December 10, 12:00 PM – 2:00 PM

SoMa Recreation Center (Gene Friend Recreation Center)

270 6th St (between Howard and Folsom)

UPDATE: Transportation Demand Management Ordinance Impact to Non-Residential Space

UPDATE: December 6, 2016

The Planning Code Amendment for the TDM Ordinance was heard at the Board of Supervisors Land Use and Transportation Committee on Monday, November 28. The Committee voted to continue the item to December 5th (Board of Supervisors File #160925), and some amendments to the Ordinance were proposed. They include, among others, language regarding the phasing in of the TDM Program.

At the December 5th meeting, the Committee voted again to continue the Ordinance to January 23rd due to a need to review additional issues raised at the meeting. 

In addition, The San Francisco Planning Department identified changes to the TDM Program Standards based upon feedback received over the last two months. Those changes are described in a memo distributed to the Land Use and Transportation Committee on November 28th and posted on Planning’s website. It is expected that these changes to be proposed for adoption by the Planning Commission in the near future.

Please note that two tools are now available online: The previous version, dated October 12, 2016, and an updated version containing the proposed changes described in the aforementioned memo, dated November 28, 2016. Staff is currently working on a web-based version of the Excel file tool and will notify you as soon as it is released.

Please email and with any feedback you may have.


UPDATE: July 29, 2016

There is a change being proposed to the Transportation Demand Management (TDM) Ordinance that will now - if passed - impact existing buildings who change the use of 25,000 sq. ft. or more of non-residential space and require the building owner to do an assessment on the traffic impacts the change will generate. The Planning Commission is set to hear it August 4, 2016.

About TDM

The Transportation Demand Management (TDM) Program is designed to work with developers to provide more on-site amenities that will encourage smarter travel options so people can get around more easily without a car. These choices are better for the environment, help manage congestion, help to reduce risks to pedestrians and cyclists, and improve the overall efficiency of our transportation network.

A series of development-focused TDM measures are intended to “shift” more typical car-dependent travel practices by providing reliable alternatives, such as:

Delivery services
Bicycle amenities
Subsidized transit passes

The TDM Program would apply to nearly all types of new development and changes of use. The end result: more sustainable transportation options for a building’s tenants, employees, residents, and visitors, which benefits not only the local neighborhood, but the City as a whole.

Frequently Asked Questions


UPDATE - April 21, 2016

On March 3, 2016, San Francisco Planning Commission adopted a new resolution to immediately update the environmental review process with the state-proposed guidelines that modernize the way city officials measure the transportation impacts of new development projects.

For decades, environmental analysis of transportation impacts focused on how quickly cars moved through a given intersection, a flawed approach that was expensive to calculate, did little to benefit the environment and promoted urban sprawl rather than smart infill growth. The new approach is more comprehensive, looking at the method of travel, how far the person is going, and how many other people are in the vehicle to determine the impact on the environment.

The resolution to take immediate action represents the Align component of the Transportation Sustainability Program, a three-part citywide policy initiative to help transportation keep pace with growth in the city.

More Updates

Introduction of Transportation Demand Management: SHIFT

On February 11, 2016, Planning Department staff provided a brief overview on the Transportation Sustainability Program’s SHIFT component, the proposed Transportation Demand Management (TDM) Ordinance. TDM describes strategies or measures that incentivize sustainable ways of getting around. These types of travel choices are good for the environment, help manage congestion and improve the efficiency of the transportation network. The City is working on shifting travel choices as San Francisco grows, making it easier for new arrivals to take transit, bike or other efficient travel methods rather than moving to the city with a car.

On April 28, 2016, Planning Department staff will initiate a Planning Code Amendment for the TDM Ordinance. In addition, the TDM project team will be presenting the Ordinance to various neighborhood Citizen Advisory Committees this spring. Please see below for a list of the upcoming meetings before the Ordinance will be introduced at the Board of Supervisors.

Visit our Shift page for the executive summary and a copy of the presentation that was provided at the February 11th Planning Commission hearing. We intend on updating this page soon with more information related to the TDM Ordinance, so please stay tuned.

San Francisco Business Tax Updates

As the year comes to a close, the San Francisco Office of the Treasurer & Tax Collector has a number of updates for the local tax preparation community.

New Business Registration Videos Posted

In our ongoing efforts to make tax reporting accessible to all San Franciscans, we have produced videos on how to register a business using our online form. The videos are in English, Spanish, Tagalog, and Cantonese. You may view them here. Please share with your networks, particularly if you work with small businesses where English is not the first language of the proprietors!

Simplifying New Business Registration – Consolidation of Assessor and Tax Collector Forms

Assessor-Recorder Carmen Chu and Treasurer José Cisneros have announced a simpler way for new businesses to register in San Francisco. Businesses who register with the Office of the Treasurer and Tax Collector are no longer required to register separately with the Office of the Assessor-Recorder. The enhancement was made possible through an innovative data-sharing agreement between the two offices to improve taxpayer experience, and increase tax compliance. The press release announcing this change will be posted here. It will also be posted here.

Proposed Ordinances

The Treasurer has submitted proposed legislation to the Board of Supervisors. These items will be heard in January 2017. The two items that most directly affect the gross receipts tax and payroll expense tax are:

File 161264, which proposes to modify the quarterly filing and payment requirements for payroll expense taxes and gross receipts taxes, clarify the requirements for requesting an extension, and expressly permit taxpayers to apply refunds of the business registration fee, the payroll expense tax, and the gross receipts tax to subsequent tax periods.

File 161225, which proposes to remove the $100 minimum penalty from one of the penalties for failing to register with the Tax Collector; and to remove the fee and administrative requirements for obtaining a duplicate registration certificate.

Both of these proposed ordinances were guided by feedback from the business community about simplifying quarterly installment payments, applying refunds to subsequent tax periods, and reducing penalties and fees on small businesses.

Small Business Enterprise Thresholds Increase

The San Francisco Tax Collector has announced increased small business enterprise thresholds for tax year 2016 and retroactively increased thresholds for 2015. You can find more information as well as the 2016 tax rates here.

Quarterly Installment Filing Online Form Available Through November, Filing Period Ends December 1
The deadline for submitting quarterly installments for the third quarter was Monday October 31. We will continue to have the online form available for taxpayers to amend their third quarter installment payment amounts through the end of November. As of December 1, we will be taking down the online form to prepare for the 2016 filing period. If taxpayers wish to make installment payments when the form is unavailable they should include the payment when they file their annual return in February 2017. The quarterly installment online form is available here.

Combined Groups of Related Entities – 2016 Annual Return Functionality Enhancements

If you or the taxpayer you are filing for is filing on behalf of a combined group of related entities, or was part of a combined group for a portion of the tax year, we have added online functionality so most combined groups do not have to file by mail and can more easily report your group members. Combined groups of related entities will need to report their group members in the annual return (rather than through Account Update), including the dates the entities were part of the group, and the extent they are unitary with the group. Tax preparers should have this information ready when filing to facilitate their filing process. For information about what constitutes a combined group of related entities, please see our instructions for the 2015 return here.

Secured Property Tax Deadline December 12

Finally, a reminder that the deadline to pay secured property taxes is December 12 (since December 10 falls on a Saturday). After the deadline a 10% penalty applies. You can look up your bill here.

RESULTS: BOMA SF-PAC Voter Guide for the November 8, 2016 Election

BOMA San Francisco's Political Action Committee's Voter Guide
November 8, 2016 Election

BOMA San Francisco has an active Political Action Committee (BOMA SF-PAC) that campaigns for candidates and issues that promote the economic vitality of the industry and the City and County of San Francisco. Here is a brief report of results of the November 8th election.

The BOMA SF-PAC did well. Our members managed to elect sensible representatives to the California State Senate, the California State Assembly, and the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. They were also able to defeat most of the ineffectual measures on the local ballot. Indeed, there were 25 measures for the San Francisco electorate to vote on, including the $3.5 billion regional bond measure for BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit). 

There were a number of propositions that were important for BOMA San Francisco members:
  • Proposition Q, the no tents on public sidewalks measure. BOMA supported that effort and it passed. 
  • Propositions D, H, L, and M would have limited the Mayor’s powers of appointment, ability to promote economic development and new housing in the city, and would have created a new Office of Public Advocate, adding another layer of bureaucracy to our already costly city government. BOMA opposed these four measures and they failed. 
  • Proposition RR. BOMA supported the BART bond, which would update and modernize the transit’s computer and signalization systems. The BART bond passed. 
  • Proposition W. Lastly, our industry lost Proposition W, a transfer tax hike measure that increases the top rate from 2.5% to 3% on sales over $25 million. 
    • This tax increase was proposed to the public as a means of making San Francisco City College tuition free. 

BOMA San Francisco's Political Action Committee's Slate Card - November 8, 2016 General Election

Candidates Endorsed

SUPPORT --- Proposition C - Loans to Finance Acquisition and Rehabilitation of Affordable Housing                                      
OPPOSE --- Proposition D - Vacancy Appointments    
SUPPORT --- Proposition E - Responsibility for Maintaining Street Trees and Surrounding Sidewalk
OPPOSE --- Proposition H - Public Advocate
SUPPORT --- Proposition J - Funding for Homelessness and Transportation 
OPPOSE --- Proposition L - MTA Appointments and Budget  
OPPOSE --- Proposition M - Housing and Development Commission
SUPPORT --- Proposition O - Office Development in Candlestick Point and Hunters Point
SUPPORT --- Proposition Q - Prohibiting Tents on Public Sidewalks
SUPPORT --- Proposition RR (Regional Proposition) - BART Safety, Reliability and Traffic Relief


NO POSITION --- Proposition A - School Bonds - PASSED
OPPOSE --- Proposition B - City College Parcel Tax - PASSED 
NO POSITION --- Proposition F - Youth Voting in Local Elections - DID NOT PASS
NO POSITION --- Proposition G  - Police Oversight - PASSED
NO POSITION --- Proposition I - Funding for Seniors and Adults with Disabilities - PASSED
SUPPORT --- Proposition K - General Sales Tax - DID NOT PASS
NO POSITION --- Proposition N - Non-Citizen Voting in School Board Elections - PASSED
SUPPORT --- Proposition P - Competitive Bidding for Affordable Housing Projects on City-Owned Property - DID NOT PASS
SUPPORT --- Proposition R - Neighborhood Crime Unit - DID NOT PASS
NO POSITION --- Proposition S - Allocation of Hotel Tax Funds - PASSED
OPPOSE --- Proposition T - Restricting Gifts and Campaign Contributions from Lobbyists - PASSED
SUPPORT --- Proposition U - Affordable Housing Requirements for Market-Rate Development Projects - DID NOT PASS
NO POSITION --- Proposition V - Tax on Distributing Sugar-Sweetened Beverages - PASSED
OPPOSE --- Proposition W - Real Estate Transfer Tax on Properties Over $5 Million - PASSED
OPPOSE --- Proposition X - Preserving Space for Neighborhood Arts, Small Businesses and Community Services in Certain Neighborhoods - PASSED

Thursday, December 1, 2016

FEEDBACK DUE By December 2, 2016: Bay Area Air Quality Management District New Draft Rule 11-18 to Reduce Health Risks

BOMA San Francisco Members:

Click here review a presentation offered by the Bay Area Air Quality Management District.

The draft rule proposes to ensure that emissions of Toxic Air Contaminants (TACs) from existing facilities do not pose an unacceptable health risk to people living and working nearby. Air District Staff estimates that hundreds of facilities throughout the Bay Area could be impacted by this new rule.

The Air District will continue to accept public comment until Friday, December 2, 2016. To submit public comment electronically, contact Victor Douglas at


Rule 11-18 would apply to all facilities whose emissions of toxic air contaminants may result in a significant risk to nearby residents and workers – this would include petroleum refineries. The purpose of Rule 11-18 is to set caps on risk from toxic air contaminants for those facilities causing the highest health impacts across the Bay Area and to require these facilities to reduce that health risk.

Petroleum refineries are significant sources of harmful pollutants on both the global scale (greenhouse gases) and local scale (toxic air contaminants and criteria pollutants). Many Bay Area residents have expressed concern about the impact of this pollution on the environment and public health. Though refinery emissions have declined over time, it is possible that as refinery operations change in the future, emissions of these pollutants could increase. In response to these concerns, the Board of Directors of the Air District has directed staff to bring forward two draft rules for the Board’s consideration, one that reflects policy recommended by some environmental advocacy organizations, and an approach recommended by Air District staff. Communities for a Better Environment (CBE) and several associated organizations have recommended that the Air District adopt new Regulation 12, Rule 16: Petroleum Refining FacilityWide Emissions Limits (Rule 12-16). This rule would set numeric limits on specific refinery emissions. Rule 12-16 would apply to the Bay Area’s five petroleum refineries and three facilities associated with the refineries. The staff of the Air District has developed a different approach that directly addresses concerns about community health risks. 

The Bay Area Air Quality Management District staff recommendation is that the Air District adopt a new Page 2 Regulation 11, Rule 18 (Rule 11-18): Reduction of Risk from Air Toxic Emissions at Existing Facilities. 

FEEDBACK REQUESTED BY December 5, 2016: San Francisco Legislation Requiring Choice in Internet/Communication Providers for Tenants of Commercial and Residential Properties

You may have read about a proposal from Supervisor Mark Farrell that would allow internet access from any communications service provider for any tenant that asks for it – in both commercial and residential buildings. Thanks to the quick work and expertise of Manuel Fishman and Marty Smith, your Government Affairs Committee Chair and Vice Chair, the measure - while not addressing all of the industry's issues - is still workable for BOMA San Francisco members.

Your feedback is requested no later than December 5, 2016. 

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors will vote on the measure on December 6, 2016.

It has been moving quickly through the legislative process at San Francisco's City Hall and BOMA members thank our San Francisco business community partners for their input. We also thank Supervisor Farrell for allowing our members the opportunity to suggest practical changes to the legislation that allows the tenant to choose their internet/communications service provider AND protects the commercial property owners ability to feasibly accommodate the request.

In fact, our BOMA members already do this. The commercial real estate industry is a tenant driven business and the relationship between a building owner/manager and their tenants is paramount.

Commercial building owners understand that tenants should have the ability to ask for communications access and, like most agreements between a building owner and a tenant, they are considered unless the building owner’s property cannot safely and efficiently accommodate the request. In other words, one of the major considerations by the building owner is if the request is feasible based on the real-world constraints of the built environment.

Please send your comments to and

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

YOUR IMMEDIATE FEEDBACK IS REQUIRED: Bay Area Air Quality Management District Rule 2-5 - Diesel Generator Retrofit Requirement

We’ve been alerted to a draft amendment to BAAQMD rule 2-5 that may have an impact on the real estate industry.

The changes may affect the commercial/residential building industry as the rule, if implemented, would apply to all diesel generators and retrofitting costs to comply may run as high at $200,000 per unit. Please ask that your chief engineer – or appropriate staff member – to review these documents and let us know if they have any comments at and

Monday, November 7, 2016

You're Invited: San Francisco Department of the Environment's Electric Vehicle Workplace Charging Workshop

Did you know that the Bay Area has the most electric vehicle sales of any region in the country?

One of the key ways to support the growth of plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) is by providing EV charging. If you are a building owner, employer or employee interested in developing a residential/workplace charging program at your facility, please join us for a free workshop organized by the City of San Francisco's Department of the Environment on November 9th.

Who: EV Charging in Your Building
When: Wednesday, November 9th, 9am·llpm
Where: SF Department of the Environment, Muir Room
1455 Market St. 12th Floor
San Francisco, CA 94103

Google Map >

Register & Learn More

Advanced registration is required as space is limited. Please contact Zac Thompson ( or RSVP online. Please bring a photo ID to get into the building.

Who should attend?

Property Owners, Building Managers, Sustainability Managers, Facilities Managers, Transportation Planners, and others who are interested in learning more about providing PEV charging stations for their organization's employees and tenants.

Why should I attend?

  • Get a general introduction to PEVs and charging infrastructure
  • Find out about resources, including financial incentives available to building owners, employers and employees
  • Learn how EV charging can serve as a valuable tenant/employee incentive, complement sustainability efforts, and signal leadership
  • Hear from PG&E about charging rates, and from an electrician with EV charger installation experience
  • Learn about best practices for residential/workplace charging

Who are the speakers?

  • Spencer Crim (ChargePoint): EV Charging 101
  • Adrian Rosalie (REJ Electric): EV Charger Installation
  • Cal Silcox (PG&E): Time of Use Rates for EV Charging
  • Jason Bradley (CalCAP): EV Charging Station Financing Program

Thursday, November 3, 2016

BOMA California Advocacy Update: 2016 Legislative Report

BOMA California members and staff work diligently every year to protect the industry from legislation that might adversely affect our members' properties.

Indeed, the team at BOMA California have produced their 2016 legislative report in an all new format. It's their hope that the communication is easier to navigate and that the plethora the measures that were worked on are immediately understood: Green means good; red means not so good.  Let us know if you have any thoughts on this by emailing and

Unlike in years past, they are not including all 1000 bills they monitored. Rather, they are summing up the session in a report that reflects those bills that were the higher priority for the business community in general and the commercial real estate industry specifically.


BOMA International Advocacy Update: Presidential Debate Puts Carried Interest in Spotlight

The second U.S. presidential debate brought the issue of carried interest back onto the national stage. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump was asked what tax provisions he would alter and he replied that he would “get rid of carried interest.” Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton reiterated that she, too, would eliminate the provision.

Carried interest is the often vilified—and more often misunderstood—tax provision that treats gains from a real estate investment general partner as capital gains rather than ordinary income, allowing them to be taxed at a lower rate. The real estate industry uses carried interest to spur development. Taxing carried interest at a higher rate would mean general partners would demand a higher flat fee from their investors, often institutional investors, and fewer deals would get done. BOMA International will continue to follow this issue closely and ensure that the concerns of the commercial real estate industry are heard in Congress.

For more information on carried interest, visit BOMA’s Industry Issues.

BOMA San Francisco Members Meet with California State Senator Mark Leno

BOMA San Francisco Government Affairs Committee members met with California State Senator Mark Leno (D- San Francisco) recently to thank him for his many years of public service. Here are the highlights of the meeting:
  • Our members communicated BOMA’s purpose and VALUE to the City and County of San Francisco and the State of California. We also spoke about the CREATE Workforce Initiative, the BOMA Foundation, and our partnership with San Francisco State University.
  • Three measures sponsored by Senator Leno were also discussed:
    • SB-1460 Community colleges: funding: San Francisco Community College District (HELD in Senate Appropriations Committee)
      • Summary: This bill provides that the San Francisco Community College District (SFCCD) is entitled, for three years beginning in the 2017-18 fiscal year, to restoration of any reduction in apportionment revenue due to decreases in full-time equivalent students (FTES) up to the level of FTES funded in the 2012-13 fiscal year.
    • SB-1413 School districts: employee housing. (SIGNED BY THE GOVERNOR BROWN)
      • This bill establishes the Teacher Housing Act of 2016 and provides that a school district may establish and implement programs that address the housing needs of teachers and school district employees who face challenges in securing affordable housing.
    • SB-1288 Elections: local voting methods. (VETOED BY GOVERNOR BROWN)
      • Would have allowed a number of California cities, counties and school districts to switch to the system that asks voters to rank their top candidate preferences like San Francisco.
It was a pleasure to work with Senator Leno in San Francisco and Sacramento and we wish him well with his future endeavors! 

Bay Area Air Quality Management District: Workshop on New Draft Rule to Reduce Health Risks

The Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD) invites BOMA members to participate in a workshop to learn about their latest effort to reduce potential health risks from toxic air emissions at existing Bay Area facilities.

At the workshop, you can view displays, hear about the proposed rule, speak with Air District staff, ask questions, and offer comments on proposed Rule 11-18. The draft rule proposes to ensure that emissions of Toxic Air Contaminants (TACs) from existing facilities do not pose an unacceptable health risk to people living and working nearby. Air District Staff estimates that hundreds of facilities throughout the Bay Area could be impacted by this new rule.

November 14, 2016 
5:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. 
Bay Area Metro Center, 
Ohlone Conference Room 
375 Beale Street
San Francisco

The Air District will continue to accept public comment until Friday, December 2, 2016. To submit public comment electronically, contact Victor Douglas at

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Benchmark. Compete. Gain Recognition! The BOMA Bay Area Innovative EARTH Award Contest - Deadline is December 16th

Click here to register your property for the Innovative EARTH Awards contest! - It's simple and quick! The deadline is December 16th.

BOMA San Francisco and BOMA Oakland East Bay will recognize winners of the Innovative EARTH Award along with TOBY recipients at the BOMA Awards Gala on February 9, 2017.

The Innovative EARTH Award is presented to Bay Area building management and engineer teams that have implemented a sustainability-related initiative in 2016 that best captures the spirit of creativity and cutting-edge products. Any and all innovations are welcome to apply, from high-cost capital projects using the most advanced technology to no-cost tenant engagement campaigns.

Any and all questions regarding the Innovative EARTH Award contest can be directed to Zachary Brown with CBRE at

UPDATE: San Francisco 2016 Gross Receipts Tax and Payroll Expense Tax - Important Information for BOMA Members

UPDATE - September 29, 2016

The San Francisco Controller recently announced the 2016 Payroll Expense Tax rate of 0.829% (0.00829) as provided in Business and Tax Regulations Code section 903.1. The Gross Receipts Tax Rate Adjustment Factor is 50% per Code Section 959. They have updated our website with the information here:

Original Post -  January 20, 2016

Please take a moment to review this important message regarding San Francisco's Gross Receipts Tax and Payroll Expense Tax.

2015 Return is Live - Due by February 29, 2016

The 2015 Gross Receipts Tax and Payroll Expense Tax Year Online Return is now live at

To enter the Online Return you will need:
  • Seven digit Business Account Number
  • Last four digits of your business tax identification number (Federal EIN or SSN
  • Eight digit alphanumeric Online PIN (same as prior year)
Please note the following:
  • Payroll Expense Tax and Gross Receipts Tax returns are due by February 29, 2016. 
  • Online forms must therefore be transmitted before midnight on February 29, 2016. 
  • Payments must be received or postmarked on or before February 29, 2016. 
  • Penalties, interest, and fees will be imposed after February 29, 2016. 
  • Your total tax obligation will be summarized and displayed at the end of the filing.
  • You may review and update your business information through Account Update prior to starting this filing.
The San Francisco Office of the Treasurer and Tax Collector will send out filing notices the week of January 11 that will include the Business Account Number, Online PIN, and other information to assist BOMA members and other taxpayers with filing their Return.

In response to taxpayer feedback, the Office of the Treasurer has added additional help features, including instructions embedded on each page, as well as links to technical advisories. We have also simplified the process to access the residential landlord filing and the Online EZ filing for small businesses. They believe these changes will provide a more streamlined filing experience for taxpayers.

Free Seminar - Gross Receipts Tax Seminar

Thursday, February 11
3 PM- 4:30 PM
SF Public Library
100 Larkin St,
San Francisco, CA
Koret Auditorium

The seminar will focus on the online form, minor changes that have been made to the form, and the ease of use and access.

San Francisco Business Tax Reform Annual Report 2015

Key Information 
  • Two of the largest sectors in the city, Professional and Financial Services, along with Real Estate, paid nearly 50% of all gross receipts taxes in 2014. 
  • Accordingly, since the gross receipts tax and business registration fee collections were smaller than expected, the payroll expense tax rate for 2015 will be larger than the baseline: 1.162% as opposed to 1.125%: a difference of 4%.
    • Given that small variance, and the uncertainty regarding the gross receipts tax based on only one year of data, in our opinion it is too soon to project if the payroll expense tax will be fully phased-out by 2018
  • Audits and other compliance efforts in the coming years will provide more insight into revenue trends seen with the initial filing data.
Please click here to review the report.
  • In November, 2012, San Francisco voters approved Proposition E, which imposed a new gross receipts tax on businesses, began the process of replacing the City's payroll expense tax, and raised and restructured the City's business registration fee. 
  • The gross receipts tax is designed to phase in, with gradually rising rates, over a 5 year period ending in 2018. Based on the amount of gross receipts tax collections each year, the payroll expense tax rate in the subsequent year is reduced, through a formula, to ensure the two taxes together are revenue-neutral to the City. 
  • In August, 2015, based on the results of the 2014 filing, the Controller's Office calculated the payroll expense tax rate for 2015 to be 1.162%, down from 1.350% in 2014. 
  • Proposition E also requires the City Controller, Chief Economist, and Treasurer to annually report on the fiscal and economic impacts of the new tax system, how these compare to expectations, and any implementation challenges and recommendations. 
  • This report for 2015 is the first of these annual joint reports.

Drive By Lawsuits - Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

UPDATE - September 29, 2016

Thanks to BOMA California members, laws passed in California have made it more difficult and less profitable for attorneys to file drive by ADA related lawsuits in the state courts of California. In response, these same attorneys are now filing lawsuits claiming ADA protection under federal law. Its time take the fight to Congress to get sensible laws passed nationwide to curb drive by lawsuits.

In a Congress known for its inaction, there seems to be a real appetite in both chambers to pass federal legislation to curb drive by  lawsuits. The ADA Education and Reform Act, which calls for a notice and cure period prior to the commencement of a lawsuit, passed through the House Judiciary Committee earlier this year and is now being considered by the full chamber. The momentum in the House prompted discussions with members of the Senate to introduce their own companion legislation.

As such, BOMA International is putting out the call to members to send in their stories of their California properties being threatened under the federal ADA. Everything will be kept anonymous.  Please reach out to Dylan Isenberg ( with any stories and contact or at BOMA San Francisco if you have any questions.
Original Post - July 21, 2016

California has 40 percent of the nation’s ADA lawsuits but only 12 percent of the country’s disabled population. So over the last few years BOMA California members have worked closely with legislators and the Governor to move forward reforms that curb lawsuit abuse while promoting increased compliance with disable accessibility codes.

The effort is the culmination of a multi-year, bipartisan effort, that included leadership from state level elected officials and federal support coming from Senator Dianne Feinstein.

The first, in 2012, was SB 1186. The law:
  • Reduced statutory damages and litigation protections for defendants who correct violations.
  • New provisions to prevent stacking of multiple claims to increase statutory damages.
  • Banned demands for money and created new rules for demand letters.
  • New pleading with specificity requirement for demand letters and complaints.
  • State Bar review of demand letters; violation of demand letter and demand for money provisions would begrounds for attorney discipline.
  • Mandatory evaluation conference at option of either defendant of plaintiff.
  • Mandatory notice to property tenant of CASp status of the property.
  • California Commission on Disability Access (CCDA) to receive copies of complaints and demand lettersand tabulate data on top ten types of violations alleged.
  • CCDA to promote and facilitate accessibility compliance.
  • Required information regarding disability access compliance upon renewal of business license.
  • New add-on fee of $1 to business license fee to strengthen CASp program and develop educational and training resources at state and local level to promote compliance.
Among other things, this measure: prohibits pre-litigation demands for money by attorneys; puts into place new provisions to prevent “stacking” of multiple claims to increase statutory damages; reduces statutory damages and provides litigation protections for defendants who correct violations; and establishes priorities for the California Commission on Disabled Accessibility that promote and facilitate disability access compliance.

The second, signed into law in 2016, was SB 269 (Roth) which:
  • Establishes a presumption that certain technical violations are presumed to not be a cause for action.
  • Applies to small businesses (25 or fewer employees).
  • Business has 15 days to correct the violation.
  • Technical violations include non-access issues such as wording and placement of signs, lack of signs, order of signs, color of signs and parking stripes, paint issues (faded, chipped, etc) on otherwise compliant parking spaces, certain warning surface issues.
  • The law States that the above presumption affects the plaintiff’s burden of proof and is rebuttable by a preponderance of the evidence showing that the plaintiff did, in fact, experience difficulty, discomfort, or embarrassment on the particular occasion as a result of one or more of the technical violations.
  • Protects certain businesses from liability for minimum statutory damages in a construction-related accessibility claim made during the 120 day period after the business obtains an inspection of its premises by a CASp, under specified conditions.
Among other things, this bill finally gives businesses a chance to address and fix certain violations – and actually into compliance - before heading in court. 

Together these two laws are a step toward helping more properties become compliant with ADA laws and actually increase accessibility, while minimizing unnecessary lawsuits.

BOMA San Francisco Welcomes San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee

BOMA San Francisco's Monthly Member Luncheon was held recently and our speaker was the honorable San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee. Mayor Lee spoke about a number of important issues; here are the highlights:
  • November 2016 Election
  • Investing in San Francisco
    • The Mayor wants to support the traditional San Francisco values that we all hold dear while keeping the city competitive in global marketplace.
    • He wants to create a resilient city that can weather any economic changes.
      • The key is a diverse economic base - hospitality and tourism is our number 1 industry; technology is number 3.
    • Building a local manufacturing base is also important.
    • Homelessness
      • An issue although San Francisco, with its many programs and services to help those in need, are better off than other West Coast cities.
      • By the end of 2016, San Francisco will end veteran homelessness.
      • The key to helping homeless folks is to get them into long-term housing and connecting them to the communities where they originated from.

We thank Mayor Ed Lee for taking time out of his demanding schedule to speak to BOMA San Francisco members.

Monday, October 31, 2016

San Francisco Department Fee Reviews & Schedule

BOMA San Francisco Members:

Please click here to review all of the fees charged by departments in the City and County of San Francisco.

This report contains fee information for Fiscal Years 2016-17 and 2017-18 as mandated by various San Francisco Municipal Code sections.

The CPI adjustment factor for most fee increases effective July 1, 2016 is 3.18% and 2.50% for fee increases effective July 1, 2017. The July 1, 2016 rate is based upon Bureau of Labor Statistics data for CPI-All Urban Consumers for the San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose, CA area and the July 1, 2017 rate is based on CPI as projected by the Controller using California Department of Finance and Moody's forecasts. CPI adjustments will be updated during the FY 2017-18 and FY 2018-19 budget deliberations.

When possible, based on information received from departments, the Controller has certified that fees do not produce revenue which is significantly more than the costs of providing the services for which each fee is assessed.  

BOMA California's Ballot Positions for the November 2016 Election

BOMA California members have taken the following positions on the statewide ballot propositions (Note: Of the 17 measures, BOMA took positions on five propositions):

PROP 51 – YES/SUPPORT - $9 Billion In Bonds For Education And Schools

The board adopted a “support” position for the state to issue $9 billion in bonds to fund improvement and construction of school facilities for K-12 schools and community colleges.

SUMMARY: Authorizes $9 billion in general obligation bonds for new construction and modernization of K–12 public school facilities; charter schools and vocational education facilities; and California Community Colleges facilities. Fiscal Impact: State costs of about $17.6 billion to pay off both the principal ($9 billion) and interest ($8.6 billion) on the bonds. Payments of about $500 million per year for 35 years.

PROP 52 – YES/SUPPORT - Medi‐Cal Hospital Fee Program

The board adopted a “support” position to support the hospitals draw down additional federal monies to draw matching federal funds, which will take pressure off other areas of the state budget.

SUMMARY: Extends indefinitely an existing statute that imposes fees on hospitals to fund Medi-Cal health care services, care for uninsured patients, and children’s health coverage. Fiscal Impact: Uncertain fiscal effect, ranging from relatively little impact to annual state General Fund savings of around $1 billion and increased funding for public hospitals in the low hundreds of millions of dollars annually.

PROP 53 – NO/OPPOSE – Statewide Vote Requirement for Certain Revenue Bonds

The board “opposes” this measure which will require voter approval before the issuance of public infrastructure bonds (“revenue bonds) over $2 billion.

SUMMARY: Requires statewide voter approval before any revenue bonds can be issued or sold by the state for certain projects if the bond amount exceeds $2 billion. Fiscal Impact: State and local fiscal effects are unknown and would depend on which projects are affected by the measure and what actions government agencies and voters take in response to the measure's voting requirement.

– Legislative Sunshine; Stop Last Minute Gut-and-Amends

The board “supports” this measure which will prohibit the Legislature from passing any bill until it has been in print for 72 hours prior to a vote.

SUMMARY: Prohibits Legislature from passing any bill unless published on Internet for 72 hours before vote. Requires Legislature to record its proceedings and post on Internet. Authorizes use of recordings. Fiscal Impact: One-time costs of $1 million to $2 million and ongoing costs of about $1 million annually to record legislative meetings and make videos of those meetings available on the Internet.

PROP 57 – NO/OPPOSE - Felons convicted of non-violent crimes and juvenile trials

The board “opposes” this measure over concerns it may exacerbate the homeless problem in urban areas by releasing inmates earlier than sentenced.

SUMMARY: Allows parole consideration for nonviolent felons. Authorizes sentence credits for rehabilitation, good behavior, and education. Provides juvenile court judge decides whether juvenile will be prosecuted as adult. Fiscal Impact: Net state savings likely in the tens of millions of dollars annually, depending on implementation. Net county costs of likely a few million dollars annually.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

VOTE! BOMA SF-PAC Voter Guide for the November 8, 2016 Election

BOMA San Francisco's Political Action Committee's Voter Guide
November 8, 2016 Election

Did you know that BOMA San Francisco has a Political Action Committee that campaigns for candidates and issues that promote the economic vitality of the industry and the City and County of San Francisco?

The BOMA SF-PAC is looking forward to the November 8, 2016 election and our members have already endorsed candidates for elected office and taken positions on the following propositions in San Francisco (click here to learn more about the various measures). If you are a registered voter in San Francisco, please reference this guide when you vote!

If you have any questions, please contact Ken Cleaveland at and John Bozeman at

NO POSITION --- Proposition A - School Bonds                                              
OPPOSE --- Proposition B - City College Parcel Tax                      
SUPPORT --- Proposition C - Loans to Finance Acquisition and Rehabilitation of Affordable Housing                                        
OPPOSE --- Proposition D - Vacancy Appointments    
SUPPORT --- Proposition E - Responsibility for Maintaining Street Trees and Surrounding Sidewalk
NO POSITION --- Proposition F - Youth Voting in Local Elections
NO POSITION --- Proposition G  - Police Oversight
OPPOSE --- Proposition H - Public Advocate
NO POSITION --- Proposition I - Funding for Seniors and Adults with Disabilities
SUPPORT --- Proposition J - Funding for Homelessness and Transportation 
SUPPORT --- Proposition K - General Sales Tax 
OPPOSE --- Proposition L - MTA Appointments and Budget  
OPPOSE --- Proposition M - Housing and Development Commission
NO POSITION --- Proposition N - Non-Citizen Voting in School Board Elections
SUPPORT --- Proposition O - Office Development in Candlestick Point and Hunters Point
SUPPORT --- Proposition P - Competitive Bidding for Affordable Housing Projects on City-Owned Property
SUPPORT --- Proposition Q - Prohibiting Tents on Public Sidewalks
SUPPORT --- Proposition R - Neighborhood Crime Unit
NO POSITION --- Proposition S - Allocation of Hotel Tax Funds
OPPOSE --- Proposition T - Restricting Gifts and Campaign Contributions from Lobbyists 
SUPPORT --- Proposition U - Affordable Housing Requirements for Market-Rate Development Projects
NO POSITION --- Proposition V - Tax on Distributing Sugar-Sweetened Beverages
OPPOSE --- Proposition W - Real Estate Transfer Tax on Properties Over $5 Million
OPPOSE --- Proposition X - Preserving Space fo Neighborhood Arts, Small Businesses and Community Services in Certain Neighborhoods

Regional Proposition

SUPPORT --- Proposition RR - BART Safety, Reliability and Traffic Relief


Tuesday, October 4, 2016

FEEDBACK REQUESTED: Transit Center District Plan Exterior Signage Interim Controls - May Become Permanent

Supervisor Jane Kim recently held a hearing about the Transit Center District Plan exterior signage interim controls last week and permanent control of exterior building signage may be a next step.

BOMA San Francisco members should review the controls and please send your comments to and if you feel there are any impacts that the City and County of San Francisco should consider. 

The controls essentially do the following:

  • Require that signs be dimmable and turned off from 11:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m
  • Restricts signs within 200’ of a park or future park to 50 sq ft or less and below 35’
  • Restricts signs within the City Park (roof of Transbay) on design, size and height.


The Planning Department has to do a study every 6 months of the interim controls:

Planning Study. Upon the imposition of interim zoning controls by either the Board of Supervisors or the Planning Commission, the Planning Department shall conduct a study of the contemplated zoning proposal and shall propose permanent legislation. As to any controls which are placed in effect for more than six months, the staff of the Planning Department shall report to the entity imposing the controls six months from the date of the imposition of the controls and at least every six months thereafter. The report shall inform that body of (1) the status of the planning study, (2) the findings and recommendations to date, and (3) the estimated time of completion of such study and proposed permanent legislation. These reports shall be considered in a public hearing duly noticed in accordance with the basic rules of the body that imposed the interim zoning controls.

The Planning Department is working on a draft of this study, and we wanted to check in with BOMA members to see if there had been any issues, complaints or concerns with the controls.