Friday, February 26, 2016

BOMA California Advocacy Update: Change of Ownership Measure, Brownfield Program & Building Efficiency Standards Seminar

Change of Ownership Measure Held

A measure that the California real estate industry supported just a week ago was quietly killed in another committee. Ostensibly the bill was held over administrative cost concerns.

Last week, Senate Bill 259 passed the California State Senate Governance and Finance Committee on a bipartisan 6-0 vote. The measure would have corrected an outdated interpretation of change of ownership that some claim has been used by some companies to skirt reassessments. Business and taxpayer groups, including commercial real estate groups, were joined by the California League of Cities in supporting the measure.

SB 259 would have altered the definition of change of ownership in the California Revenue and Tax Code for determining the property tax base value of commercial property. Current law allows for a property to be reassessed if a majority of the ownership interest changes hands in a single transaction. SB 259 would require any property to be reassessed if 90 percent of the ownership interest changes hands within any three-year period.

Although the bill is the same language that was agreed upon several years ago with then Assemblymember Tom Ammiano (D-San Francisco), who sought to address this issue, long time split roll proponent Lenny Goldberg opposed the bill in committee and rallied several community groups to do the same to pressure the committee to hold the bill on Suspense.

Rex Hime, President & CEO of the California Business Properties Association stated, “I am disappointed that this agreement once again has stalled in the Legislature after so much time and effort went into crafting compromise language that fixes the issues. Our industry has sought for years to correct abuses in the system and this measure would have shut down the main issue that we have heard so much about.”

Proposal Seeks an Extension of the Brownfield Program

Senate Bill 820 seeks to make permanent the California Land Reuse and Revitalization Act (CLRRA), which encourages clean-up of hazardous waste and revitalization of blighted properties in California. This bill is a legislative priority by the California Association of Local Economic Development (CALED) and is also supported by California Business Properties Association (CPBA), of which BOMA California is a partner.

The bill's author states that Brownfields remain a significant problem nationwide. These properties represent formerly used industrial sites with hazardous contamination, which deters redevelopment. Clean-up costs can be expensive, and buyers of brownfield sites may be liable for previous contamination at the sites, even if they had no role in contaminating them.

As a result, many sites remain vacant and developers are hesitant to take on such risk. In California, the Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) states that there are “an estimated 90,000 properties throughout the State - including former industrial properties, school sites, military bases, small businesses and landfills;” many of these sites also contribute to urban blight.

2016 Building Efficiency Standards Seminar

California’s building efficiency standards have been updated, with changes that will become mandatory in January 2017. This seminar will cover what’s new in Title 24 for both residential and non-residential buildings, from high performance walls and attics to lighting and lighting controls.

The session will also review challenges that have resulted in implementing the 2103 standards, strategies for addressing them, and solutions to these challenges that may be included in the recent revisions.

With each cycle, California's Energy Code is moving closer toward the goal of ZNE for all new construction. It's vital for you to stay up to date with its evolution.

Click here for more information and to register.

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