Wednesday, February 1, 2017

BOMA San Francisco Government Affairs Committee Members Meet with California Assemblymember David Chiu

BOMA San Francisco Government Affairs Policy Advisory Committee (GAPAC), met with California State Assemblymember David Chiu recently. Mr. Chiu represents San Francisco and BOMA has worked with the Assemblymember for many years on various issues affecting the commercial real estate industry in San Francisco.

It was a pleasure to welcome Assemblymember Chiu to speak with a select group of BOMA San Francisco advocacy and business leaders to get an early look at many issues including:
  • California politics in 2017 – what can BOMA San Francisco and BOMA California members (and the business community) expect?
    • The California State Legislature has a supermajority (two thirds) of members from the Democratic Party in both the State Senate and Assembly. 
      • This could mean that many proposals important to the party may become law although Governor Jerry Brown has the final review of all measures. He is known to be thoughtful about his decisions to enact a law with a pragmatic and future focused approach to public policy.
    • There will be a major focus on housing in the Legislature by Mr. Chiu and his colleagues. Stay tuned.
    • Transportation improvements are also a priority.
    • Homelessness and street behavior in the major cities are issues and should be addressed.
  • The California State Legislature’s possible public policy outcomes vis-à-vis a Trump Administration and how will that affect and San Francisco?
    • As BOMA members are already aware, predicting what President Trump will do that could have a fiscal and/or social impact to San Francisco and California is not easy.
      • Many important San Francisco and California issues that he has targeted such as  Obamacare, immigration, trade, and the environment have a significant impact to society and the bottom line of the State and The City and County of San Francisco 
  • Chiu’s thoughts on Proposition 13 and its future.
    • A number one priority for our members is the predictability that Proposition 13 provides for all property owners - both commercial and residential. BOMA California will monitor any potential changes that come, either through the initiative or legislative process, that may affect this important tax protection that California voters approved many years ago. 
      • Mr. Chiu did not have information about Proposition 13 at this time.
  • The Assemblymember's thoughts on the state’s budget prognosis – with a projected $2 billion dollar shortfall in 2017/2018 – given a predicted turn in the economy around 2019 (depending on who you ask, of course).
    • At the Federal level, if an action is impactful to California and San Francisco budgets - note that San Francisco receives 1 billion dollars from the State in direct and indirect methods - then it is possible that revenue measures may be necessary and every option might be on the table.

The bottom line is that there are many unknowns and it is difficult to answer these questions right now. Even so, BOMA San Francisco members felt that this meeting was very productive and will monitor proposals at every level of government to ensure that BOMA members interests are met. 

BOMA thanks Assemblymember Chiu for talking with us and for his dedication to San Francisco in the California State Legislature. Our members look forward to meeting with him again a few more times in 2017 and 2018.

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