Saturday, February 16, 2019

UPDATE: Congestion Pricing in San Francisco

UPDATE - February 16, 2019

The study of congestion pricing in San Francisco will again commence after an interlude.

The San Francisco County Transportation Authority (SFCTA), has been leading the effort to understand what possible scenarios exist in San Francisco for congestion pricing since 2010. The SFCTA Commissioners have recently appropriated $500,000.00 to study the possible new permutations that may lead to a charge for driving in and out of a specified zone in San Francisco.

Click here for more information.

Click here for a recent article on the new deliberation in the San Francisco Chronicle.

From 2010-2013, BOMA San Francisco members were in opposition to congestion pricing due to a number of factors that may not have been considered by the SFCTA including:
  • Efficacy 
    • Can a small city - relative to London where congestion pricing exists - enact such a traffic pricing scheme effectively?
    • Will it, in fact, alleviate the traffic issues that currently exist?
  • Feasibility
    • How would a plan be implemented with out impacting traffic flow and commerce?
      • What about commercial vehicles and residents who might travel in and out of the congestion pricing zone multiple times on a daily basis? 
The economy has grown and how people utilize various forms of transportation - ride sharing in particular - in San Francisco has changed dramatically since 2010. What may have been seen as a hindrance to commerce and effective traffic flow might need to be revisited with BOMA member involvement. BOMA San Francisco's Government Affairs Policy Advisory Committee (GAPAC) will lead the policy discussion for the commercial real estate industry and we welcome your comments.

Please email with questions or your feedback.

Original Post - September 30, 2013

BOMA San Francisco Members:

BOMA San Francisco Government Affairs Policy Advisory Committee (GAPAC) members met with Tilly Chang, Executive Director for Planning for the San Francisco County Transportation Authority recently for an update on the issue of congestion pricing.

Please click here to review Tilly's presentation to the GAPAC.

BOMA San Francisco opposes congestion pricing as it will damage the San Francisco economy.  Indeed, a recent article published in the San Francisco Examiner authored by BOMA San Francisco Executive Vice President Marc Intermaggio and BOMA San Francisco President Steven Ring detail the association's position on the issue.

Nevertheless, our members are an intrepid lot, willing to work with the City and County of San Francisco on issues that pertain to the commercial real estate industry.  Tilly kindly listened to our concerns as the BOMA San Francisco Advocacy staff and members reiterated the need for BOMA members to be at the table for any future discussion of congestion pricing models in San Francisco, whatever their form.

Thank you to Tilly Chang and the San Francisco County Transportation Authority for their outreach and for working with BOMA San Francisco members.

Friday, February 1, 2019

IMPORTANT UPDATE: San Francisco's FINAL Tall Buildings Safety Strategy Report & Mayor London Breed's Directive To Strengthen The Resiliency Of Tall Buildings And Downtown Neighborhoods

UPDATE - January 31, 2019

BOMA San Francisco is ensuring that the industry is at the table and our collective perspective is heard regarding possible enactments of various recommendations contained within the Tall Buildings Safety Strategy/Study. Members of BOMA's Codes and Regulations Committee held a meeting with officials from the San Francisco Department of Building Inspection recently to provide feedback on the process and to relay their concerns regarding the implementation of the Study's 16 proposals.

Click here for the full and final Tall Buildings report.

Our members are looking forward to working with San Francisco officials in the near-term and years to come. What is important is that any proposal take into account BOMA members' perspectives including the appropriate timeline for implementation, feasibility considerations, impact on tenants/commerce and other possible unintended consequences that may arise from the regulatory and legislative processes.

Mayor London Breed Directive

Recently, Mayor London Breed issued an Executive Directive to strengthen the resiliency of tall buildings and downtown neighborhoods. The Directive was issued to strengthen high-rise buildings and create a comprehensive recovery plan in preparation for the next major earthquake.

The Directive instructs City departments to work with community stakeholders, i.e., BOMA, develop regulations to address geotechnical and engineering issues, clarify emergency response and safety inspection roles, and establish a Disaster Recovery Task Force for citywide recovery planning, including a comprehensive recovery plan for the Financial District and surrounding neighborhoods by the end of the year. It is estimated that San Francisco has a 72 percent chance of experiencing a 6.7 magnitude or greater earthquake before 2043.

Email with any questions and to get involved with this process.

UPDATE - October 17, 2018

The Tall Buildings Safety Strategy report has been released. We recommend that you review the document and all the recommendations. Any feedback – and if you’d like to be involved in future discussions – should be sent to

The team that produced the missive will present the suggested policy actions in-detail at the BOMA San Francisco Codes and Regulations Seminar on November 8th (click on the link to learn more and register).

From the report:
The recommendations of the Tall Buildings Safety Strategy, prepared by seismic engineering experts of the non-profit Applied Technology Council, stem from a study of the 156 tall buildings in San Francisco, primarily in the northeast neighborhoods. The recommendations are also applicable to a wider network of buildings that support similar functions or may share similar vulnerabilities. The recommendations are presented in this report with the specific issues they were developed to resolve and with a proposed timeline for implementation.

Each recommended action identifies one or more City departments to lead its implementation. However, implementation of any new policy is assumed to involve appropriate coordination with other City departments, outside experts (as needed), and other stakeholders. Some recommended actions require enactment of legislation by the Mayor and Board of Supervisors or action by the Building Inspection Commission and can only commence after these approvals.

BOMA San Francisco is well-positioned to work with policy makers to ensure that new and, most prominently, existing building code changes, protects life-safety but also ensures a rational approach to address issues unique to existing structures. It is paramount that any policy action is:
  • Rationally implementable and recognizes the constraints inherent with structures built at different time periods;
  • Involves affected stakeholders;
  • And, ensures appropriate timelines for execution.
BOMA San Francisco’s membership is looking forward to working with the City and County of San Francisco in the near-term to discuss the approach to the Strategy’s recommendations.


Original Post - June 15, 2018

A recent article in the New York Times, At Risk in a Big Quake: 39 of San Francisco’s Top High Rises, "includes a list of buildings that are potentially vulnerable to a large quake." The San Francisco Bay Area is in seismic zone and those who live and work in the area are likely aware of that fact.

In light of the potential for seismic activity, The City and County of San Francisco's Office of Resilience and Capital Planning is in the process of producing a report on the subject of seismic effects on tall buildings in San Francisco, as well as geotechnical considerations related to tall buildings.

BOMA San Francisco, through our Codes and Regulations Committee, participated in the first stakeholder meeting on March 6, 2018 that provided an overview of the Tall Building Study and learned more about the team's progress to date. The team leading the Study from Stanford University and the private sector, also provided an overview of their effort at the March Codes and Regulations Committee.

The Study is expected to be completed in October 2018.

The report will:
  • Clearly characterize the issues and available information;
  • Propose regulatory and procedural recommendations where appropriate to the subject studied;
  • Scope out future work items.
The work under this project will be performed under the six tasks, detailed below, and compiled in the report.
  • Task 1: Seismic Performance Characterization of Existing Tall Buildings 
    • This task is developing an inventory for purposes of establishing the broad scope and context of tall buildings in San Francisco.
  • Task 2: Tall Building Effects 
    • This task summarizes seismic risks with tall buildings with recommendations for new policy and further research. 
  • Task 3: Standards for Post- Earthquake Structural Evaluation
  • Task 4: Barriers to Reoccupancy of Tall Buildings
  • Task 5: Costs and Benefits of Higher Performance Goals for New Construction
  • Task 6: Geotechnical Engineering for Tall Buildings 
    • This task will review and compile best practices in geotechnical engineering that could apply in San Francisco.
Please contact with any questions you may have.

San Francisco Homelessness Gross Receipts Tax - Operative as of January 1, 2019

The Homelessness Gross Receipts Tax is operative as of January 1, 2019.

This tax generally applies if you have more than $50,000,000 in total combined taxable gross receipts, or if you are subject to the administrative office tax.

In addition to the existing Gross Receipts and Payroll Expense Taxes, this measure imposes an additional gross receipts tax of 0.175% to 0.69% on combined taxable gross receipts over $50 million. Businesses or combined groups that pay the administrative office tax will pay an additional tax of 1.5% on their payroll expense in San Francisco.

These additional taxes would not apply to:
  • Certain nonprofit organizations and businesses exempt from local taxation, such as banks and insurance companies;
  • Receipts that are exempt from the gross receipts tax; and
  • Receipts subject to the City’s Early Care and Education Commercial Rents Tax.
Persons projected to be subject to the Homelessness Gross Receipts Tax (based their 2018 gross receipts tax returns) will see an estimated payment amount for tax year 2019 on their quarterly bills. There will be no penalties for underpayment or late payment of the estimated taxes for the Homelessness Gross Receipts Tax during tax year 2019.

Additional Information:
Please contact the San Francisco Office of the Treasurer & Tax Collector for additional questions by submitting a service request.

Thursday, January 31, 2019

San Francisco Commercial Rent Tax Information - Operative as of January 1, 2019

The ‘Early Care and Education Commercial Rents Tax Ordinance’ (Commercial Rents Tax) is operative as of January 1, 2019.

This tax generally applies to businesses leasing commercial space in the City and generally does not apply to businesses exempt from Gross Receipts and Payroll Expense Taxes.

In addition to the existing Gross Receipts and Payroll Expense Taxes, this measure imposes a new gross receipts tax of:
  • 1% on the amounts a business receives from the lease or sublease of warehouse space in the City;
  • 3.5% on the amounts a business receives from the lease or sublease of other commercial spaces in the City.
Commercial space is any building or structure, or portion of a building or structure, that is not residential real estate, as defined in section 954.1 of Article 12-A-1. For the purposes of this tax, commercial space does not include any building or structure, or portion of a building or structure, that is used for:
  • Industrial Use, as defined in Section 102 of the Planning Code
  • Arts Activities, as defined in Section 102 of the Planning Code
  • Retail Sales or Service Activities or Retail Sales or Service Establishments that are not Formula Retail uses as defined in Sections 303.1(b) and 303.1(c) of the Planning Code
Businesses will file and pay the Commercial Rents Tax at the same time and in the same manner as the Gross Receipts and Payroll Expense Taxes. This includes making three quarterly estimated payments of the Commercial Rents Tax liability throughout the tax year.

The annual filing due 2/28/19 for Gross Receipts and Payroll Expense taxes will ask businesses to report their gross receipts from the lease of warehouse space and commercial space during tax year 2018. Estimated payments for tax year 2019 will be billed accordingly, subject to revision by taxpayers to reflect actual taxable gross receipts for that quarter. There will be no penalties for underpayment or late payment of the estimated taxes for the Commercial Rents Tax during tax year 2019.

Additional Information:
Please contact the San Francisco Office of the Treasurer & Tax Collector for additional questions by submitting a service request.

Saturday, January 19, 2019

San Francisco Annual Business Tax Return for 2018 - Filing Deadline on February 28, 2019

The San Francisco Annual Business Tax Return for 2018 formally known as the San Francisco Gross Receipts Tax and Payroll Expense Tax filing; is available.

The filing deadline is February 28th, 2019.

The Return includes the San Francisco Gross Receipts Tax, Payroll Expense Tax, and Administrative Office Tax. Beginning in tax year 2019, the Return will also include the Early Care and Education Commercial Rents Tax and Homelessness Gross Receipts Tax.

Businesses should receive their filing notice this week which includes their Business Account Number, and Online 8 digit PIN. The 2018 Return and instructions are available at:

New this year, all businesses that are required to file a Return must report their gross receipts from the lease or sublease of warehouse space and other commercial space in the City for tax year 2018.

Please review our “What’s New for 2018” information and video for additional updates to the 2018 Return.

For questions or assistance, please contact San Francisco Office of the Treasurer and Tax Collector customer service department by submitting a service request online:

Friday, January 18, 2019

Join the Port at SPUR for a Seawall Community Meeting - January 31st

BOMA San Francisco Members:

You're invited to Seawall Community Meeting on January 31st at SPUR.

Join the Port of San Francisco at the third in a series of Seawall Community Meetings to learn more about the Embarcadero Seawall, explore seismic and flooding scenarios, and weigh-in on the Program goals for short and long-term waterfront resilience. The meeting will include an interactive mapping exercise, allowing us to dive deeper into the Seawall program framework and understand the unavoidable trade offs ahead.

Refreshments served!

Event Details

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

UPDATE: San Francisco Accessible Business Entrance Program - Open House on December 3, 2018

UPDATE: November 27, 2018

Join the San Francisco Department of Building Inspection (SFDBI) and partnering City agencies for an open house on the Accessible Business Entrance Program (ABE).

Date:  Monday, December 3, 2018 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Location:  1660 Mission Street, Room 2001
Additional information link:

Sign-up for the ABE Open House here

During the open house, you will be able to:
  • Watch a brief presentation on how to complete the Pre-Screening, Waiver and Category Compliance Checklist forms.
  • Speak with Planning, Public Works, Small Business and DBI representatives.
  • Learn about the steps to take to file a Technical Infeasibility or Unreasonable Hardship.

About the ABE

The ABE program requires property owners of commercial storefront(s) to make their primary entrance(s) compliant and accessible to people with disabilities.

The ABE helps property owners better comply with existing state and federal disability access laws.


Original Post - July 25, 2018

The Accessible Business Entrance program helps property owners comply with state and federal accessibility laws and helps people with disabilities gain greater access to goods and services offered by businesses in San Francisco. Passed by the Board of Supervisors in 2016 (Ordinance No. 51-16), the ordinance requires that existing buildings with a place of public accommodation have all primary entrances accessible for people with disabilities.

Under state and federal law, a place of public accommodation is generally a business where the public will enter a building to obtain goods and services, such as banks, day care centers, hotels, offices, restaurants, retail stores, et cetera.

The following changes to the measure are now effective as of June 1, 2018. 
  • Extend all compliance deadlines by six-months resulting in the first deadline of January 1, 2019.
  • Eliminate the administrative fee of $97.
  • Require property owners to provide a 30-day notice to building tenants prior to filing the permit application.
  • Qualify buildings under Category 1, if any of the following descriptions apply:
    • building owners mandated to meet earthquake retrofit electing to comply with this ordinance’s requirements prior to this Program’s compliance deadlines.
    • building owners fi ling a permit application on or after the effective date of this ordinance to alter a building or a portion thereof was altered, or is proposed to be altered, with the owner electing to comply with this ordinance’s requirements prior to this Program’s compliance deadlines.
 For more information, please visit

Monday, November 5, 2018

BOMA International Advocacy Update: Upcoming Webinar on November 9th - Reviewing ENERGY STAR Changes - A Conversation with Commercial Real Estate

As you may know, the new 1-to-100 ENERGY STAR® building scores are live in Portfolio Manager® and BOMA International is working with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as it undertakes a review of the update and solicits feedback. 

This Friday, November 9, from 1-3pm Eastern, ENERGY STAR will hold a special webinar, Reviewing ENERGY STAR Changes: A Conversation with Commercial Real Estate, co-hosted by BOMA International and NAIOP, the Commercial Real Estate Development Association.

Register today to learn the latest details on the score changes and take advantage of this opportunity to ask questions and provide feedback directly to ENERGY STAR.

And special thanks to the many members who responded to the recent BOMA survey related to the new building scores. The survey results, combined with this webinar, will be instrumental in identifying any broad trends and determining whether the new scores, which are based on the latest market data from the Commercial Building Energy Consumption Survey (CBECS), are working as intended.

Further information on the score updates can be found on the ENERGY STAR website.

Friday, October 26, 2018

November Election Candidates' Profile - BOMA San Francisco's Dual Endorses for Supervisor in District 10 - Learn More About Shamann Walton and Theo Ellington + Volunteer and Donate!

The BOMA SF-PAC has endorsed two candidates for supervisor in District 10. Please take a moment to learn more about Shamann and Theo and, if you are so inclined, consider a donation to each campaign and/or volunteer. 

If you have any questions, please reach out to John Bozeman, BOMA San Francisco's Director of Government and Industry Affairs, at

About Shamann Walton

Shamann Walton is running for Supervisor to be a strong voice for the communities of southeast San Francisco and to make sure City Hall works for all of us. He knows that everyone deserves a quality education, a good paying job, a safe neighborhood, and affordable place to live. As Supervisor, he will fight to improve our schools, bring more jobs to the district, increase access to affordable housing, bridge relationships among all southeastern neighborhoods, and stop gun violence on our streets.

Shamann was born in San Francisco and lived in public housing at an early age in Bayview and Potrero Hill. He has worked in our District 10 neighborhoods for almost two decades. Shamann has witnessed firsthand the challenges our community faces from long-time residents being pushed out of the city to losing childhood friends to violence and incarceration. As an accomplished and experienced community leader, Shamann has dedicated his life to improving these realities in our community and is committed to identifying solutions to our most pressing issues. 
Shamann is committed to identifying solutions to our most pressing issues.

As the former Director of the Potrero Hill Family Resource Center, Walton focused on increasing resources such as emergency housing, food and other basic needs for families in public housing and improving education programs in public school by preparing them for kindergarten.

As the Executive Director of Young Community Developers (YCD), a non-profit in Bayview-Hunters Point, he is spearheading job training, career placement, and rental assistance services for residents as well as building hundreds of affordable housing units. Under his leadership, YCD has increased its annual budget by more than $8 million dollars and has employed hundreds of District 10 residents.

In his role as President of the San Francisco Board of Education, Shamann spearheaded the effort to close the achievement gap for Black, Latino, and students with special needs; fought to protect undocumented students; worked tirelessly to ensure we employ the highest qualified teachers and identified affordable housing strategies to make our city more affordable for educators. 

Shamann is a proud father to his two adult children, Monique and Malcolm, who are both graduates of Bay Area public schools. He lives in the Bayview with his wife, Mesha, and his two stepsons–one who is a graduate of SFUSD and one who is still in middle school.
Shamann is an accomplished community leader and champion for students and children of San Francisco. He has a proven track record of creating positive change in the communities he serves.

About Theo Ellington

As a true native of San Francisco, lifelong resident, and homeowner in Bayview,

Theo Ellington (艾霖敦) is truly committed to being a voice for the neighborhoods we deserve.

Growing up, Theo attended local neighborhood schools including: Dr. Charles R. Drew College Preparatory Academy and Gloria R. Davis Middle School in Bayview before graduating from School of the Arts High School. He graduated from Notre Dame de Namur with a bachelor's degree in Political Science and later obtained his Masters in Urban Affairs from the University of San Francisco.

He’s running for Supervisor to make sure every family—not just the wealthy—can afford to live in our city. His commitment to public service began at an early age as a mayoral-appointee to the San Francisco Youth Commission where he was a liaison between various city departments and young people throughout the city.

Later, Theo earned a mayoral appointment to serve as Commissioner for the San Francisco Office of Community Investment and Infrastructure, where he lead the creation of 1,042 homes, including 242 for formerly homeless families. Theo also served on the San Francisco Human Rights Commission, where he defended anti-discrimination policies and protected the city’s most vulnerable populations.

As the Director of Public Affairs for the Golden State Warriors, Theo worked to create over 3,000 good paying jobs and held developers accountable to the neighborhood. He spearheaded public policy initiatives around transportation, workforce development, and quality of life.

When Tetra Tech tried to fraudulently cover up the environmental disaster at the Hunters Point Shipyard, Theo stood for the community and fought back, filing a lawsuit to protect the neighbors and hold the responsible corporations accountable. He is the only candidate who has pledged not to accept campaign contributions from these corporations.

In a volunteer capacity, Theo serves as a board member for several local non-profits: Bayview Opera House, Economic Development on Third, and Chinatown Community Development Center, and was recently (in January 2017) elected to serve as Assembly Delegate to the CA Democratic Party. 

Today, Theo lives at home with his wife Seray and dog LeRoy.

Thursday, October 25, 2018

November Election Candidate's Profile - BOMA San Francisco Endorses Supervisor Rafael Mandelman in District 8 - Learn More About Rafael + Volunteer and Donate!

The BOMA SF-PAC has endorsed Rafael Mandelman for supervisor in District 8. Please take a moment to learn more about Rafael and, if you are so inclined, consider a donation to his campaign and/or volunteer.

If you have any questions, please reach out to John Bozeman, BOMA San Francisco's Director of Government and Industry Affairs, at

About Rafael Mandelman

Rafael Mandelman is running to represent District 8 on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. As an urban development attorney, Rafael has spent the last 17 years building affordable housing, revitalizing commercial districts and making more livable neighborhoods in the Bay Area. He is running to bring practical, real world experience to the Board, cut through the ideology and pessimism, and bring big solutions to the problems facing San Francisco.

Growing up in the City, Rafael attended Brandeis Hillel Day School and Lick-Wilmerding High School before going to Yale on scholarship. While at Yale he studied affordable housing and community development—returning in the summer to teach at-risk San Francisco middle school students.

After receiving a masters degree in public policy from Harvard and a law degree from UC Berkeley, Rafael returned home to San Francisco. As a District 8 resident for the past two decades, Rafael has been a strong advocate for D8 neighborhoods as President of the Noe Valley Democratic Club, Commissioner on the San Francisco Board of Appeals, Chair of the San Francisco LGBT Center, and President of the District 8 Democratic Club.

As an urban development attorney, Rafael has helped build thousands of affordable housing units all over the Bay Area. He sweats the details, doing what it takes to make affordable housing and livable communities a reality.

Rafael’s commitment to building housing and ending homelessness is personal. When he was eleven-years-old, Rafael’s mother’s mental illness started her spiraling down a path that led her into repeated hospitalizations and ultimately homelessness. Rafael became responsible for his own care—finding housing, getting himself on Medi-Cal and to his own doctors appointments, and getting himself through high school. As an adult he was able to secure a guardianship for his mother, and find her the long-term care she needed.

It was a path made possible by the dedication of educators in Rafael’s life, and making sure San Franciscans have access to education is why Rafael ran for City College Board of Trustees in 2012. Elected by a wide margin, Rafael became President of the Board. He was widely acknowledged for steering the 80-year institution through its recent accreditation crisis.

A strong advocate for students, Rafael was praised for his cool head and for not being afraid to make hard calls to save the institution. His leadership ensured that City College would weather the crisis and implement new innovative programs like Free City College.

Rafael now seeks to bring his experience to the Board of Supervisors, and be the dedicated, hard-working representative that District 8 deserves.