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.