BOMA International's Advocacy Update

 


FEDERAL

BOMA-Backed Energy Efficiency Incentive Gains Traction with Senate Leaders

Though currently expired, the Energy Efficient Commercial Building Tax Deduction(commonly referred to as 179D) is the only federal incentive for commercial building owners to increase the energy efficiency of buildings. Originally enacted in 2005, 179D allows for an up to $1.80 per square foot deduction for above code improvements in lighting, envelope and HVAC systems.

BOMA has long championed 179D as an important tool for property owners and managers to achieve advanced levels of energy efficiency, especially where the return on investment has longer-term paybacks. BOMA International President Henry Chamberlain testified last year before the House Ways and Means Committee on the importance of 179D and how the incentive has the potential to transform markets around the country.

Most recently, a bipartisan senate working group was convened to look at expired tax incentives (including 179D) to determine if they were still warranted in a post-tax reform environment. The working group unveiled their findings, specifically mentioning the support from BOMA, as they made a positive recommendation to reinstate 179D. With time running out on the congressional calendar, BOMA will continue to advocate for legislation that extends and enhances this important incentive.

 


STATE & LOCAL

BOMA Florida Victorious in Protecting Seat on Codes Commission

Facing a direct threat in this year’s state legislative session, BOMA Florida responded to secure a major win for the industry. A pair of sprawling bills were introduced aimed at deregulation of various industries, but tucked into both was language eliminating BOMA’s seat—along with several others—on the Florida Building Commission. The commission is the body responsible for the Florida Building Code, and state law prescribes a seat for “the building owners and managers industry,” even specifying that BOMA will recommend candidates. BOMA Florida pushed back with the message that whether or not the commission should be streamlined, removing one of the state’s largest industries—one that is heavily impacted by and deeply knowledgeable on code matters—was a misguided solution.

As the end of the legislative session neared, BOMA Florida President Mary Lantz testified before the state Senate Commerce and Tourism Committee on the importance of preserving this seat. Her message was reinforced the following day, which coincided with BOMA Florida’s Capital Advocacy Day, with members traveling to Tallahassee to meet with legislators. The bills’ sponsors relented, specifically assuring that the BOMA seat would remain safe, before ultimately withdrawing both bills. Congratulations to Mary and the entire Florida coalition for this significant victory in protecting the industry’s voice.


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