BOMA International Passes New Policy Positions on Energy Benchmarking and Tax Reform

The Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) International has passed two new policy positions and reaffirmed its position in opposition of mandated luminous egress path markings.

“BOMA’s new policy positions on Energy Benchmarking and Disclosure and Tax Reform demonstrate the importance of voluntary benchmarking and comprehensive yet business-minded tax reform in the current market,” commented BOMA International Chair Joe Markling, managing director of Strategic Accounts with CBRE.

Markling continued, “BOMA members have proven that a voluntary marketplace does promote responsible energy management. The creation of a national model building energy performance program will streamline benchmarking and access to performance data. These are important tools the industry needs to manage energy performance. On the tax side, reform that doesn’t penalize capital investment in business is crucial if we expect to pick up the pace of recovery. Without tax reform, we can expect sluggish job and business growth to continue to be the norm.”

New policy positions from BOMA are as follows:

Energy Benchmarking and Disclosure
BOMA International supports voluntary benchmarking and encourages its members to benchmark their buildings at least annually using EPA’s ENERGY STAR® Portfolio Manager platform or other similar programs. BOMA International opposes mandates for energy benchmarking, disclosure, and labeling.

BOMA International recognizes that many states and municipalities are implementing mandatory benchmarking and disclosure requirements. In recognition of such, BOMA supports the creation of a national model building energy performance program, based on the EPA ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager platform, to avoid a patchwork of differing regulations from location to location. BOMA supports the creation of a user-friendly model that is easy to use and easy to understand and promotes knowledge of building energy performance without hindering real estate transactions. As part of any such program, utilities must be required to provide whole building benchmarking data to building owners and facility managers, with disclosure limited to parties directly involved in a sale, lease or financing transaction.

BOMA also supports increased funding for the Energy Information Administration (EIA) to enhance its research and depth of data in the Commercial Buildings Energy Consumption Survey (CBECS) and for EPA ENERGY STAR. With increased federal funding, EPA ENERGY STAR may be able to provide more robust data to expand its 1 to 100 rating system to all commercial property types.

Tax Reform
BOMA International supports comprehensive tax reform policies that:

  1. Do not penalize capital investment in commercial real estate;
  2. Do not discriminate against real estate as an investment class;
  3. Do not retroactively tax imbedded investments;
  4. Revise depreciation schedules to more closely reflect market reality for building components;
  5. Treat leasehold improvements fairly as a permanent policy—allows depreciation over no longer than a 15 year period;
  6. Maintain a low tax rate on capital gains; and
  7. Provide long-term certainty and stability.