BOMA Seattle King County partners with the other two locals from Spokane and South Puget Sound to address State issues on a regular basis.
Together, BOMA’s 450 member companies employ or support directly or indirectly over 68,000 jobs in Washington State. BOMA members own and manage over 215 million square feet of commercial real estate in Washington State. Our member companies provide goods and services to the commercial real estate industry. BOMA buildings provide workplaces for more than 400,000 employees in Washington.
Commercial Real Estate provides critical revenue for Washington State. According to the economic study “Where America Goes to Work: The Contribution of Office Building Operations to the Economy 2012” the office market contributes $2.86 billion to the state’s economy and supports $850 million in personal earnings. Commercial real estate (office and industrial buildings) also generates approximately $900 million1 in tax revenue (excluding local taxes) through property taxes, excise taxes and B & O taxes. Economic growth is linked to a strong, vital commercial real estate industry. (1 According to Washington State Department of Revenue)
Current Status of Commercial Real Estate Industry: Office building and commercial real estate values are finally beginning to show recovery. Regional vacancy rates ended the year at 8.96%, down from 10.1% at the beginning of the year. The commercial real estate industry typically lags behind other industries in recovery, due to financing and long term lease challenges.
BOMA’s Key State Wide Legislative and Policy Issues for 2016:
1. Ensure Continued Economic Recovery and Resiliency: As we move toward full economic recovery, let’s make sure we work together toward the goal of a viable sustained economy. Given the revenue that the real estate industry provides to the State, we want to partner with the Legislature to facilitate recovery.
Careful consideration must be given to all new proposals that might burden job creation or eliminate economic incentives or add an additional taxes or regulations that are costly and unnecessary and can hinder job growth.
2. Provide Funding to Meet the State’s Transportation Needs: A key element of continued economic growth is an efficient multi-modal system in place for moving people, goods and services. We support continued infrastructure investments that are cost effective. BOMA favors a balanced approach that invests in transit and congestion relief.
We urge the Legislature to take action this session to fund our transportation needs with broad based sources; and to include reforms and accountability measures. We can no longer defer our vital transportation needs, especially the deferred maintenance of our roads and bridges.
3. Adopt a Balanced Approach to Sustainability and Environment: Over the past twenty years BOMA and its members have accomplished a great deal in reducing energy use in buildings. Washington State ranks high among all states in many energy conservation measures and is one of the cleanest states in the nation.
We encourage the Legislature to work with us to learn about our industry’s existing role in carbon reduction and to determine viable practices moving forward that will not have a negative impact on our industry or create additional, costly layers of government implementation.