Victory on Capitol Hill
Thanks to enormous support from our BAEs and local leadership, BOMA just scored two major legislative victories. On February 15, H.R. 620, the “ADA Education and Reform Act” of 2017, passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 225-192 with bi-partisan support. And on February 9, with the signing of the Bipartisan Budget Act, 179D was retroactively extended for one year.
In late January, nearly 350 BOMA members flooded over 200 Capitol Hill offices to promote H.R. 620 during the combined 2018 Winter Business Meeting & National Issues Conference. Earlier this month, more than 200 BOMA members contacted Congress through BOMA’s Legislative Action Center to show their support for this bill.
H.R. 620 will help curb drive-by lawsuits by imposing a notice and cure period before allowing a civil lawsuit to commence in the event of an ADA access violation. The bill allows 60 days for the owner of the building where the violation occurs to give a written description outlining improvements that will remove the barrier to entry and an additional 60 days for the owner to remove the barrier or make substantial progress to removing the barrier.
Section 179D, the Energy Efficient Commercial Buildings Tax Deduction, has been retroactively extended through 2017. This important tool, which incentivizes energy efficient retrofits, had expired in 2016. Its one-year renewal will allow building owners who invested in their property’s envelope, HVAC and lighting in 2017 to take the full $1.80/sq ft deduction (or a partial deduction of $.60/sq ft for individual building systems). BOMA is working hard to get this tax provision extended into 2018.