Grassroots Advocacy Network

Issue advocacy is an essential function of BOMA. At both the national and local levels, BOMA represents commercial real estate interests on proposed laws, regulations and codes that will impact building operations and the industry as a whole. Each year BOMA is able to influence legislation and code changes that provide substantial savings to buildings. No other association in the commercial real estate industry is as active and effective as BOMA in so many areas.

While BOMA is proud of the advocacy work we do each year, we can always improve. For BOMA to increase its voice and impact, especially at the local level, we need to do a better job of fully leveraging the Association’s membership. To this end, the Government Affairs Committee is asking you to join BOMA’s Grassroots Advocacy Network. This network is comprised of BOMA members who reach out to their elected representatives at key times to help influence legislation. This is an opportunity for all BOMA members and the only requirement to join is to live in the state of Minnesota. The time required to participate is minimal, but the impact is significant.

To participate in the network, download the registration form below. Please provide the requested information and return it to the BOMA office. BOMA will contact you if your representative will be involved in a critical vote that impacts legislation of interest to our members. We will ask you to call or email your representative. We’ll even let you know who this is, his or her contact information, and a standard message that you can use as is, or modify if you prefer. It’s quick and easy for you, but powerful if we can get most of our members to participate. 

Register Here


 BOMA Legislative Issues

Statewide Property Taxes

  • Minnesota’s statewide general property tax was enacted in 2002 with an initial general levy amount of $592M.  With a built-in annual inflator, this amount has increased to $856M in 2015, with 95% of it paid by commercial/industrial properties.
  • The average amount paid by C/I businesses is $3,744 which represents 30% of the total property tax bill.
  • In most buildings, the tax is passed on to the tenants, raising their operating costs, many of which are small businesses.
  • MN property taxes are very high relative to other states, ranking #2 in the nation for rural areas, and #6 in the metro.  These high rates reduce our state’s competitiveness in attracting and retaining businesses.
  • BOMA & MnCRE support eliminating the annual inflator and reducing the total levy in order to improve our overall business climate and drive economic growth.

MN State Plumbing Board

  • The Plumbing Board recently adopted the UPC using a process that wasn’t open and had a pre-determined outcome.
  • The general public is better served by adopting the IPC. 
  • Installation is less expensive with this code.
  • Most other MN building codes are correlated to the IPC.
  • Both codes produce the same safety/health outcomes.

Transportation Funding

  • An effective and safe statewide transportation system is critical to the business community.
  • Current funding is inadequate to maintain our current roads and bridges.
  • If our economy is to remain competitive, we need to make a long-term investment in transportation in both the Metro area and Greater MN.

Parking Fee Proposal

  • Minneapolis and St. Paul amended the 2015 transportation funding bill to allow both cities to impose a fee on parking stalls in the downtown areas.  This bill wasn’t passed out of committee in 2015, but is included in the current bill being considered.
  • Commercial real estate and the larger business community opposes this tax.  No specific use for the revenue has been identified by the two cities.
  • The tax will make parking more expensive, which will act as a disincentive for visitor/employee commuters.
  • It is unfair to single out the downtown parking facilities for a tax that may not provide a benefit to those paying the fee.

 ADA “Drive By” Lawsuits

  • Unscrupulous plaintiffs are bringing ADA lawsuits against buildings and businesses regarding exaggerated architectural issues.
  • Under current law, no warning is required.  Typically, the plaintiff’s attorney will attempt to settle after filing the claim.
  • Under proposed legislation, a demand letter sent to a business alleging ADA architectural violations must specify the barrier and provide the business time to fix the issue or submit a plan for fixing the issue. The letter cannot include a demand for a monetary settlement.
  • The burden of proof shifts to the plaintiff to show a violation if the suit is against an owner that has had an ADA audit by certified professionals to ensure the owner is in ADA compliance.