Roundtable Weekly - September 21, 2018

Real Estate and Business Organizations Oppose Legislation Challenging Supreme Court Decision on Internet Sales Tax

The Real Estate Roundtable and seven other national trade organizations wrote to congressional leaders this week opposing legislation that reverses or limits the Supreme Court's June 22 decision in South Dakota v. Wayfair, which allows States to collect tax owed on remote internet sales purchases. (Wayfair Comment Letter, Sept. 17)

The Real Estate Roundtable and seven other national trade organizations wrote to congressional leaders this week opposing legislation that reverses or limits the Supreme Court's June 22 decision in South Dakota v. Wayfair, which allows States to collect tax owed on remote internet sales purchases.

  • Despite the high court's Wayfair ruling, a bipartisan quartet of House members led by Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI) introduced legislation on Sept. 13 that would bar states from collecting taxes from out-of-state internet vendors until 2019.
  • Other bills would go even further in reversing the Wayfair decision.  They include the Stop Taxing Our Potential Act of 2018 (S. 3180), introduced by Sen. John Tester (D-MT) and the Protecting Small Business from Burdensome Compliance Costs Act (H.R. 6724). introduced by Rep. Bob Gibbs. The likelihood that legislation challenging Wayfair will get through the current Congress, especially with the mid-term elections fast approaching, is slim.  (Politico, Sept 17)
  • The business coalition letter to Senate and House leadership explains that over the better part of a decade, these industry groups "have undertaken significant efforts to establish economic parity between online and brick-and-mortar sellers that would better reflect the changing dynamics of today's omnichannel marketplace. For Congress to insert themselves post-ruling only creates additional uncertainty and further complicates the implementation process, while undermining the level playing field created by the Wayfair decision." 

The eight organizations conclude the letter by offering to work with Congress on any problems that may arise from state implementation of remote internet sales tax collection allowed by Wayfair.  (Roundtable Weekly, June 22)

 

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Capital and Credit - HVCRE

Banking Regulators Invite Comments on Proposed Rule for High Volatility Commercial Real Estate (HVCRE) Loans

Three federal banking agencies on Tuesday invited public comment on a proposal to modify capital rules for high volatility commercial real estate (HVCRE) exposures – as required by Sec. 214 of the bipartisan Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act (S. 2155).  (Roundtable Weekly, May 25)

Three federal banking agencies on Sept. 18, 2018 invited public comment on a proposal to modify capital rules for high volatility commercial real estate (HVCRE) exposures.

  • Following the enactment of S. 2155 on May 24, federal regulatory agencies were tasked with developing a rule to clarify the treatment of High Volatility Commercial Real Estate acquisition, development, or construction (HVCRE ADC) loans in accordance with the new statute. 
  • The law's changes to the HVCRE capital rules are aimed at clarifying and promoting sustainable acquisition, development and construction and lending by addressing key deficiencies in the agencies' prior regulations governing the criteria for HVCRE or HVADC loans. (Roundtable HVCRE Comment Letter, March 2) 
  • The proposal by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation also asks for comment on certain terms contained in the revised definition of high volatility commercial real estate.
  • The changes, when finalized, would apply to all banking organizations subject to the agencies' capital rules. Comments will be accepted for 60 days after publication in the Federal Register.  

Since 2015, The Roundtable's HVCRE Working Group and industry coalition partners have played a key role in advancing specific reforms to the HVCRE Rule and will develop a comment letter to the agencies in response to the current proposal.

 

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Homeland Security - Homeland Security Task Force (HSTF)

New Anti-Terrorism Guide for Commercial Building Security Professionals

An online anti-terrorism tool to help commercial office building security professionals perform facility assessments was released this week by The Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate.  (Facility Executive, Sept. 17).

Businesses filing for SAFETY Act protections can receive Designation and Certification for their Qualified Anti-Terrorism Technology, which can cap their liability.

  • The web-based tool – based on the Best Practices for Anti-Terrorism Security (BPATS) for commercial office buildings – streamlines the application process for building owners seeking to obtain Qualified Anti-Terrorism Technology (QATT) status. (Homeland Preparedness News, Sept. 19) 
  • The BPATS Assessment Tool for Commercial Facilities is a program for evaluating a building's security system. This assessment approach can be included in support of an application should a building owner chose to seek protections under the  Support Anti-Terrorism by Fostering Effective Technologies (SAFETY) Act
  • Businesses filing for SAFETY Act protections can receive Designation and Certification for their Qualified Anti-Terrorism Technology, which can cap their liability. The SAFETY Act was enacted in 2002 because of concerns that liability would hinder investment in the latest security technologies and programs following the attacks of September 11, 2001.  (DHS News Release, Sept. 17) 
  • "With the BPATS, our goal was to develop a comprehensive tool that security professionals could use to assess the anti-terrorism security of commercial office buildings," said Bruce Davidson, Director of DHS' Office of SAFETY Act Implementation (OSAI). "The output from their BPATS assessment should enable building leadership to take steps to enhance their building's security and provide the foundation for a well-structured follow-on SAFETY Act application." 
  • The preferred users of this tool are trained security professionals whose credentials will be reviewed by the National Institute of Building Sciences before gaining access to the tool. They would be trained in using the checklist to evaluate various components of building security by SAFETY Act standards, including access control, risk awareness, physical security, IT security, and more. The guide spans seven categories, 411 best practices, and approximately 60 associated common practices. 
  • The DHS' Science and Technology Directorate reached a significant milestone earlier this year approving its 1,000th application for SAFETY Act protection.  The Roundtable's Homeland Security Task Force has worked constructively with DHS on this issue over the years.  The Task Force will be meeting in two special sessions this fall. 

Publications:

Best Practices for Anti-Terrorism Security (BPATS) for Commercial Office Buildings  

Field Guide: Conducting BPATS Based Assessments of Commercial Facilities

 

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