Policy Issues

Roundtable Comments to President Biden on Negative Economic Impacts of Widespread Remote Work

December 12, 2022

The Roundtable wrote to President Joe Biden today to share industry concerns regarding the negative impacts that widespread remote work is having on cities, local tax bases and small businesses.

Download Roundtable Letter

Research by outside organizations, including the PewCharitable Trust, has demonstrated how the work-from-home trend threatens commercial real estate property values, local tax bases, and therefore the services it provides.

The Roundtable commented, " We therefore respectfully urge you to direct federal agencies to enhance their consideration of the impact of agency employee remote working on communities, surrounding small employers, transit systems, local tax bases and other important considerations, along with the direct effect on governmental service delivery and labor productivity. In addition, we ask for your support of legislation to facilitate the increased conversion of underutilized office and other commercial real estate to much-needed housing."

Remote work for many is likely here to stay, however the federal government can help facilitate a smooth, market-based transition to the new era by not aggressively promoting governmental remote work. 

The federal government maintains facilities in 2,200 communities. As a leader in markets large and small it influences overall leasing activities and property values across the country.  

Additionally, converting underutilized buildings to housing could, through creative federal assistance modeled on the rehabilitation tax credit, be a cost-effective means to increase the housing supply, create jobs, and boost the local tax base.

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