April 12, 2018

Summary of CRE in the 2018 Maryland General Assembly Session 

Monday at midnight the Maryland General Assembly concluded a productive session where the looming accountability of standing for re-election spurred action on violent crime, school safety, softening of the calamitous tax increases resulting from federal tax reform and, at least temporarily, bolstering the faltering individual health insurance market. A broad-based funding source for Metro rail was agreed and after nearly 10 years of deferred maintenance, the state will take meaningful steps to reinstate payments to local governments for local transportation projects that were suspended during the great recession.

2018 saw a record 3,127 bills introduced. Nearly 30% of those bills crowded the agendas of the two committees responsible for land use, construction, real estate and environmental protection. The NAIOP State Legislative Committee, chaired by Tom Pilon of St. John Properties, again deployed the breadth and skill of NAIOP’s member companies to successfully manage a wide range of legislative challenges. The committee reviewed all the bills introduced during the 2018 Assembly session to determine their impacts on land development, construction and management of commercial real estate. The committee took positions on 160 bills, actively lobbied about 50 bills.

For commercial real estate, the headline issue of the 2018 General Assembly Session was an aggressive, but ultimately unsuccessful, attempt to rewrite the state Forest Conservation Act led by the Chesapeake Bay Foundation along with the Sierra Club and the Maryland League of Conservation Voters who made development and forest the top environmental issue of the pre-election session. A self-serving partnership between the state’s largest elevator inspection company and the elevator mechanics’ union sought and won a commitment for a three-year phase in of changes to Maryland’s elevator inspection process. NAIOP’s 2018 session also featured passage of two proactive bills, the first will exempt limited partnerships and business trusts from transfer and recordation taxes and the second authorizes the use of private process service in commercial lease cases. Bill summaries and links to additional information can be found below.

Regular membership dues do not fund NAIOP’s legislative and regulatory advocacy in Annapolis. Only voluntary member contributions to NAIOP’s Penny a Foot Fund provide a dedicated source of funding for full time lobbying staff, industry sponsored legal challenges, policy related academic research and make it possible for NAIOP to maintain its position as the leading advocate for Maryland’s commercial real estate industry.

Since the Penny a Foot Fund was established in 2009, NAIOP has participated in more than 600 bill hearings and work sessions in Annapolis winning support for industry positions on a wide range of legislation from environmental and land use regulations to construction codes, taxes, fees and property management issues. NAIOP works industry related issues year-round through representation on federal, state and local regulatory commissions and policy making committees.

For more information on how you can support NAIOP’s efforts to advocate for your industry in Annapolis, contact Tom Ballentine at 410-977-2053 or tom.ballentine@naiop-md.org.