Each year BOMA Florida advocates from all over the state travel to Tallahassee for BOMA Day. It has become a very successful signature event for BOMA Florida. This year was no exception. On February 21st, our advocates gathered in the Senate Chamber of the Old Capitol to discuss our priority issues. The top priority for 2017 is to urge the legislature to repeal a portion of the sales tax on commercial leases. To that end, we were honored to hear from Rep. Larry Ahern (R-Pinellas) the House bill sponsor of HB 223 - the legislation to cut back the tax. He described in detail the bill status and thanked BOMA for being a leader in fighting for the sales tax repeal. Later in the morning, we heard from Sen. Jeff Brandes (R-Pinellas). He has been supportive of BOMA issues over the years, and most recently a leader for solar expansion in Florida. BOMA Florida President Chris Rotolo surprised the Senator when she announced he was selected to be BOMA's Legislator of the Year for 2016-2017. The final speaker of the morning was Rep. Heather Fitzenhagen (R-Ft. Myers). She gave us an overview of the major issues of the 2017 Session. Rep. Fitzenhagen was a former BOMA Legislator of the Year and continues to be one of our strongest advocates.
After the very informative morning meeting, our BOMA team fanned out over the Capitol to meet with legislators and staff. A highlight was to visit with Governor Scott's Chief of Staff (the Governor was out of town). President Rotolo presented an award of appreciation for Gov. Scott to thank him for his efforts to begin the repeal of the sales tax on commercial leases. The Governor has made this issue one of his top priorities for 2017.
During the remainder of the day, position papers were distributed, and many legislators were informed about our priority issues. The day was yet another successful event for BOMA Florida, and continues to elevate BOMA's influence in our state capitol.