NAIOP Day at the Capital
NAIOP Day at the Capital was held on February 18th and 19th of 2013 in Tallahassee, Florida. Every NAIOP Chapter in the state participated in the two day event. We got off to a great start by meeting with Senate speaker Don Gaetz as soon as we arrived in Tallahassee. Speaker Gaetz addressed issues important to NAIOP (Internet Sales Tax, Manufacturing Machinery Credits and Phase out of Sales Tax on Commercial Leases). Speaker Gaetz understands our position on these items and he feels these proposed laws will have a positive impact by helping to create jobs and continue to improve Florida’s recovery.
The Board of Directors meeting commenced immediately after the meeting with Speaker Gaetz. Besides addressing normal business items, we discussed the possibility of changing NAIOP’s Political Consultant. The Board received six proposals from consultants across the state and is currently evaluating them to create a short list for final interviews.
In addition, we had Senator Jack Latvala and Representative Lake Ray address our group. Senator Latvala is the head of the Elections and Ethics Committee and discussed ways to improve the election process. Representative Ray discussed his continued push for the improvement of Florida’s Ports.
On Tuesday morning, February 19th, all NAIOP members in attendance met for breakfast and went to appointments with each member’s local delegation. I was honored to represent NAIOP of Northeast Florida and was fortunate to meet with eight of our twelve delegation members in person. All of our delegation members are on the same page with our issues and I heard over and over “create jobs and improve the economy”. I met with the legislative aides of the other four delegation members and left our literature for them to review when they returned to their office. I also attended meetings with House Speaker Will Weatherford and House Representative Seth McKeel. Speaker Weatherford shared his views on our issues and is positive for the upcoming two month session. Representative McKeel is Chair of the Appropriations Committee and he is confident his committee has the appropriate funding to balance the budget, which is required by law.
NAIOP of Florida, with the participation of all state chapters, has made significant progress in being recognized as a lobbying force in Tallahassee. Politicians are seeking our positions on issues and never before have I met with so many Senators and Representatives who know and respect NAIOP. Through hard work and diligence, NAIOP of Florida has become relevant statewide in the political arena. The challenge for NAIOP of Florida will be to keep this momentum going through this legislative session and beyond. We will rise to the challenge.