Stephen Pohl, of NAI Black, recently returned from Washington D.C. where he recently met with Members of Congress on behalf of the shopping center/retail industry sponsored by the International Conference of Shopping Centers (ICSC).
Every year the Washington D.C. office of the ICSC coordinates the Strategic Leadership Summit, a Federal “Fly-in” to address legislative matters that are important to the industry starting with an intense two day briefing on the issues and pending Senate/House bills, culminating in Capitol Hill appointments on day three. This year ICSC was focused on 1) Tax Reform especially as it may include a Border Adjustment Tax (BAT) as well as concerns over transition rules, which was the most damaging aspect of the 1986 Tax Act., depreciation rules, preservation of like-kind exchanges, pass-through treatment, carried interest, preservation of interest deduction; 2) ADA Drive-by lawsuits, requesting a notice to cure be added into the code, and 3) E-Fairness, addressing Internet fairness in support of H.R. 2193 Remote Transaction Parity Act and Senate Bill 976, Marketplace Fairness Act, to level the playing field for bricks-and-mortar retailers. All were discussed with Federal Washington Senators and Representatives.
Approximately 125 ICSC members attend each year. James Hill, Bellevue Square Managers; Alesha Shemwell, Rouse Properties; Sandip Soli, Real Property Law Group; and Chester Baldwin, Public Affairs Consulting; all from the Seattle area, completed the State of Washington team. Stephen was the sole voice of Eastern Washington.
Stephen paid a special visit to ninth term Representative John Culberson, 7th Congressional District in Houston, TX, a long-time friend. Rep. Culberson sits on the Appropriations committee. As a personal friend, he insisted a photo be taken of Stephen seated in his executive desk chair once owned by President Lyndon Johnson and used in the Oval office during his term.
Stephen enjoys the political arena, and industry networking. He has held four separate volunteer offices with the ICSC, both State and Divisional, involving government relations since 1986.This was his fifth Congressional “Fly-in.”
“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” – Edmund Burke