AAHOA Advocacy


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Each month of AAHOA Lodging Business features a section called the AAHOA Report, detailing important legislation the association supports and initiatives it undertakes for members. This is an example from the Jan. 2012 issue.

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AAHOA Advocacy

  1. 1. AAHOA ReportAAHOA Advocacy in ActionCongress Passes FDIC BankStudy BillC ongress passed H.R. 2056 in December shortly before the holiday break. This resolu-tion, which carried strong supportfrom AAHOA, would require theinspector general of the Federal De-posit Insurance Corporation (FDIC)to study the impact of failed banks. Specifically, the resolution callsfor the study to include the follow-ing details:• The(LSAs) upon both banksagree-ments impact of loss-sharing thatsurvive and the borrowers of those in-sured depository institutions that fail;• FDIC policies and procedures formonitoring LSAs, including thosedesigned to ensure that institutionsare not imprudently selling assets at ing, the real estate industry or the Comptroller General to study: (1) thea depressed value; Depositors Insurance Fund; and causes of bank failures in states with• FDIC policies and procedures forterminating LSAs and mitigating the • The significance of losses. 10 or more failures since 2008; (2) the pro-cyclical impact of fair-valuerisk of acquiring institutions having H.R. 2056 further specifies the accounting standards; (3) the causessubstantial assets remaining in their factors that determine the sig- and potential solutions for the “vi-portfolio when the LSAs are due to nificance of losses (such as whether cious cycle” of loan write downs,expire; appropriate appraisal procedures raising capital and failures; (4) the• Methods of ensuring the orderlyend of expiring LSAs to prevent ad- were used to determine losses arising from loans that had current impact of bank failures upon the community; and (5) the feasibilityverse impacts upon either borrow- payments), and it directs the U.S. and overall impact of LSAs.AAHOA Petitions Commission forOTA Legislation A AHOA sent a letter Dec. industry should be taxed 9 to the members of the in a similar manner. The Multistate Tax Commission suggestion by OTAs that offering support for any effort to they be exempt from create and expedite a model statute paying occupancy taxes for the tax treatment of online directly conflicts with travel agencies (OTAs). principles of fairness in “AAHOA is committed to the the marketplace by giv- policy that all competitors in this ing the OTAs an unwar-18 AAHOA Lodging Business JANUARY 2012
  2. 2. AAHOA Report AAHOA is committed to the policy Continued from previous page ranted competitive advantage,” that all competitors in this industry according to language in the letter. In recent years, AAHOA has diligently argued OTAs like Expe- dia, Travelocity and Orbitz should not pay their fair share of taxes, should be taxed in a similar manner rather than placing the burden on hoteliers. In 2011, the association from paying their fair share. on the issue in late November in lobbied successfully against legis- AAHOA hopes the MTC will time for lawmakers to consider it lation in Florida and several other draft legislation based on recom- when state legislatures reconvene states that would exempt OTAs mendations a subcommittee made in January AAHOA Leading 2012 Legislative ChargeW ith the assistance that would exempt online of law firm Patton travel agencies (OTAs) Boggs LLC in from paying their fair shareWashington, D.C., AAHOA of occupancy taxes, placingis leading the effort to ad- the burden on hoteliers.dress capital access issues While Florida could bethat persist for small busi- the largest state to renewness owners. In addition to consideration of suchworking directly with the legislation, other states willFederal Deposit Insurance have before them legisla-Corporation (FDIC), AA- tion that would ensureHOA is one of the strongest OTAs pay their fair share, aproponents for H.R. 3461, position AAHOA stronglybetter known as the “Finan- supports.cial Institutions Examina- In California, lawmak-tion Fairness and Reform Act of 2011,” already has 200 co- ers tabled S.B. 432, betterAct.” sponsors and the House is expected known as the “Fitted Sheets” law, This act would allow bank to pass it when Congress returns late in 2011 but AAHOA expectsexaminers to accurately gauge the in January. This act would require the bill to make a return in 2012.risk of loan default by recognizing congressional approval of major AAHOA opposes this bill becauseborrowers who are paying on time. regulations that place economic it would require the state Occupa-The measure would also prevent burdens on the private sector. tional Safety and Health Standardsany negative classification based But AAHOA also has legislation Board to adopt rules to mandatesolely on mutally agreed to loan on its radar at the state level that that all California hotels use fitted- bottom sheets and provide ergo-AAHOA will continue working at all nomic tools for housekeeping staff. These requirements would placelevels of government in 2012 in an an undue cost burden on hotels to provide them. In Massachusetts, state lawmak-effort to look after the best interest of ers will consider S.B. 1843, a bill that contains major portions of the Uni-hoteliers and small business owners versal Franchisee Bill of Rights rati- fied in June 2011 by AAHOA and the Coalition of Franchisee Associations,modifications. will impact members. which calls for fair faith and dealing H.R. 10, or “Regulations from As in previous years, many between franchisees and franchisors,the Executive in Need of Scrutiny states in 2012 will pursue legislation among many other things.JANUARY 2012 AAHOA Lodging Business 19
  3. 3. AAHOA Report AAHOA Convention to FeatureHoward Dean - Michael Steele DebateE conomic uncertainty and the development of 21st the role government should century campaign tools. play in addressing problems Michael Steele wasstemming from that uncertainty elected RNC chair-will definitely continue to be a hot man in 2009. Under histopic as the 2012 elections ap- leadership, the Republi-proach. Foreclosures and a lack can Party broke fund-of access to capital are still daily raising records and wonthreats to hoteliers, and the po- a majority in the Houselitical arena remains divided on following the 2010 elec-what must be done. In an effort tions. A self-describedto provide information from top “Lincoln Republican,”political insiders, AAHOA will Steele earned a place infeature a highly charged political history in 2003 when hedebate between former Democratic was elected lieutenant Howard DeanNational Committee Chair (DNC) With the political landscape constantlyHoward Dean and former Repub-lican National Committee Chair(RNC) Michael Steele. This rousingdebate will be hosted on Friday,May 4 during the 2012 AAHOA An- changing as we approach the 2012nual Convention & Trade Show atthe Georgia World Congress Center elections,this debate promises toin Atlanta. The debate will takeplace during that day’s General deliver a riveting discussion that no one will want to missSession and will be moderated byABC News Senior CongressionalCorrespondent Jonathan Karl. Before being elected DNCchairman in 2005, Howard Dean governor of Maryland, becoming out performance,” AAHOA Chair-served six terms as the governor of the state’s first African-American man Hemant Patel said. “Our mem-Vermont. Dean left office in Ver- elected to statewide office. bers are very excited to hear themmont to run for President in 2003 One of the news media’s bright- share their positions regarding thewhere he implemented innovative est talents, Jonathan Karl is an crucial issues as well as their opin-fundraising strategies. As Chair of ABC News senior foreign affairs ions on how to help hoteliers andthe DNC, Dean created and imple- correspondent covering the State small business owners during thesemented the “50 State Strategy” and Department. He joined ABC from trying economic times.” CNN, where he had “AAHOA is honored to show- covered Capitol Hill, case this anticipated debate during the White House and our 2012 Annual Convention & the Pentagon since Trade Show,” AAHOA President 1996. Before CNN, Karl Fred Schwartz said. “Year in and was a reporter for the year out, the AAHOA Annual New York Post, where Convention proves to be the pre- he was referred to as mier event in the lodging indus- “one of the best young try with an exceptional lineup of reporters in New guest speakers, and our upcom- York,” by former New ing Convention in Atlanta will York Mayor Ed Koch. be no different. With the political “Howard Dean landscape constantly changing as and Michael Steele are we approach the 2012 elections, heavy hitters in the this debate promises to deliver a political arena and are riveting discussion that no one willMichael Steele sure to deliver a knock- want to miss.”20 AAHOA Lodging Business JANUARY 2012