Contributing Editors

How Will Health Care Reform Affect Self Storage Companies?

by Holly Robinson April 1, 2010 4:15 PM
Will health care reform hurt or benefit self storage companies? According to the national Self Storage Association, 90 percent of all self storage companies are single facilities run by owner/operators. In other words, most self storage facilities are small businesses. A careful look at how the health care reform bill affects small businesses, then, will tell us exactly how it might affect most self storage companies.

Currently, nearly half of small business owners do not have health insurance themselves or provide it to their employees. Among firms that have between three and nine employees, less than half provide health insurance. The initial impact of health care reform, therefore, will depend on whether or not a self storage firm has 50 or more employees. Larger firms, with 50 or more employees, will have to provide health insurance to employees or pay a fee. Smaller firms, though, including most self storage facilities, will not be forced to provide health insurance. But providing health insurance will become more feasible, if facilities choose to offer it. [More]

Michigan May Include Self-Storage in Sales Tax

by Holly Robinson February 17, 2010 9:10 AM
Michigan's Governor, Jennifer Granholm, proposed yesterday that Michigan's sales tax be extended to cover consumer services, including self-storage. Granholm hopes to see the sales tax reduced from six percent to 5.5 percent. The change would raise another $550 million in revenue for the state of Michigan. Under Granholm's plan, the money would be used to help pay for public education, making it possible for Michigan schools to maintain their current level of spending. Michigan's Senate Fiscal Agency, which is a nonpartisan organization, previously announced that Michigan's school aid budget will have a $423 million deficit if more money is not raised. Michigan's general fund, likewise, will have a $1.2 billion deficit. Over the last two years, Michigan's general fund has dropped by $2 billion.

This is not the first time Michigan has considered extending its sales tax. A similar attempt was made two years ago, but was defeated as a result of lobbying and advocacy by the national Self Storage Association and the Self Storage Association of Michigan (SSAM). [More]

National SSA to Host Spring Convention in Colorado Springs

by Kim Kilpatrick January 26, 2010 10:34 AM
The national Self Storage Association (SSA) has announced that it will hold its spring convention and trade show from April 18 to 20 at The Broadmoor Resort in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Colorado is a state with a lot of sentimental value for the Self Storage Association, which was founded in Denver 35 years ago, in 1975. This year's convention, therefore, will also be a celebration of the SSA's 35th anniversary.

About 1,000 self storage owners, operators, investors, developers, executives, and industry vendors are expected to attend the convention and participate in the trade show. Important leaders in the self storage industry will also be present, and will give talks and participate in educational panel sessions. [More]

Self Storage Association Accepting Applications for College Scholarships

by Kim Kilpatrick December 15, 2009 4:45 PM
The national Self Storage Association (SSA) has announced that its scholarship foundation, the Self Storage Association Foundation (SSAF), is accepting applications for college scholarships for the 2010-2011 academic year. Scholarships will range in amounts from $2500 to $5000 per academic year. They can be used to pay for tuition, fees, course-related expenses such as books and laboratory materials, and for room and board.

To qualify for a scholarship from the SSAF, students must demonstrate financial need and must have a cumulative grade point average of at least a "C," or a 2.0 cumulative grade point average on a 4.0 point scale. To demonstrate financial need, students should fill out the 2010-2011 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) Student Aid Report (SAR). Applicants must also be employed by companies that are members of the Self Storage Association, or must be children or grandchildren of SSA member employees. Students should obtain the SSA member number for the self-storage facility with which they are associated, or contact the SSA for help in locating the member number. [More]

Michigan Legislature Approves Amendment of Self-Storage Lien Procedure

by Winnie Hsiu December 15, 2009 3:46 PM
Michigan's legislature has passed Senate Bill 204, amending the lien procedures for self-storage facilities in the state. The bill was sent to Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm on December 7. When Granholm signs it, it will become law. The Self Storage Association of Michigan and the national Self Storage Association both lobbied on behalf of the bill, which sets special rules for self-storage tenants if they are deployed military personnel. The bill was originally introduced into the Michigan legislature by Democratic Senator Dennis Olshove on Feb. 10, 2009. The same language being used in the Michigan bill is also being considered in legislation that is pending in Arizona, California, and North Carolina.

As currently written, Michigan's self-storage lien laws allow storage operator's to sell, at a public sale, the goods that they find inside a unit when the unit's rent is not paid. SB 204, which is being referred to as the "self-service storage facility act," makes deployed military personnel exempt from having their units foreclosed on, and the contents auctioned at a public sale, if they are unable to pay regular rent payments on the self-storage units they occupy. According to the new rules set forth in the bill, a self-storage facility owner cannot enforce a lien against a armed services member who is currently serving overseas on active duty and who will be on duty overseas for at least 180 days. When service members return from overseas assignments, self-storage facility owners must wait at least 90 days after the end of the overseas service before they can begin lien enforcement proceedings. [More]

Self-Storage Association Members Join Fight Against Terrorism

by John Stevens November 2, 2009 10:09 AM
At the request of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the Self Storage Association (SSA) has notified its 6,000 members, its state association affiliates and their members, and thousands of individual self-storage facility managers and operators, of the potential for self-storage units to be used by terrorists. Investigators believe that people planning acts of domestic terrorism, or terrorism within U.S. borders, could use self-storage facilities as a place to store illegal materials or to assemble them. The SSA advised its members to notify their local Joint Terrorism Task Force immediately if they observe anything that makes them suspect that terrorist, suspicious, or illegal behavior may be in progress.

The DHS has recruited quite a few leaders from various businesses to be part of an anti-terrorism task force called the DHS Commercial Facilities Subsector Coordinating Council of the Infrastructure Protection Task Force. For this task force, DHS focuses on sectors of the real estate and other commercial industries that may be potential terrorism targets or that have the potential to be used by or come into contact with potential terrorists. The SSA participates with this task force as well, and the SSA and its members have done everything that they can to aid authorities since September 11, 2001. [More]
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