California eyeing new recording fee to raise up to $720M a year for affordable housing

The California Senate has approved a bill that would impose a $75 fee to record real estate documents that are not connected with the transfer of property and already subject to a documentary transfer tax.

SB 391, the California Homes and Jobs Act of 2013, would raise about $300 million to $720 million a year for the development, acquisition, rehabilitation and preservation of homes affordable to low- and moderate-income households. The bill is aimed at replacing about $1 billion a year in property tax revenues that redevelopment agencies formerly provided to affordable housing funds.

If approved by the Assembly and signed into law, SB 391 would apply to most documents not associated with property sales, including deeds and grant deeds, trustees deeds and deeds of trust, quitclaim deeds, reconveyances, easements, maps, lot line adjustments, CC&Rs, notices of default, notices of trustee sale, liens, and leases.

The California Association of Realtors is opposed to the bill, and has protested that it’s been linked to another bill, SB 30, that would extend a state law that protects homeowners from having to pay income tax on short sales. Source: legislature.ca.gov.