June 19, 2012
Bulletin 11/12-114 - June 5, 2012
Legislation imposing a $75 fee whenever a person records a real estate instrument failed passage on the floor of the Senate. Senate Bill 1220 (DeSaulnier) would have covered a variety of recordings including: deeds, reconveyances, quit claim deeds, assignments, mechanics’ liens, financing statements and abstracts. It only excluded documents recorded in connection with a transfer subject to a documentary transfer tax.
The bill would have directed the money to the Housing Opportunity and Market Stabilization (HOMeS) Trust Fund. The fund could then be appropriated by the Legislature for low- and moderate-income housing, including emergency shelters, transitional and permanent rental housing and foreclosure mitigation.
Senate Bill 1220 fell two votes short of passage after heavy lobbying by community housing groups and support by CAR. The groups were encouraged by the fact that the bill made it to the floor of the Senate in a year with a massive budget deficit. A large grass roots campaign was mounted to pass the bill, including over 20,000 postcards to legislators and a lobby day attended by over 100 supporters of the bill.
The CLTA actively opposed the bill, seeing it as a tax on homeowners, lenders, mechanics’ lien claimants and others. There was no real nexus between the projects sought to be funded by the bill and those paying the fees.