Senate Bill 391 (Desaulnier; D-Concord), a bill that will impose a $75 fee for recording real-property documents as a way to generate funds for affordable housing, passed two Assembly committees this week on party line votes.  Although we agree with the author about the importance of affordable housing in California, we do not believe that charging such an outrageously large fee for every single document our industry records is fair, equitable, or reasonable. There is no “nexus” between recording documents and funding an affordable housing program – this is a tax, pure and simple – and should require a 2/3 vote of the Legislature.  By stretching the definition of a fee, it makes the political process much easier for proponents.

SB 391 is a regressive tax.  Anyone recording a real-estate document must pay the fee regardless of financial situation – any homeowner trying to get a re-finance; any small business owner recording a lien; any property owner recording property improvement or lease documents. All will pay $75 for each document.

We continue to oppose this bill.

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