Hard to believe it’s now been more than 6 months since Senator Ron Calderon introduced Senate Bill 30 on December 3, 2012. The bill passed an important hurdle late last week following passage by the Senate (36-0), and has now been to the Assembly’s Revenue and Taxation Committee.
A recent amendment to the bill has created significant controversy and resulted in loss of support from its initial sponsor and strongest supporter, the California Association of Realtors.
Specifically, the bill as currently drafted now requires the passage of a separate piece of legislation, Senate Bill 391, also passes: “This act shall become operative only if Senate Bill 391 of the 2013–14 Regular Session is enacted and takes effect.”
SB 391 would establish a $75 per document recording tax to fund an affordable housing trust fund. C.A.R., according to a recent press release, is opposing SB 391 “because it unfairly adds to the cost of recording real estate documents.”
It remains to be seen whether the State Assembly will further amend SB 30, including, possibly, the removal of the SB 391 link. Any differences between the Senate and Assembly versions will be resolved in a concurrence committee made up of members of each house. The Governor will have thirty days to sign or veto the bill.
Meanwhile, sellers of underwater properties, or owners facing foreclosure, remain uncertain whether, and to what extent, they may face state tax consequences related to the transfer of their homes. Certainly, a prompt resolution of the legislative impasse would bring welcome and needed clarity to a currently muddied real estate market.