IE Assembly members Cook, Jeffries and Nestande abstained.
June 25, 2012
California counties could bolster fees for real estate fraud prevention and enforcement under legislation passed Monday by the Assembly.
The measure, Senate Bill 1342, would allow counties to increase from $3 to $10 the maximum fee that could be charged on various property-related documents recorded in county offices.
The Assembly vote was 56-14, with nearly every Democrat but only five Republicans supporting the bill.
Proposed by Republican Sen. Bill Emmerson, of Hemet, the bill now goes back to the Senate for concurrence in amendments.
California law currently allows counties to impose a $3 real estate fraud-prevention and enforcement fee on deeds of trust, notices of default and various other documents filed with county recorders.
SB 1342 would increase not only the amount but the number of documents that could be targeted, adding liens, lot line adjustments, lease assignments and amended deeds of trust, among others.
The bill, sponsored by the California District Attorneys Association, would not apply to documents filed in connection with a real estate sale, however.
Opponents argue that SB 1342 would place an additional burden on ordinary Californians.
Supporters say that real estate fraud is one of the nation’s fastest-growing white collar crimes and additional funds could help law enforcement crack down on it. The bill does not raise any fee, it leaves that decision to counties, they say.
Emmerson bill gets cold shoulder from many in Assembly GOP
Posted on June 25, 2012
Legislation by state Sen. Bill Emmerson that would let counties raise recording fees on certain real-estate documents didn’t get a warm welcome Monday from many of his fellow Republicans in the Assembly.
The bill by Emmerson, R-Hemet, would allow counties to increase real-estate recording fees from $3 to $10, with the extra money paying to beef up real-estate fraud protection and prosecution. The California District Attorneys Association sponsored the measure.
“This bill only seeks to give permission to county boards of supervisors to make decisions,” said Assemblywoman Kristin Olsen, R-Modesto.
But other Republican lawmakers criticized the bill as opening the door to higher fees. The Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, which is influential in GOP circles, also opposed the measure.
“It doesn’t raise fees, but it gives permission to raise fees,” Assemblyman Martin Garrick, R-Carlsbad, said.
The measure passed 56-14, with 10 lawmakers absent or not voting. Only a handful of Republicans supported the bill, which received almost unanimous support from Democrats.
Inland Republicans voting no: Tim Donnelly, R-Twin Peaks, Curt Hagman, R-Chino Hills, and Mike Morrell, R-Rancho Cucamonga. Assembly members Paul Cook, R-Yucca Valley, Kevin Jeffries, R- Lake Elsinore, and Brian Nestande, R-Palm Desert, abstained. Jeff Miller, R-Corona, was absent.
“All of us wanted some language that it wouldn’t give carte blanche to fee increases,” Cook said afterward.
The measure, which passed the Senate in mid-May, now heads back to the upper house for concurrence.
By: Jim Miller