Effective January 1, 2018, state law now requires -- courtesy of Government Code section 27388.1 -- every county to charge an additional $75 fee to almost every "real estate instrument, paper, or notice" submitted for recording. The purpose of this new $75 fee is to fund statewide efforts to construct new affordable housing under the new Building Homes and Jobs Act.
Documents that are subject to this new $75 fee include:
- All types of deeds
- Assignments of deeds of trust
- Abstracts of judgment
- Notices of default
- Notices of trustee's sale
- Mechanic's liens
Every document submitted for recording will be subject to this new $75 fee by default unless: (i) an exemption applies, and (ii) that exemption is clearly written on the face of the document. Therefore, if you are going to record a document that is exempt from this new fee, it would be an error to simply expect the staff at the county recorder's office to know that an exemption applies. Instead, you'll need to affirmatively state your exemption on the document.
Documents that are exempt from the fee include:
- Documents that transfer real property and are subject to a transfer tax
- Documents that transfer a residential dwelling to an owner-occupier
- Documents that are recorded in connection with an exempt transfer (such as the two types of exempt transfers above)
- Documents that are not related to real property