BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    




                   Senate Appropriations Committee Fiscal Summary
                           Senator Christine Kehoe, Chair

                                          AB 563 (Furutani)
          
          Hearing Date: 08/15/2011        Amended: 05/11/2011
          Consultant: Mark McKenzie       Policy Vote: G&F 6-3
          _________________________________________________________________
          ____
          BILL SUMMARY: AB 563 would require a county assessor to provide 
          information to city finance officials when conducting an 
          investigation related to the imposition of a documentary 
          transfer tax on an unrecorded change in control or ownership.
          _________________________________________________________________
          ____
                            Fiscal Impact (in thousands)

           Major Provisions         2011-12      2012-13       2013-14     Fund
           Information sharing mandate       unknown reimbursable costs to 
          assessors              General
                                 to provide specified information to city 
          officials
          _________________________________________________________________
          ____

          STAFF COMMENTS: This bill may meet the criteria for referral to 
          the Suspense File. 
          Existing law authorizes cities and counties to enact an 
          ordinance to impose a documentary transfer tax (DTT), which 
          applies to deeds of transfer of realty within that jurisdiction, 
          and is based on the value of the transfer.  The DTT is imposed 
          at a rate of fifty-five cents for each $500 of value in 
          counties, while general law cities may impose a DTT at half the 
          county rate, which counts as a credit against the county tax.  
          Charter cities may impose a higher rate; the City of Oakland 
          imposes the highest rate at $7.50 per $500 in value.  County 
          recorders generally collect the DTT and remit the city portion 
          as appropriate.  Existing law provides that information and 
          records in the assessor's office are not public documents, and 
          are not open for public inspection unless allowed by law.  
          Specific exemptions exist for law enforcement agencies, county 
          grand juries, boards of supervisors, and state taxing agencies.  
          SB 816 (Ducheny), Chapter 622 of 2009, requires the assessor to 
          provide specified information to the county recorder when 
          conducting an investigation to determine whether a DTT is 
          imposed.








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          AB 563 would require the assessor to disclose information, 
          furnish abstracts, or permit access to all records, except 
          social security numbers, to designated employees of a city's 
          finance office when conducting an investigation to determine 
          whether a DTT should be imposed for an unrecorded change in 
          control or ownership of property.  The bill would require the 
          designated city employee to certify under penalty of perjury 
          that the information is necessary to enforce the DTT and that 
          any confidential information is not a public record subject to 
          inspection.

          This bill would impose a reimbursable state-mandated local 
          program by requiring county assessors to provide information to 
          city officials investigating whether a DTT should be imposed.  
          It is unlikely that costs to provide the information would be 
          significant, but if a successful claim is filed with the 
          Commission on State Mandates, county costs would be 
          state-reimbursable.  Existing law requires state departments 
          that access this information to reimburse the assessor for any 
          costs incurred for providing records.  Staff suggests that the 
          bill be amended to require cities to reimburse the assessor for 
          any costs incurred for providing information to city finance 
          officials.