California AB 1888: New CA Law on Real Estate Transaction Transparency

CA laws and Real EstateCalifornia AB 1888:  New California Law on Real estate transaction transparency

CA Governor Brown approved Assembly Bill 1888 in June 2014, eliminating the option for parties to avoid disclosing in public records the amount of documentary transfer tax payable at closing of real estate transactions.

Purpose of this law is to make the value of each such transaction readily apparent, which many purchasers and sellers typically try to avoid.

Counties and cities are authorized to levy documentary transfer tax upon the recordation of documents transferring interests in real property.

CA Revenue and Taxation Code Section 11932 had provided that a document submitted for recordation must show the amount of documentary transfer tax due either on its face, or in a separate statement that is not recorded.

With the tax shown on the face of the recorded document, determining the purchase price in a transaction should be easy since the county/city tax used to determine the documentary transfer tax is known.

Parties wishing to avoid disclosing this information historically previously were previously allowed the ability to submit a separate, nonrecorded statement.

AB 1888 amends Section 11932 to address this lack of uniformity.  Assemblyman Phil Ting, the bill’s author, said that the purpose was to provide for transparency in the administration of California’s documentary transfer tax law, to resolve issue relating to the availability of transfer tax information under the California Public Records Act (CPRA), and [to] ensure that real estate appraisers have access to transfer tax information in order to accurately appraise real property.  He had contended that “the public is entitled to the information on the separate document concerning transfer taxes,” and that elimination of that option would resolve “any Public Records Act questions” while providing “confidence in the fair administration of California’s tax laws.”

Effective as of Jan. 1, 2015, Section 11932 – should make pricing information easier to determine.

Source of some information is article by Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP, Los Angeles law firm.

By Harrison K. Long, Realtor, real estate broker, and professional real estate representative at Orange County CA.

Coldwell Banker residential brokerage



We provide professional real estate agent and broker representation – help for property owners, home sellers, private trust estate representatives, estate administrators, executors and heirs, probate and trust attorneys, estate planners, income tax professionals, public guardians, fiduciaries, investor group managers, bankers, and individuals, with listing and sale of properties at Orange County, CA.  Contact us at 949-854-7747 with your questions about home prices and values at Orange County CA cities and areas with Home Selling and Real Estate market updates.  

This post about California law is for information only and is not the providing of legal services.  If you have questions about legal issues with your real estate transaction, you should contact an experienced real estate attorney. 

About Harrison K. Long

Real estate and business attorney. CA State Bar Association attorney member #69137. Professional real estate representative, REALTOR®, GRI, Real estate broker, CALBRE #01410855. Broker associate, HomeSmart Evergreen Realty, Irvine, CA. Providing real estate legal information and services for property owners, estate trustees, executors and administrators, fiduciaries, bankers, investor group managers, with their best decisions about homes and real estate. Orange County REALTORs® (member and prior service on its board of directors). "Realtor of the Year 2016" award by the Orange County REALTORs®. California Association of REALTORs® (now serving on its board of directors). National Association of REALTORs® member. Contact by cell or or text at 949-701-2515.
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