By: Dr. Lynn Reaser
Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins has proposed legislation to help pay for more affordable housing in California. Her assembly bill would impose a fee on property transfers to raise the state’s low-income housing tax credit by $300 million.
Housing affordability remains a major problem throughout California, especially for low-income households. In the City of San Diego, there are currently 50,000 on the waiting list for 15,000 vouchers for low-income housing. California has 12% of the nation’s population but 20% of its homeless. Many low-income workers cannot find housing near their place of work.
The proposed tax increase would exempt sales of residential and commercial properties. It would affect primarily refinancing and a multitude of smaller deed recordings, with fees capped at $225 per transaction. The funds raised would help offset the approximately $1 billion previously provided by redevelopment agencies that have now been eliminated.
More attention now needs to be directed to reducing the cost of housing, a significant part of which is due to the burden of regulation. Special attention should be given to cutting the long approval process often involved in the development phase.
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