California Documentary Transfer Tax (and Other Fees & Charges At Closing)*

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California Documentary Transfer Tax (And Other Fees & Charges At Closing)*

Below is a chart detailing the applicable transfer tax rates for a sample of California counties and charter cities. The complete transfer tax chart for all California counties and charter cities is available in the "Members Only Area" of the State Bar’s Real Property Law Section website which can be accessed at https://members.calbar.ca.gov/sections/rpsection.

County Tax City Tax Taxes
Customarily
Escrow & Title Fees Paid By: Codes & Comments
Alameda $0.55 Per $500 Seller Recording Fees: Buyer
Title Ins.: Buyer
Escrow Fees: Buyer
Alameda County Tax Code § 2.04
• County transfer tax based on full value less liens and encumbrances
• Preliminary Change of Ownership Report ("PCOR") available on county website
Alameda $0.55 Per $500 $12.00 Per $1,000 County: Seller
City: Split
Recording Fees: Buyer
Title Ins.: Buyer
Escrow Fees: Buyer
Alameda City Tax Code § 3-58
• County transfer tax based on full value less liens and encumbrances
• City transfer tax based on full value of property
• Unpaid tax is a lien on the property (3.58.16)
Berkeley $0.55 Per $500 $15.00 Per $1,000. County: Seller
City: Split
Recording Fees: Buyer
Title Ins.: Buyer
Escrow Fees: Buyer
Berkeley Tax Code § 7.28
• County transfer tax based on full value less liens and encumbrances
• City transfer tax based on full value of property
Oakland $0.55 Per $500 $15.00 Per $1,000 County: Seller
City: Split
Recording Fees: Buyer
Title Ins.: Buyer
Escrow Fees: Buyer
Oakland Tax Code § 4.20
• County transfer tax based on full value less liens and encumbrances
• City transfer tax based on full value of property and the amount of any special assessment that is a lien on the property
• Joint & several liability for transferor and transferee (4.20.020)
• Unpaid tax is a lien on the property (4.20.190)
• No "mere change in identity" exemption (CRTC § 11923)
• No exemption for dissolution of marriage (CRTC § 11927)
• Reductions for low income buyers (4.20.020)
Contra Costa $0.55 Per $500 Seller Recording Fees: Buyer
Title Ins.: Buyer
Escrow Fees: Buyer
Contra Costa County Tax Code Chapter 64—6
• County transfer tax based on full value less liens and encumbrances
• Must interpret the tax ordinance consistently with the federal regulations as they existed on 11/8/1967 (64—6.818))
• No proportional ownership exemption (CRTC § 11925(d))
Los Angeles $0.55 Per $500 Seller Recording Fees: Buyer
Title Ins.: Seller
Escrow Fees: Split
Los Angeles County Tax Code Chapter 4.60
• County transfer tax based on full value less liens and encumbrances
• No proportional ownership exemption (CRTC § 11925(d))
• Material misrepresentations of facts in PCOR is a misdemeanor (4.60.170)
• Numerous communities are considered within the City of Los Angeles and thus will owe a city transfer tax. Consult with your title company to determine if the property is subject to city transfer tax.
Los Angeles $0.55 Per $500 $4.50 Per $1,000 County: Seller
City: Seller
Recording Fees: Buyer
Title Ins.: Seller
Escrow Fees: Split
City of Los Angeles Tax Code Article 1.9
• County transfer tax based on full value less liens and encumbrances
• City transfer tax based on full value less liens and encumbrances
• No deed in lieu exemption (CRTC § 11926)
• No dissolution of marriage exemption (CRTC § 11927)
• Exemption for exchanges with city (21.9.12)
Orange $0.55 Per $500 Seller Recording Fees: Buyer
Title Ins.: Seller or Split
Escrow Fees: Split
Orange County Tax Code Article 8, Section 1-4
• County transfer tax based on full value less liens and encumbrances
• Exemption for transfers into trusts (1-4-171 (e)
• No proportional interest exemption (CRTC § 11925(d))
• Must interpret the tax ordinance consistently with the federal regulations as they existed on 11/8/1967 (1-4-190)
Sacramento $0.55 Per $500 Seller Recording Fees: Buyer
Title Ins.: Seller
Escrow Fees: Split
Sacramento County Tax Code Chapter 3.12
• County transfer tax based on full value less liens and encumbrances
• Incorporates Part 6.7 (commencing with Section 11901) of Division 2 of CRTC (3.12.110)
Sacramento $0.55 Per $500 $2.75 Per $1,000 County: Seller
City: Negotiable
Recording Fees: Buyer
Title Ins.: Seller
Escrow Fees: Split
City of Sacramento Tax Code Chapter 3.12
• County transfer tax based on full value less liens and encumbrances
• City transfer tax is based on Full Value less liens and encumbrances
• No proportional interest exemption (CRTC § 11925(d))
• No deed in lieu exemption (CRTC § 11926)
• No dissolution of marriage exemption (CRTC § 11927)
• No non-profit exemption (CRTC § 11929)
• No inter vivos gift/death exemption (CRTC § 11930)
San Diego $0.55 Per $500 Seller Recording Fees: Buyer
Title Ins.: Seller
Escrow Fees: Split
San Diego County Tax Code Chapter 3, § 22.3
• County transfer tax based on full value less liens and encumbrances
• No deed in lieu exemption (CRTC § 11926)
• No dissolution of marriage exemption (CRTC § 11927)
• No non-profit exemption (CRTC § 11929)
• No inter vivos gift/death exemption (CRTC § 11930)
• Must interpret the tax ordinance consistently with the federal regulations as they existed on 11/8/1967 (22.314)
San Francisco Tax Per $1,000 Range City/County: Seller Recording Fees: Buyer
Title Ins.: Buyer
Escrow Fees: Buyer
San Francisco City & County Tax Code Article 12-C
• Transfer tax based on full value less liens and encumbrances
• Domestic Partners exemption (1102.2)
• Reduction in tax for residences with solar system (1105)
• Must interpret the tax ordinance consistently with the federal regulations as they existed on 11/8/1967 (1114)
$5.00 $100 to $250K
$6.80 $250K up to
$1M
$7.50 $1M up to $5M
$20.00 $5M up to $10M
$25.00 $10M plus
San Mateo $0.55 Per $500 County: Seller Recording Fees: Buyer
Tide Ins.: Buyer
Escrow Fees: Buyer
San Mateo County Tax Code Article 2.93
• County transfer tax based on full value less liens and encumbrances
• Incorporates exemptions in CRTC (2.93.040(c))
Santa Barbara $0.55 Per $500 Seller Recording Fees: Buyer
Tide Ins.: Seller
Escrow Fees:Split
Santa Barbara County Tax Code Article III, § 32
• County transfer tax based on full value less liens and encumbrances
• No proportional interest exemption (CRTC § 11925(d))
• No deed in lieu exemption (CRTC § 11926)
• No dissolution of marriage exemption (CRTC § 11927)
• No non-profit exemption (CRTC § 11929)
• No inter vivos gift/death exemption (CRTC § 11930)
• Must interpret the tax ordinance consistently with the federal regulations as they existed on 11/8/1967 (32-45)
Santa Clara $0.55 Per $500 Seller Recording Fees: Buyer
Tide Ins.: Split
Escrow Fees: Split
Santa Clara County Tax Code Chapter 3, § A30
• County transfer tax based on full value less liens and encumbrances
• Mobile homes on foundations subject to tax (A30-34.1)
• Interests in legal entities are subject to tax (A30-39.6)
San Jose $0.55 Per $500 $3.30 Per $1,000 County: Seller
City: Negotiable
Recording Fees: Buyer
Tide Ins.: Split
Escrow Fees: Split
San Jose City Tax Code Chapter 4.58
• County transfer tax based on full value less liens and encumbrances
• City transfer tax based on full value, including indebtedness at transfer and special assessments
• Joint & several liability for transferor and transferee (4.58.030)
• Domestic Partners exemption (4.58.085)
• No "proportional interest" exemption (CRTC § 11925(d))
• No non-profit exemption (CRTC § 11929)
• No inter vivos gift exemption (CRTC § 11930)

* Practitioner should check to see if amendments to the referenced tax codes have been made since June 4, 2015, the date of the preparation of this article.