CA Supreme Court at Transfer Tax Crossroads

By: Michael Polentz

The American Revolutionary war motto of “no taxation without representation” was first popularized, not by the drama of the Boston Tea Party, but after the British passed the humdrum Stamp Act of 1765.

Today, real estate sales in California are subject to a documentary transfer tax (DTT) that resembles the stamp duty of yore in that it is imposed on any “writing” by which “realty sold” is transferred to a buyer. This year the California Supreme Court will rule on whether Los Angeles County exceeded its authority by imposing the DTT on certain transfers that the legislature arguably never intended to tax.

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pursuant to New York DR 2-101(f)

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