Fuller, Fong critical of housing bills

Rebecca Neipp

News Review Staff Writer

State legislators representing the Indian Wells Valley are critical of a package of housing bills that passed both the state Senate and Assembly last week.

Senate Bill 2 seeks to support affordable housing by imposing a flat fee of $75 per document recording fee on every real estate instrument not part of a sales transaction. The fee is capped at $225 per transaction.

SB 3 will put before voters a $4- billion housing bond.

“Under the guise of affordability, the housing package recently passed by the legislature will result in higher taxes and fees,” said state Sen. Jean Fuller.

Both she and her counterpart in the state Assembly, Vince Fong, have been challenging the state’s Democrats, who currently hold a supermajority in both houses, to address the risings costs of living for working-class families and small-business owners.

During a visit to Ridgecrest last month, Fong noted that in the first eight months of his term, more than 2,400 bills were introduced, proposing more than $155 billion in new taxes and fees.

“In order to truly reduce the cost of housing in our state, we must start with regulatory reforms that encourage development and reduce costs,” said Fuller.

“The housing packaged jammed through by Sacramento Democrats is not a real solution for our worsening housing crisis,” said Fong.

“Mandating new taxes, higher fees and more regulation does not address the fundamental problem of our state’s housing crisis and only makes California even more unaffordable.

“Affordable homes will continue to be out of reach for hardworking Californias. We need solutions like real CEQA reform so we remove the burdensome regulations that prevent the building of needed affordable housing in our state.”

The California Association of Realtors supported the bill, citing their role in collaborating with the Senate to cap the fees, and ensuring that a portion of the funds will support affordable workforce ownership housing programs.

The Ridgecrest Area Association of Realtors declined to comment, citing the need for time to study the issue.

Story First Published: 2017-09-22