PALO ALTO, CA—Documentary transfer taxes collected on thetransfer of real property interests are a major source of revenuefor counties and municipalities in California. So says locallybased Michael Polentz, chair of the real estate and land usepractice group at Manatt, Phelps & Phillips LLP. He, along withElizabeth Levin, an associate in the same group in the Los Angelesoffice, say in this exclusive commentary that “as local governmentsendeavor to refill their coffers, depleted in the wake of therecession, many have taken a closer look at the tax potential of abroad spectrum of real property conveyances beyond the classictransfer of a deed.”

The views expressed in the commentary below are the author'sown.

Assignments of long-term leases (often called “ground leases”),in particular, have fallen under the assessor's microscope. Countyrecorder's offices across the state are paying close attention tolease assignments and may reject those which do not properly statethe tax to be collected thereon.

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Natalie Dolce

Natalie Dolce, editor-in-chief of and GlobeSt. Real Estate Forum, is responsible for working with editorial staff, freelancers and senior management to help plan the overarching vision that encompasses, including short-term and long-term goals for the website, how content integrates through the company’s other product lines and the overall quality of content. Previously she served as national executive editor and editor of the West Coast region for and Real Estate Forum, and was responsible for coverage of news and information pertaining to that vital real estate region. Prior to moving out to the Southern California office, she was Northeast bureau chief, covering New York City for Her background includes a stint at InStyle Magazine, and as managing editor with New York Press, an alternative weekly New York City paper. In her career, she has also covered a variety of beats for M magazine, Arthur Frommer's Budget Travel,, and Co-Ed magazine. Dolce has also freelanced for a number of publications, including and Museums New York magazine.


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