YOU May Qualify for Tax & Fee Exemptions & Discounts Senior, Low and Moderate Income, Disabled & Medical

Tax and Fee Exemptions & Discounts for


Low & Moderate Income

People w Disabilities & Medical Conditions

MMWD & PGE Customers Who are Overpaying

APPLY NOW!  Filing Deadlines Soon!

Beware: You May Need to Reapply Each Year

Time is short to submit applications for exemptions and discounts on an array of Marin add-on property taxes and agency fees as well as rates on essential services such as water and sewer.

Residents who may qualify include those who are seniors, disabled, have low and MODERATE income, have larger families, and have special circumstances (e.g., medical conditions that require extra water or electricity).

Several agencies also provide financial incentives unrelated to income.  Because so many tax- and rate-payers miss out on a cost-saving opportunity for which they qualify, the Coalition of Sensible Taxpayers distributes this informational bulletin to Marin taxpayer-voters each spring, updated to include new discounts and exemptions as well as increased thresholds for income-based exemptions and discounts.

Many Marin individuals and families who consider themselves middle-income qualify for “low income” discounts:  Income cutoffs are often at 80% of Marin’s median or the even more generous income levels used by HUD to determine eligibility for housing assistance.  All income-based discounts have upward adjustments for family size.

We tell you below how to find out which of the taxes, fees, and rates you pay offer exemptions and discounts, how and when to apply, and how to determine if you qualify.

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Marin County’s Property Tax Exemption webpage has a full list of the agencies whose taxes are collected via property tax bills and may offer discounts/exemptions.  (Certain agencies, e.g., sewer and water, send a bill to the property owner or renter directly and offer discounts, some of which we describe further down this page.)

If you enter your parcel number in the box on the county’s exemption page, the website pulls up a list of all the agencies that bill YOU through your property tax bill.  The list also identifies the specific agencies on your tax bill that offer exemptions.  For each one, there is a telephone number for more details regarding the criteria and deadlines; in many instances, there is a hotlink to the application form.

BIG POTENTIAL SAVINGS ON SCHOOL TAXES: Most school districts offer parcel tax exemptions for ALL seniors 65 and older; some offer exemptions for low-income and disabled taxpayers as well.  On the county’s exemption page for your tax bill (see above), you’ll find that school parcel taxes are the largest exemptions and discounts available.  Some school districts have application deadlines around May 1 so you may need to act quickly.  Income- and disability-based discounts require annual filing.  School parcel tax exemptions for seniors need only be applied for once, though you may need to file a new application if the person listed on your tax bill changes.  Read your tax bill (or tax exemption page) carefully.  You are likely paying school parcel taxes to multiple districts (e.g., K-8 and high school).  If so, you must file separate exemption applications for each district to maximize your savings.

Mark your calendar!
Reapply annually for any expiring exemptions!

Several non-school discounts and exemptions are available, most of which require annual refiling or verification.  Listed below are some of the more financially significant ones offered.

There is a low-income senior exemption (65+) exemption for the Marin Wildfire Preparedness Authority parcel taxYOU MUST REAPPLY EVERY YEAR to reconfirm proof of income level.  Your application must be postmarked by June 30.  Because many Marin residents have until Oct 16 to file their state and local taxes this year (due to storm damage), MWPA permits you to submit either your 2021 or 2022 tax returns as proof of income.   Learn how to apply here.  Don’t assume you are ineligible!  Many middle-income households qualify.  The latest posted income limit (updated annually) is $104,400 for a 1-person household; $119,300 for two people; $134,200 for three; $149,100 for four; and $161,050 for five.  This tax is assessed on building square footage.  To ensure you’re not being overcharged, you should also verify that the official records show that the square footage of your property is accurate.  If not, contact the Assessor’s office.

Note that some agencies such as the MWPA do not acknowledge receipt or approval of your exemption/discount application. Consequently, you should keep a proof of all your exemption/discount applications and then carefully review your tax bill AS SOON AS YOU RECEIVE IT.  If you can prove that your valid application was not reflected on your tax bill, immediately contact the agency to ask for an adjustment.  Advocating on behalf of taxpayers, CO$T is urging agencies to acknowledge receipt of each application and inform the taxpayer in writing whether it has been approved.

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Marin Municipal Water District has several water bill discount programs listed here – that are based on income, certain medical conditions, or having internal fire suppression sprinklers.   Most people are unaware of MMWD’s generous income-based fee waiver program, which is open to every household that qualifies (not just seniors).  Both meter-size-based charges on your water bill — totaling hundreds of dollars annually — are completely waived from the bills of qualifying families. Here are the caps from last year:  $83,520 for a one-person household; $95,440 for 2; $107,360 for 3; $119.280 for 4; and increasing stepwise to $157,480 for 8.  Those caps will be raised and posted on MMWD’s website when the HUD data on which they are based are released in mid-May.In response to customer complaints about its sizeable fixed fees tied to the diameter of the customer’s meter (incoming pipe), MMWD is also telling customers that they can save money by swapping out residential meters that are over 5/8″ in size.  (Check your water bill for your meter size.) The charges for meter downsizing are listed in item 1.2 in the district’s rate/fee schedule.  Make sure you ask what it will cost if you have to re-upsize, if, for example, you have to install interior fire suppression sprinklers.  For more information, call MMWD at 415-945-1400 or email

All residential customers who have interior fire suppression sprinklers are eligible for a lower meter-size-based charges if they apply for MMWD’s capital maintenance fee reduction program.

In addition, there are many rebate programs related to water efficiency product purchases.

More Cost-Saving Opportunities Below
A variety of discounts and exemptions are offered by other agencies that may be on your property tax bill or may be billing you directly.  Some are only available to seniors.  Some use a “very low income” standard, meaning not so many customers qualify as do under the “low-income” standard used by MWPA. The most sizeable of these miscellaneous discounts and exemptions are those offered by water and sanitation districts.

  • Ross Valley Sanitary District offers a low-income sewer charge assistance program with generous income thresholds similar to what MWPA’s.  Many moderate-income home and condo owners may be surprised to learn they qualify for a 25% discount on the RVSD sewer charge fee that appears on the tax bill.   Apply before the June 30 deadline!

  • Novato and Mill Valley Sanitary Districts offer a low-income sewer charge assistance program for those who have enrolled in PGE’s CARE Program (which has much lower income caps than those used by RVSD, MMWD, and MWPA). In Qualifying single-family residences receive a 10-15% discount from Novato Sanitary on their sewer tax; City of Mill Valley’s sewer discount is 25%.

  • Other Sewer / Sanitation Districts. There are many other sanitation districts in Marin.  Check with your local agency for discounts.  Also, several sanitary agencies offer financial assistance with sewer lateral expenses.

  • North Marin Water District offers a low-income discount of $15 monthly for applicants who are enrolled in PGE’s Care Program.

  • Stinson Beach County Water District has a low-income discount program.  For more information and a copy of the form call 415-868-1333.

  • Mill Valley Municipal Services Tax – Low-income seniors are exempt.  For more information and a copy of the form call 415-384-4800 or email

  • San Anselmo Municipal Services and library parcel tax – There is an exemption for families who qualify for PGE CARE Program.

  • Library taxes – Many libraries in Marin are part of the Marin County Free Library system, which offers a senior exemption that must be renewed annually.  Some other libraries also offer library parcel tax exemptions.

  • There are several other exemptions and discounts not listed here.  Check the county exemption website to ensure you know about all of them.  We are not responsible for any omissions or errors in this public service message.

    You CAN lower your PG&E bill.  Here’s how!
    First, look into the several low-income discount programs PG&E offers.  Second, learn about how the time-of-use plans impact you.  In 2021, PG&E  automatically transitioned residential customers to the time-of-use plan.  This may have RAISED your bill unduly.  You might achieve a lower bill if you change your habits: e.g., what time of day you use energy-intensive appliances.  Or you may get a lower bill by changing your PG&E rate plan to the one that’s more cost-effective for your usage pattern.  This is easy to do.  Click here – and then click the “make your choice” gold button on the right side of the page – to explore whether choosing a different rate plan will prevent a higher bill or lower what you’re already paying.

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YOU May Qualify for Tax & Fee Exemptions & Discounts Senior, Low and Moderate Income, Disabled & Medical