Time is short to submit applications for exemptions and discounts on an array of parcel taxes and agency fees. Some of the deadlines have already passed but many jurisdictions are still accepting applications for fiscal 2021.
Marin County’s Property Tax Exemption webpage has a lot of the information you need for most, but not all, of the taxes and fees that could impact you.
If you enter your parcel number, the website pulls up a list of all the exemptions for which you are eligible that show up on your tax bill. There is also a full list of such exemptions countywide. In many but not all instances there is a hot link to the application form that also details the criteria and deadlines.
Not yet posted, but upcoming soon, is information for filing for a low income senior exemption for the new Marin Wildfire Preparedness Authority parcel tax, which is assessed on building square footage.
The income threshold is pretty high ($97,600 for 1 person; $111,550 for two; higher for more), meaning a fair number of homeowners could qualify for exemptions. If you aren’t exempt, make sure to verify that the square footage of your property is accurate; if not, contact the assessor’s office to inquire about a correction.
Detailed information should be available soon at: https://www.marinwildfire.org
We expect the exemption filing window will be open for at least 30 days thereafter. CO$T is pressing for MWPA to proactively inform all potentially eligible homeowners in time to apply.
Virtually every school district offers parcel tax exemptions for seniors 65 and older, and often for low income and disabled taxpayers as well. While income-based discounts require annual filing, school parcel tax senior exemptions need only be applied for once, though in some instances the school district may require a new application for a renewed or supplemental tax measure. Most other senior exemptions and all low-income exemptions / discounts require annual filing.
School parcel taxes are typically the largest exemptions/discounts available. Some, unfortunately, had application deadlines in early May, but others are still open.
There are a variety of discounts and exemptions offered by other agencies for low income customers. Some are only available to seniors. Some use a stricter standard, “very low income”, meaning not so many customers qualify.
Ross Valley Sanitary District offers a low-income sewer charge assistance program with income thresholds similar to what MWPA will offer.
Marin Municipal Water District has several discount programs listed on this webpage..
Note also that in the wake of the outcry against its huge 2019 meter-charge fee increases, MMWD is encouraging downsizing residential meters that are over 5/8” in size in order to reduce the especially big charges levied on larger meters (which are the subject of a legal complaint filed by CO$T on behalf of ratepayers). The charges for downsizing are listed here.
Make sure you inquire about what it will cost if you have to re-upsize, if, for example, you have to install interior fire suppression sprinklers. Call MMWD for more information.
Disclaimer: CO$T provides information about tax and fee exemptions and discounts as a public service to our readers. You must contact the county and/or agencies via website, email or phone for the most up to date and accurate information. We are not responsible for any errors or omissions.