Overview:

The Marin Wildfire Prevention Authority Measure C is a special tax charged to all parcels of real property located in Marin County within the defined boundary of the “Member Taxing Entities.” The voters approved this parcel tax in March 2020, by approximately 71%, for a period of ten years starting with the 2020/21 fiscal year.

The “Member Taxing Entities” consists of the following local agencies:

  • Cities of San Rafael, Mill Valley and Larkspur
  • Towns of San Anselmo, Corte Madera, Fairfax, and Ross
  • County of Marin (including Service Areas 13, 19 and 31)
  • Fire Protection Districts of Southern Marin, Novato, Kentfield, Stinson Beach, Bolinas, and Sleepy Hollow
  • Marinwood Community Services District
  • Inverness Public Utility District
  • Muir Beach Community Services District

A general map of the boundaries is shown below.

The revenues raised by this tax are used solely to plan, finance, implement, manage, own, and operate a multi-jurisdictional agency to prevent and mitigate wildfires in Marin County. It is the purpose and intent of this ordinance to impose a special parcel tax for fire protection and prevention services, including but not limited to:

  • Vegetation management
  • Wildfire detection
  • Evacuation plans and alerts
  • Grants
  • Public education
  • Defensible space and fire-resistant structure evaluations
  • Local-specific wildfire prevention efforts

Such funds are to be spent and administered in each of the five Marin Wildfire Prevention Authority Operational Zones, as set forth in the Joint Powers Authority (JPA) Operational Boundaries Map (shown below).

Parcel Tax Details:

The parcel tax will raise approximately $19 million annually to plan, finance, implement, manage, own, and operate a multi-jurisdictional agency to prevent and mitigate wildfires in Marin County. Beginning in the 2020/21 fiscal year and continuing for 10 years, the special tax will expire at the end of the 2029/30 fiscal year.

The maximum tax per year for each property type will be adjusted to reflect any increase in the Consumer Price Index (“CPI”) beyond the first fiscal year. The increase shall be the lesser of three percent (3%) or CPI as calculated from February of the immediately preceding year to February of the current year.

The Marin County Tax Collector records shall provide the basis for determining the annual calculation of the special parcel tax applicable to each parcel, with such corrections as deemed necessary by the Board of Directors for the Marin Wildfire Prevention Authority to reflect the actual use and improvement of any parcel.

The rates below are for the 2020/21 fiscal year.

Low-Income Senior Exemption Application:

A low-income senior exemption is available for each fiscal year. Applications are due by June 30 of each calendar year (for the next fiscal year). To qualify for a low-income senior exemption, one must meet all of the following requirements:

  1. Applicant must be 65 years of age or older, as of July 1 of each applicable Fiscal Year; and
  2. The property must be an owner-occupied single-family residence, which includes a house, condominium or townhome; and
  3. Applicant’s maximum household gross income cannot exceed the limits as shown in the table below.

The income limits below are for the 2020/21 fiscal year:

*Income limits are based on the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) income limits used to determine eligibility for assisted housing programs as set forth in the San Francisco, California HUD Metro FMR Area rates (published annually).

Please note that a completed application, proof of age, and proof of all annual income is required to be considered for the exemption.

Specific details are included in the application, which can be downloaded from this link:

MWPA Low-Income Senior Exemption Application 2020/21

Other Exemptions:

Parcels which are classified by County Assessor Use Codes 12 (Mobile home) and 13 (House Boat) are exempt from this parcel tax. Additionally, parcels which are classified by County Assessor Use Codes 15 and 53 – 90 are also exempt from this tax. These exemptions include churches, non-profits and local governments that meet the standards for exemption from ad valorem tax (i.e., the basic property tax).

Measure C Zones and Boundary:

The area affected by Measure C is shown in the map below.

Special Tax Lien:

Per state law, a Notice of Special Tax Lien is required to be recorded on properties subject to Measure C. The Measure C Special Tax Lien is recorded on property documents as “MWPA.” The Notice of Special Tax Lien is NOT a traditional financial lien and DOES NOT mean that property taxes are delinquent or have not been paid.

Can I discharge the special tax lien?

No. The tax is an annual obligation that is included as a part of your regular property tax bill. Property tax bills are mailed to property owners in October, with first installments due November 1, and second installments due February 1.

More Information:

Parcel Tax Information

Marin Wildfire Prevention Authority


If you think your parcel was levied in error, or have further questions, email us with details at customercare@nbsgov.com or call 888.485.9249.