Special Tax Lien

City of Mill Valley Municipal Service Tax - Special Tax Lien Information

You may have recently become aware of a Notice of a Special Tax Lien recorded on your property by the City of Mill Valley Community Facilities District (CFD No. 2016). We would like to provide you with information and resources to learn more.

What is this Special Tax?

In November 2016, the voters approved Measure H to continue the City’s Municipal Service Tax for 10 years, and increased the amount of the tax. Mill Valley voters first approved the City’s Municipal Service Tax in 1987 to provide funding for fire suppression activities and the maintenance, repair and improvement of City streets. The 1987 tax had a 10 year term. Since that time, the voters have reauthorized the Municipal Service Tax for 10 year terms to provide funding for these essential services.

Since 2008, the Municipal Services Tax has been $195 per year for a single family property. Starting in July of 2017, the Municipal Services Tax will be $266 per year for a single family property, with an annual adjustment of 2%.

The City imposes the Municipal Service Tax pursuant to a California law called the Mello-Roos Community Facilities Act of 1982. It allows a local government to form a Community Facilities District (or CFD) to fund certain public services and facilities and requires two thirds voter approval to impose a special tax.

After approval by the voters, the Mello-Roos Act requires the City to record a “notice of special tax lien” against properties, which are subject the Municipal Service Tax. The lien secures the payment of the Municipal Service Tax. The City has recorded a “notice of special tax lien” each time the voters have approved the Municipal Service Tax, beginning in 1987.

The notice of special tax lien includes a description of the tax and the facilities and services funded by the tax, exemptions to the tax, how the tax is collected, how to appeal the tax, and a list of the parcel numbers and owner(s) of the properties in the City, which are subject to the tax.

Why am I hearing about it now?

The City recorded the current “notice of special tax lien” in the Marin County Office of the Recorder on February 1, 2017. The document is recorded as a Notice of Special Tax Lien, document number 2017-0004559. This year, the County updated its procedures for recording the notice of special tax lien and the County has begun indexing the tax to the names of property owners in the City. This new indexing procedure appears to have increased awareness of the tax lien.

Can I discharge the special tax lien?

No. The Municipal Service Tax is an annual obligation that is included as a part of your regular property tax bill from the County of Marin. Property tax bills are mailed to property owners in October, with first installments due November 1, and second installments due February 1. The special tax lien remains on the property for the term of the Municipal Services Tax, which sunsets in 2027.

Is there a senior exemption?

The Municipal Service Tax exempts low-income senior citizens. If you would like to apply for a Senior Exemption, please contact the Public Works Administrative Aide at publicworks@cityofmillvalley.org or call (415) 384-4800. Please include your name, mailing address, the parcel number(s), and the best way to reach you. Forms will be mailed to interested residents in each April. The forms will also be posted on the City website at that time.

Where can I find the documents related to the Special Tax Lien?

Please click here to see all the related documents and to learn more about the Municipal Service Tax. 

I have questions – Who can I speak to?

Regarding your Property Tax:
Please call (415) 473-6133 or email TaxCollector@marincounty.org.

Regarding the County of Marin Records and Services:
Office of the Recorder
3501 Civic Center Drive, Suite 232
San Rafael, CA 94903|
Phone: (415) 473-6092

Regarding the City of Mill Valley Municipal Services Tax: 
Linn Walsh, Senior Management Analyst |  City of Mill Valley
26 Corte Madera Avenue  Mill Valley, CA 94941
Email: lwalsh@cityofmillvalley.org
Phone: 415-388-4863

California Government Code Section 53328.3

Upon a determination by the legislative body that the requisite two-thirds of votes cast in an election held pursuant to Section 53326 are in favor of levying the special tax, the clerk of the legislative body shall, within 15 days of a landowner election or within 90 days of a registered voter election, record the notice of special tax lien provided for in Section 3114.5 of the Streets and Highways Code, whereupon the lien of the special tax shall attach as provided in Section 3115.5 of the Streets and Highways Code.  The notice of special tax lien shall be recorded in the office of the county recorder in each county that any portion of the district is located.

California Streets and Highways Code Section 3114.5

(a) This section applies only to community facilities districts. (b) Within 15 days after determination pursuant to Section 53328 of the Government Code that the requisite number of voters is in favor of the levy of a special tax, the clerk of the legislative body shall execute and record a notice of special tax lien in the office of the county recorder of each county in which all or any part of the community facilities district is located, and the county recorder shall accept that notice.  The county recorder shall index the notice of special tax liens to the names of the property owners within the community facilities district and shown in the notice, as grantors.