Marin collecting initial chunk of $973M tax haul

Marin collecting initial chunk of $973M tax haul By: Richard Halstead (rhalstead@marinij.com) POSTED: Sunday, Dec. 4, 2016 – 3:01 p.m. UPDATED: TODAY Marin residents will pay a total of nearly $973 million in property taxes in 2016-17, an increase of 5.5 percent from the $922 million paid in 2015-16. Taxpayers have until Dec. 12 to pay their first installment without incurring a penalty. The second installment is due no later than April 10. The additional $51 million in 2016-17 is less than the 8 percent increase in 2015-16, when the tax bill grew by $71 million. Sandy Kacharos, property tax division chief in the county’s Department of Finance, said the smaller increase in 2016-17 was because of a more moderate escalation in real estate market values and fewer new public bonds being issued. In June, Assessor Rich Benson said that the assessed value of Marin property, on which property taxes are based, closed at $70.4 million in 2016-17, a 6.3 percent increase from the previous year. In 2015-16 the assessment roll rose 7.11 percent. Advertisement Benson said the escalation in Marin real estate prices moderated somewhat this year and the number of properties sold declined slightly. In addition, Benson said, there were fewer properties for which the assessed value was increased more than the 2 percent allowed under Proposition 13. During the Great Recession the assessed value of a number of Marin properties was reduced. As the real estate market has recovered over the past several years, these assessments have been going back up. But that inventory was smaller in 2016 and will be smaller still in coming years. To avoid penalties, tax payments must be postmarked by the U.S. Postal Service on or before Dec. 12, 2016. Payments may be made online at marincounty.org/taxbillonline or paid by phone at 800-985-7277. An express payment drop box also will be at the Civic Center’s southern archway during regular business hours on Dec. 9 and 12. This year the state has reinstituted a property tax postponement program that was discontinued in 2009-10. Seniors who are 62 or older, and people who are blind or have some other disability, may be eligible for an indefinite postponement. Applicants for postponement must also own and occupy their home, have a total income of $35,500 or less and have at least 40 percent equity in the property. “An eligible property owner would have the state pay their tax now,” Kacharos said, “and they have a low-interest loan on the property that is due on death or sale unless there is an eligible successor. If they pass away and their wife survives, the wife can still maintain the postponement.” Delinquent taxes are not eligible for deferment, Kacharos said. More information on the program is available at bit.ly/2bIFEes. There is also additional information on parcel tax exemptions, including exemptions for seniors, at bit.ly/2gRBz5S. Eligibility for tax exemptions is administered and determined by each taxing district. The Tax Collector’s Office hours are 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays with an extension to 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Dec. 12. The office is in Room 202 at the Civic Center, 3501 Civic Center Drive in San Rafael. Taxpayers are encouraged to use the express drop box, pay online, pay by phone or pay by mail because of limited space at the Civic Center for those who wish to pay in person. David N Swaim Owner/Realtor -107078 Town of San Anselmo Planning Commissioner 415 710 5504 phone/text Tamrealty.com 609 San Anselmo Ave San Anselmo CA 94960

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