Marin County parcel tax for wildfire prevention headed to March ballot

Marin County voters in March will consider approving a parcel tax that would raise approximately $19.3 million a year for wildfire prevention in the county.

The Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to adopt a resolution to authorize the ballot item and an ordinance to levy the tax for 10 years. 

Seventeen agencies, including the County of Marin, have joined the Marin Wildlife Prevention Authority. The agencies also include six fire protection districts, two community service districts, a public utility district four towns and three cities in the county.

The agencies represent 98 percent of the land in the county and more than 96 percent of the county's residents.

The annual parcel tax will be up to 10 percent per square foot for improved commercial and residential parcels. The tax would be $180 a year for a typical 1,800-square foot home 

The tax will be $75 per unit for multifamily residential structures with three or more units and $25, $100 or $150 per unimproved parcels based on acreage.

Sixty percent of the tax revenue will go for wildfire evacuation system improvements, vegetation management, grants and public education. Twenty percent would be allocated for annual defensible space and home hardening evaluations and the remaining 20 percent will go for local-specific wildfire prevention efforts.

The Marin County Wildfire Prevention Authority also would help residents understand more about disaster preparedness, reducing combustible vegetation, making homes fire resistant and planning for an organized emergency evacuation.