Property Tax Update and More

Supervisor Katie Rice 

April 3, 2020

My best to you and your family and hoping everyone doing as best as possible during this trying time. I appreciate the financial stress (in addition to social, emotional, physical) Marin County residents are experiencing. We are in unchartered territory--the sudden and widespread economic downturn across our community and country could never have been anticipated or planned for. And who would have ever imaged living under a shelter-in-place order? It is truly impressive and inspiring to witness our community’s response to COVID-19. The actions we are taking truly will save lives. Thank you.

Providing below the latest information on upcoming property tax deadline (April 10), as well as new recommendations coming from our public health officer about face covering for when out on your essential outings, and a gentle nudge per Census 2020. Also reminding anyone who has not already done so, to subscribe to receive daily COVID-19 status updates from our public health team. Marin County’s coronavirus webpage is updated daily with new COVID-19 statistics, frequently asked questions and additional resources.

Property Tax Deadline and Penalty Waiver Process

Contrary to some reports in the media, neither the Board of Supervisors nor the County Tax Collector has the authority to postpone the property tax due date. Authority for any changes to due date rests solely with the State. That said, the Board of Supervisors has formally requested that our representatives in Sacramento (Assemblyman Levine and Senator McGuire) take up legislation that would waive late fee penalties for tax payers who are unable to make a timely payment due to COVID-19 and compensate counties for losses in revenues associated with that waiver. A copy of our letter to Senator McGuire and Assembly Member Levine is here.

Regarding fees and late charges: Our County Tax Collector (Roy Given) does have/has always had the authority (under Revenue and Tax Code 4985.2) to consider requests for waiver of penalty on an individual basis but cannot do blanket waivers. At our Board meeting on Tuesday, Mr. Given stated that he would consider financial hardship caused by the COVID-19 emergency when evaluating individual applications for penalty fee waiver. Property owners can apply for a waiver between April 10 and May 15. The Application for Penalty Waiver will be available online during this time at http://www.marincounty.org/penaltyreview. Answers about waivers and other property tax questions are available online now.

Over 120 individual public agencies and special districts – including all our public schools, fire districts, sanitation agencies, water districts, city and towns, etc. rely on property taxes to operate. So please pay if you can and pay online, by phone or by mail rather than visiting in-person to prevent potential spread of COVID-19. If you are unable to pay, want to arrange for a payment plan, or have other questions about your property tax bill, visit the Tax Collector’s COVID-19 webpage or call the office (415-473-6133). They are happy to take calls and talk through individual situations and payment options.

Read the recent press release for more information.

Public Health Officials say, “Cover Up”

In response to new guidance from the California Department of Public Health, the Marin County Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Bay Area health officials are recommending that residents cover their nose and mouth when leaving home for essential travel, such as doctor appointments, grocery shopping or pharmacy visits.

Face coverings do not have to be hospital grade, but in order to be effective need to cover the nose and mouth. Home-sewn fabric coverings, bandanas, a “do-it-yourself” mask from an old t-shirt and neck gaiters are examples of acceptable face coverings, especially because they can be washed and worn again.

The rationale for covering one’s face comes from a U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention belief that COVID-19 spreads through droplets from an infected individual, whether sneezing or breathing, which fabrics can easily filter. This not only helps to reduce the risk of a well person breathing those droplets in, but also protects others around someone with mild symptoms who may not yet realize they have the illness (or is suffering from other illnesses, such as the flu). Covering the nose and mouth also may be beneficial as a reminder to keep physical distancing.

Note that the new face covering recommendation is not a substitute for current COVID-19 mitigation strategies – but does function as an extra layer of protection in combination with hand-washing, social distancing and staying home as much as possible.

Read the recent press release for more information.

It’s Census Time and You Count!

The 2020 Census is more than a count; it is an important way to make everyone who lives in Marin County visible and ensure that equal opportunities are available for all. Every year, the county receives federal funding for hospitals, roads, schools, Medicare, Medicaid, Section 8 and many other programs based on population. Overall, the state receives about $76.5 billion. Every person not counted translates to a loss of about $2,000 per person per year for the next 10 years.

Everyone should have received census information in the mail by now. If you didn’t, or can’t find it, no worries. You can complete the census online, by phone or by mail. Visit https://marincensus2020.org/ for more information and click here for my nudge. Thank you!

 Katie Rice Signature

Contact Info:

Supervisor Katie Rice

415-473-7825

krice@marincounty.org

www.facebook.com/D2KatieRice

 

District 2 Aides:

Nancy Vernon

415-473-7351

nvernon@marincounty.org

 

Jen Gauna

415-473-6159

jgauna@marincounty.org