County of Marin - News Releases - Proposed Novato Flood Control Tax

For Immediate Release
July 07, 2017

Supervisors to Consider Novato Flood Control Tax

November election proposed for residents of Flood Control Zone 1

San Rafael, CA – The Marin County Board of Supervisors will decide on Tuesday, August 1, whether or not to place a parcel tax for the greater Novato area on the November 7 special election ballot. The Marin County Flood Control and Water Conservation District Board of Supervisors, which also serves as the Marin County Board of Supervisors, has scheduled a public hearing during its regular meeting, at approximately 10 a.m. in the Supervisors chamber.

A heavy equipment operator uses an excavator to dredge Novato Creek.Novato flood control tax revenues pay for work such as sediment removal from creeks.
The advisory board for Flood Control Zone 1, which covers 45 square miles of Novato, recommended at its June 29 meeting that the District Supervisors call a special election for voters within the zone. The parcel tax would apply to the City of Novato as well as unincorporated areas in western Novato, Bel Marin Keys, Black Point, Green Point, Bahia, Ignacio, Pacheco Valle and Indian Valley.

Flood Control Zone 1 generates about $2 million in annual revenue from property taxes and a maintenance assessment from 1984. The existing revenue is used to inspect and maintain five miles of flood protection levees, four stormwater pump stations, annual vegetation and debris maintenance along 15 miles of creeks, and a mile-long project to remove sediment from Novato Creek every four years.

The baseline tax would be $47 per single-family home. Rates would vary for the owners of businesses and multifamily complexes based on land use and parcel size. Low income senior exemptions would be available. The proposed tax would provide another $1.1 million in annual revenue to upgrade and modernize flood infrastructure and address $1.7 million in 2017 storm damage. The funds would only be used within Flood Control Zone 1 with annual audits being conducted.

If the measure is placed on the ballot and supported by at least two-thirds of the voters, the tax would raise an estimated $19.8 million over 18 years. The revenue would be used to modernize facilities, improve roadway drainage, reduce flooding, improve water quality, restore fish and wildlife habitat, and adapt to sea level rise. The Flood Control Zone 1 expects to leverage the tax revenue to obtain grants in the range of $7 million to $10 million.

For more information, visit the Novato Watershed Program website


Tony Williams
Assistant Director
Public Works

3501 Civic Center Drive
Suite 304
San Rafael, CA 94903
(415) 473-6432
Email: Tony Williams
Public Works website