Protecting San Rafael from wildfire is a team effort, we need your help. Take a look at our Wildfire Safety Action Plan and let us know what you think.

Low-Income Senior Homeowner Exemption for MERA

Posted on March 5, 2018


MERA

A Process for Income Qualified Seniors to Claim an Exemption from MERA’s Parcel Tax

Qualified low-income seniors in Marin County are eligible to file for a tax exemption from a parcel tax that supports the County’s next-generation emergency radio system. This exemption must be applied for annually, so anyone who qualified for this exemption this past year, must re-apply again.

In November, 2014, Marin County voters approved Measure A, a parcel tax measure to fund the Marin Emergency Radio Authority’s Next Generation Public Safety Radio System. One item included in the measure was the ability of income-qualified senior homeowners to file for an exemption from the parcel tax.

Eligibility:
To qualify for a low-income senior exemption for the Measure A parcel tax for a single-family residence, you must (1) be 65 years of age or older by December 31, 2018, (2) own and occupy your residence, and (3) not have earned a total annual household income of more than $73,750 in 2017.

Deadline:
The deadline to file a low-income senior exemption application for the 2018-2019 tax year is June 1, 2018. The exemption must be renewed annually.

Applications:
Applications for exemption and additional details are available at: www.meraonline.org. Look for the Quick Links section on the Home page.

If you have questions about the parcel tax exemption, please call (800) 676-7516.


Frequently Asked Questions

Who is eligible to receive a low-income senior exemption for the Measure A Parcel Tax for the 2018-2019 tax year?
To qualify for a low-income senior exemption for the Measure A parcel tax for a single family residence, you must (1) be 65 years of age or older by December 31,2018, (2) own and occupy your residence, and (3) not have earned a total annual household income of more than $73,750 in 2017.

What is the deadline to file a low-income senior exemption application for the 2018-2019 tax year?
The deadline to file a low-income senior exemption application for the 2018-2019 tax year is June 1, 2018. Mailing address (as noted on application)

Marin Emergency Radio Authority, c/o NBS
32605 Temecula Parkway, Suite 100
Temecula, CA 92592

Fax: (951) 296-1998, Email: pos@nbsgov.com

APPLICATIONS MAILED, FAXED, EMAILED OR HAND-DELIVERED TO MERA AT THE NOVATO FIRE PROTECTION DISTRICT WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED

Do I need to submit a low-income senior exemption application every year?
Yes. Because the exemption is based upon income, and income may change from year-to-year, you will need to file a low-income senior exemption application every year.

Where does the money go?
The parcel taxes will be used to replace Marin County’s aging emergency communications system; reduce 911 response times, improve communications reliability during earthquakes, floods, fires and other disasters; and ensure reliable communications among police, fire, and paramedic first responders throughout Marin County.

For how many years has the parcel tax been authorized?
The Measure A parcel tax has a term of 20 years, commencing in the 2015-2016 tax year. The final levy for the Measure A parcel tax will be for the 2034-2035 tax year.

Who voted for this parcel tax?
The Measure A parcel tax was put before the registered voters of Marin County as a General Election ballot measure on November 4,2014. The measure passed with 67.14% approval.

I occupy multiple residences which are located on different parcels. Can I receive an exemption for all of them?
No. You may only claim ONE parcel as your primary residence.

I sent in the low-income senior exemption application before June 1. Why is the charge for the Measure A parcel tax still on my property tax bill?
If you have evidence that you submitted a low-income senior exemption prior to June 1 (e.g. certified mail receipt, fax confirmation, receipt from our office of hand-delivery, etc.), please provide a copy of such evidence to us. We will review on a case-by-case situation to verify your submission of a low-income senior exemption application.

If you have further questions, please contact NBS: (1) (800) 676-7516

What is NBS?
NBS is the consulting firm MERA has contracted with to provide post-election tax administration services, including property owner support, handling exemption requests and placing correct parcels and tax amounts on the County tax roll. They also provide comprehensive annual parcel tax administration services to other public agencies in Marin County and throughout California. NBS assures confidential and secure handling of all taxpayer information.

Close window