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Tiburon Dredging Measure Seeks 25-percent Tax Hike

Posted on October 11, 2016

By Gary Klien,

In many areas, a proposed 25-percent parcel tax increase would be a tough sell. In Paradise Cay, it should be smooth sailing.

Voters in the Tiburon Peninsula enclave will decide Nov. 8 whether to approve Measure O, a tax to fund maintenance dredging in the channels. The measure would raise the parcel tax from $1,200 to $1,500, with annual increases of up to 3 percent.

The measure needs a two-thirds majority to pass. The last time the dredging tax was on the ballot, in 2007, it passed 105 to 7, or nearly 94 percent in favor.

The unincorporated neighborhood, also known as County Service Area No. 29, created the dredging tax in 1992. The current version of the tax is scheduled to expire in the 2017-18 fiscal year.

Measure O would raise about $2.3 million over 10 years, enough for two dredging cycles. The assessment would rise to $1,957.16 by the 10th year.

The measure does not have an age exemption.

Eric Lyons, chairman of the CSA 29 Advisory Board, said the risk of failing to dredge regularly would be that Paradise Cay might suffer the fate of Novato’s Bahia neighborhood — a former boating community that has become a marsh. Bahia stopped dredging as a result of external political pressures, internal dissent and extended litigation.

Lyons, a software engineer who has lived in Paradise Cay for two decades, said the steep proposed increase in the assessment reflects the rising expense of silt removal. He said there are few companies willing to do the work on such a small scale.

“The problem is the dredging costs have skyrocketing,” he said.

The Board of Supervisors, the governing body of the county service area, approved the ballot language in August.

Property owners who have merged two of the development’s original parcels will be taxed for both lots, not one. The assessment covers about 130 parcels.

No opposing argument was submitted for the ballot.


Tiburon dredging

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