Municipal Service Tax

Your MST At Work v200

City of Mill Valley Municipal Service Tax - Special Tax Lien Information

You may have recently become aware of a Notice of a Special Tax Lien recorded on your property by the City of Mill Valley Community Facilities District (CFD No. 2016). Please click here to learn more. 

What is the MST?
The funds generated by the Municipal Service Tax improve the condition of City streets and storm drains, reduce fire hazards, and shorten emergency response times.

How much money is raised?
The MST currently generates an average of $1.7 million in revenue per year.

What is the current MST tax rate?
The City Council adopted a resolution to set the new rate at $266 per single family residence with an annual adjustment of 2% to keep up with inflation. Click here to see all rates. Mill Valley voters approved this new rate in November 2016.

Can MST funds be used for purposes other than maintenance of roads and fire suppression activities? 
No. MST funds cannot be used for general government purposes. The money collected is restricted and may only be used for the maintenance of roads and fire suppression activities.

Where does the money go?

Fire Prevention & Vegetation Management Program 

Approximately $300,000 per year
  • Preventing wildfires by removing brush and vegetation.
  • Creating fire breaks.
  • Improving emergency vehicle access.

The Vegetation Management Program removes 300 tons of fire fuel from Mill Valley every year. Along with vegetation removal, the program also offers home inspections, an app to calculate your defensible space, a demonstration garden, and an accreditation program for neighborhoods. To learn more, click here.

Street Improvement Projects

Approximately $885,000 per year

  • Maintaining, repairing and improving streets.
  • Repairing and improving storm drains.
  • Restoring areas damaged by landslides

Out of the total annual budget of $2,414,000, the MST provides $885,000, or around 40% of Street Improvement Project funding. The total investment the City has placed in street rehabilitation projects over the past ten years adds up to almost $20 million; the MST accounts for $ 4.8 million or almost 25% of the funding for these important projects.

The City of Mill Valley's Pavement Condition Index is currently rated at 64 out of 100 (Fair). Pavement in this range is significantly distressed and may require a combination of rehabilitation and preventive maintenance. Click here to learn more.

Since 2014, the City Council has assigned additional funds ($200,000 per year in the past, but doubled to $400,000 for FY2016/17 and $412,000 for FY2017/18) from the General Fund to street improvements. As a result, the streets are gradually improving, from a Pavement Condition Index (PCI) of 58 (At Risk) in 2014 to a PCI of 64 (Fair) in 2016.

When will the MST expire?

The tax began in the 2017/2018 fiscal year and and will expire following fiscal year 2026/2027.

When was the MST first passed?
In the 1980s, the Mill Valley City Council determined that existing City revenues could not adequately fund street repairs and began to look for additional sources of revenue, deciding on a Municipal Services Tax to fund street repairs on a pay-as-you-go basis. Voters first approved the MST at $145 per parcel in 1987, with the MST attaining the required two-thirds support of those voting. Voters approved the MST in 1997 at $145 per parcel and 2006 at a maximum of $195 per parcel. In 2016, voters approved the tax again in 2016 with 77.33% approval at a rate of $266 per single family residence with an annual adjustment of 2% to keep up with inflation.

Is there a senior exemption?
The MST exempts low-income senior citizens. If you would like to apply for a Senior Exemption, please contact the Public Works Administrative Aide at or call (415) 384-4800. Please include your name, mailing address, the parcel number(s) of the property, and the best way to reach you. Forms will be mailed to interested residents in April of each year. The forms will also be posted at the City website at that time.

Thank You

The tax has been a hugely successful, stable, and local funding source, allowing the City of Mill Valley to stay vigilant on both road repairs and fire prevention efforts.

2/1/2017 - Notice of Special Tax Lien (CFD No. 2016-1) and APN Data 
1/17/2017 - Ordinance No. 1287 Authorizing the Levy Special Tax 
1/3/2017 - Reso No. 17-01 Declaring Results of the Special Election
8/1/2016 - 
Reso No. 16-39 - Resolution of Formation 
8/1/2016 - Reso No. 16-40 - Calling Special Election & City Attorney Impartial Analysis
8/1/2016 - Reso No. 16-41 - Request Consolidation and Election Services
8/1/2016 - 
 Reso No. 16-42 - Authorizing Written Argument 
6/20/2016 - Reso No. 16-26 Adopting Amended and Restated Goals Mello-Roos
6/20/2016 - Reso No. 16-29 Intention to Form CFD No. 2016-1


News Articles:

May 2016: $4 Million Street and Sewer Rehab Project is Set to Begin in July

May 2016:With Fire Season Upon Us, Firefighters Step Up Weed Abatement Efforts

May 2016: MST Study Committee Explores Continuation of Tax Measure for Fire Prevention and Road Repairs

April 2016: City’s Ever-Improving Fire Prevention Program Maximizes Every Dollar

February 2016: City to Host Community Meeting on $3 Million Street and Sewer Rehab Project

Firemen and fire v230

Road paving