November 6, 2018 - Measure N

Lynda Roberts, Registrar of Voters, Elections


MEASURE N: Shall the measure to continue for four more years the special tax for paramedic and/or emergency medical services at the existing annual amount of $75 per residence and per 1,000 square feet of floor area for nonresidential uses for fiscal years 2019-2020 through 2022-2023, with anticipated annual revenues of $500,000, and with the appropriations limit increasing by the amount of the tax, be adopted?

YES                            NO


If adopted by the voters, Measure N would extend Corte Madera’s parcel tax from its current June 30, 2019 expiration date until June 30, 2023. The revenue from this special tax – estimated at $500,000 annually – would continue to be placed in a special fund and used only to fund paramedic and emergency medical services. No other uses of this revenue would be legally permitted.

This is not the first time this parcel tax has been submitted to and approved by the Town’s voters. A special parcel tax to fund paramedic and emergency medical services was first approved by the Town’s voters on June 7, 1983, and was last approved by the Town’s voters in November 2014.

Measure N would not change the tax rate for the parcel tax. For residences, the annual tax would continue to be $75 per residential unit. For nonresidential uses, the annual tax would continue to be $75 per 1,000 square feet of floor area.

Measure N would also increase the Town’s appropriation limit by the amount of tax revenue received which, under the state Constitution, would allow the Town to spend this revenue for paramedic and emergency medical services.

The Measure was placed on the ballot by the Town Council. Two-thirds of all the voters who vote on the measure must vote in favor of the measure for it be approved. The parcel tax rate cannot be increased, or the duration of the tax extended, unless approved by a two-thirds vote of the voters.

A “yes” vote on Measure N is a vote to extend for four years Corte Madera’s existing parcel tax at its current rate, with the revenue from the tax to be used only to fund paramedic and emergency medical services.

A “no” vote on Measure N is a vote not to continue the parcel tax past June 30, 2019.

The above statement is an impartial analysis of Measure N. If you desire a copy of the measure, please call the Town Clerk’s office at (415) 927-5085 and a copy will be mailed at no cost to you.

Town Attorney for the Town of Corte Madera


This is a continuation of a special tax approved by Corte Madera voters every four years beginning in 1983. The $75 per parcel is not an increase from the current rate and is not a new tax.

This paramedic parcel tax provides revenue needed to fund our paramedic ambulance services in Corte Madera. In particular, the funds will be used for the Advanced Life Support services provided since 1998 by Corte Madera Fire Department. We wish to keep highly trained emergency paramedic ambulance service available here in town.

Response time and rapid intervention are critical to saving lives in cardiac events, other medical emergencies, and traumatic injuries. A delay of any kind in care and transport can mean the difference between life and death, and these funds will help preserve the current paramedic services.

Please vote “YES” on this measure.

Councilmember, Town of Corte Madera

Corte Madera Planning Commissioner

Councilmember, Town of Corte Madera

Co-Chair, Citizens for Saving Paramedic Services

Co-Founder, Neighborhood Response Program


No argument against Measure N was filed.



The people of the Town of Corte Madera do ordain as follows:

Section 1. Chapter 3.50 of the Town of Corte Madera Municipal Code is hereby amended to read as follows:

Chapter 3.50


  • 3.50.010     Authority, purpose and intent.
  • 3.50.020     Definitions.
  • 3.50.030     Tax imposed.
  • 3.50.040     Use of tax proceeds, appropriations limit.
  • 3.50.050     Method of collection.
  • 3.50.060     Delinquency.
  • 3.50.070     Amendment of chapter.
  • 3.50.080     Severability.
  • 3.50.090     Two-thirds voter approval, effective date.
  • 3.50.100     Sunset provision.
  • 3.50.110     Execution.

3.50.010     Authority, purpose and intent. It is the sole purpose and intent of this chapter, pursuant to Article XI of the California Constitution to impose a special tax on residential and nonresidential property within the Town of Corte Madera (Town), the proceeds of which shall be used exclusively to fund paramedic and/or emergency medical services. This parcel tax is neither an ad valorem tax on real property nor a transaction or sales tax on the sale of property. It is an excise tax on the privilege of using District services. It is a special tax and requires two-thirds voter approval.

3.50.020     Definitions. The definitions given in this section shall govern the construction of this chapter.

(1) Floor area. “Floor area” shall be defined as the total enclosed area of all floors of a building measured to the outside face of the walls.

(2) Nonresidential Use. “Nonresidential use” shall be defined as any building which is designed, intended, or used for any purpose other than a residential use, including, but not limited to, commercial, industrial and office uses. A hotel, motel and all residential units contained therein, as defined below, shall be treated as a nonresidential use.

(3) Residential Unit. “Residential unit” shall be defined as each building or portion thereof, containing one or more rooms, a separate bathroom, and a single kitchen, as defined in Section 18.04.400 of the Corte Madera Municipal Code, designed for or occupied by one family or by one or more individuals.

3.50.030     Tax imposed. A special tax for the purpose outlined in Section 3.50.040 shall be imposed on nonresidential uses and on residential units in the amount specified below for each of the fiscal years 2019-2020 to 2022-2023.

(1) Nonresidential uses:

  • Seventy-five dollars ($75.00) per year for each 1,000 square feet of floor area.

(2) Residential Units:

  • Seventy-five dollars ($75.00) per year for each residential unit.

3.50.040     Limitation on use of tax proceeds. The proceeds of the special tax imposed by this chapter shall be deposited into a special fund in the Town treasury and used specifically and solely for the purpose of providing paramedic and/or emergency medical services. This limitation on the use of the proceeds shall be legally binding and enforceable.

3.50.045     Appropriations limit. The appropriations limit of the Town shall be increased by the proceeds received from this special tax for each of the four years of this special tax to permit the expenditure of the proceeds of the tax imposed by this Ordinance for the specific and limited purposes set forth in section 3.50.40.

3.50.050     Method of collection. The special tax imposed by this chapter shall be due from every person who owns real property within the Town on which is located a residential unit(s) and/or a nonresidential use(s) and as reflected upon the rolls of the Marin County Assessor at the same time ad valorem tax is due. This special tax shall be collected by the Marin County Tax Collector at the same time, in the same manner, and subject to the same terms and conditions, including penalties and interest, as the ad valorem tax. The full amount due under this chapter shall constitute a debt to the Town. An action for the collection of any tax due hereunder may be commenced in the name of the Town, or its assignee, in any court having jurisdiction of the cause.

3.50.055     Accountability report. The Town Treasurer shall prepare and file with the Town Council a report by August 1st of each year stating: (a) the amounts collected and spent by the Town in the previous fiscal year, (b) the status of services authorized to be funded by the proceeds of this tax, and (c) the funds carried over from previous years and to be carried over to future years. Such report shall be available for inspection without charge to any property owner in the Town.

3.50.060     Delinquency. To any amount of the tax created by this chapter which becomes delinquent, the Marin County Tax Collector shall add a penalty in an amount equal to any penalty owing for delinquencies in the ad valorem property tax. The tax and penalty shall bear interest at the same rate as the rate for unpaid ad valorem tax until paid.

3.50.065     Refunds. Whenever the amount of any tax, penalty, or interest imposed by this Ordinance has been paid more than once, or has been erroneously or illegally collected or received by the Town, it may be refunded provided a verified claim in writing therefor, stating the specific ground upon which such claim is founded, is filed with the Treasurer within one (1) year of the date of payment. The claim shall be filed by the person who paid the tax or such person’s guardian, conservator, or the executor of her or his estate and shall contain the information required by Government Code section 910 for claims to which that section applies. No claim may be filed on behalf of other taxpayers or a class of taxpayers. If a claim is approved by the Town Council, the excess may be refunded or may be credited against any amounts then due and payable from the person from whom it was collected, and the balance may be refunded to such person, his/her administrators or executors. Filing a timely and sufficient claim shall be a condition precedent to legal action against the Town for a refund of the tax.

3.50.070     Amendment of chapter. The Town Council is hereby authorized to amend this chapter by three (3) affirmative votes of its members for the sole and limited purposes of carrying out the general purposes of this chapter, to conform the provisions of this chapter to applicable state law, to permit the County Tax Collector to collect the special tax levied by this chapter, or to reassign the duties of public officials under this chapter. In no event, however, may the Town Council increase the tax amount specified in Section 3.50.030 or modify the specific and limited purposes for which the tax may be utilized as provided for in Section 3.50.040 without the approval of two-thirds of the voters of the Town voting on the question.

3.50.080     Severability. If any section, or part thereof, of this chapter is held invalid or unenforceable by any court and such judgment becomes final, then that section, or part thereof, may be amended by this Council, by a majority vote, to conform with the judgment of such court, provided such amendment is consistent with the purpose and intent of this chapter. If any section, subsection, sentence, phrase or clause of this chapter is for any reason held to be invalid, such decision shall not affect the validity of the remaining portion of this chapter. The People of the Town of Corte Madera hereby declare that they would have adopted this chapter and each section, subsection, sentence, phrase or clause thereof irrespective of the fact that any one or more sections, subsections, sentences, phrases, or clauses may be declared invalid.

3.50.090     Two-thirds voter approval, effective date. An election to confirm and approve this Ordinance has been set for November 6, 2018. This ordinance shall be effective only if approved by two-thirds (2/3) of the voters voting upon this Ordinance and shall go into effect ten (10) days after the vote is declared by the Town Council.

3.50.100     Sunset provision. This Ordinance shall expire and be of no further force or effect after midnight, June 30, 2023.

3.50.110     Execution. The Town Mayor is hereby authorized to attest to the adoption of this Ordinance by signing where indicated below.

I certify that the foregoing Ordinance was PASSED, APPROVED and ADOPTED by the people of the Town of Corte Madera voting on the 6th day of November 2018.


Town Clerk