Frequently Asked Questions

Will landscape improvements increase my property taxes?

Supplemental tax assessment legislation requires that property which is newly constructed be revalued at the time new construction is completed. The Marin County Tax Assessor's office is alerted of new construction when a permit is processed. An assessor will then review construction documents, and/or inspect the construction on site to determine how the new construction affects the assessed value of the property.

Many landscape projects do not need building permits and therefore will not affect your property tax payment. A permit is generally required for retaining walls over 3 feet, or electrical work, but municipalities differ regarding permits for other types of work.

Some improvements (such as re-roofing your house) may not add value and others will. The county does not provide specific guidelines for determining the value of landscape improvements and reviews each project on an individual basis.

The basic tax rate is 1 percent of the assessed value of the property, which can increase by 2 percent each year. If a project is deemed to add $5,000 of value to the property, there will be a $50 per year increase in the basic tax. Tax district assessments may or may not be based on a percentage of assessed value, so you would need to refer to your tax bill to see whether or not these would be affected.

I have small children and a dog. How do I know if I have poisonous plants in my yard?

It is suprising how many plants we see everyday are poisonous. It would be very difficult to avoid using any of them, but knowledge of such plant characteristics allows Gardens & Gables to help you choose the right plants for your situation.

How dangerous a plant will be in the garden depends upon the degree of toxicity and type of effects, the attractive nature of the poisonous part of the plant , and how your garden space will be used.

Some poisonous plants will cause only a mild rash while some have potentially fatal effects. It is less likely that a toddler will pick and eat a basic green leaf than shinny berries growing right at eye level. If the primary use of your yard space is a play area for small children, however, it might be best to avoid all poisonous plants.

Here are some internet sites which list poisonous plants and their effects on people , on pets and by botanical name with pictures. Here is one with general poison information.

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