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What is Extra Mello-Roos Tax for Hamilton and Pointe Marin Homeowners, and Will it Ever End?

What is Extra Mello-Roos Tax for Hamilton and Pointe Marin Homeowners, and Will it Ever End?

Title page What is Extra Tax For Hamilton and Pointe Marin Homeowners

What is the Mello-Roos tax for Hamilton and Pointe Marin homeowners, and will it ever end?

If you own a home in Hamilton Field or Pointe Marin, your property tax bill looks a little different from other Novato homes. There’s an extra tax and it adds a significant amount to your tax bill every year.

So, what is this tax, and does it go on forever?  Realtor Erin McGinnis answers those questions in this video. Please give the video a thumbs up, and subscribe to our channel!

The full transcript is below.

What is the extra tax for Hamilton Field and Pointe Marin?

The tax is known as a Mello-Roos district tax, or a CFD tax, and it has everything to do with how the neighborhoods in Hamilton Field and Pointe Marin were developed.

As you probably know, these neighborhoods are located where Hamilton Air Force Base used to be. Hamilton was an important base for the west coast in World War II, and the base was decommissioned in 1974.

Hamilton Air Force Base

Photo credit: Novato Historical Guild


Hamilton Field present day

Hamilton today

Across the freeway in Ignacio, what’s now Pointe Marin used to be Rafael Village, an area of military family housing.

Rafael Village

Rafael Village circa early 1990s


Aerial of Pointe Marin Novato

In the foreground is Laurelwood Drive, which is part of the Pointe Marin subdivision. Prior to redevelopment, this area contained military family housing.

Community Facilities District, or CFD

In order to pay for the significant redevelopment of the land into residential neighborhoods, a Community Facilities District, or CFD, was formed as a way to fund the project. CFDs allow a developer to pass on the costs of construction and ongoing maintenance to future property owners.

Both Hamilton and Pointe Marin have their own CFDs, and property owners are assessed an annual tax. The amount varies, and we’ll get into that later. Let’s talk about Hamilton first.

Hamilton Field Background and Tax

In 1995, the Hamilton CFD issued $25 million in bonds to build out the infrastructure in Hamilton. That included the levee, the storm drainage system including 2 pump stations, sewer and water lines, roads, bus shelters, and other improvements like the rebuilding of the Main Gate structure.

Hamilton Field Main Gate entrance today

Hamilton Field Main Gate entrance structure today

The bonds, or loans essentially, were for 30 years. Part of the tax Hamilton homeowners are assessed each year pays down that debt. That part of the tax is called the Facilities Tax, and it’s the larger portion of the tax. It goes toward paying off the debt. The facilities tax is also for so-called “pay as you go” improvements; the smaller portion is the “services tax” and it goes toward annual maintenance and operations.


According to the city of Novato, fiscal year 2024-2025 will be the last year that the facilities tax will be levied and collected from Hamilton homeowners. So that’s good news!

The services tax, however, continues forever. This money funds maintenance of the levee and storm drainage systems plus landscape maintenance and irrigation.

Example of what this looks like in dollars: Hamilton Field

In Hamilton this year, the tax per household ranged from roughly $1600 to $2800 to depending on the size of your home. Let’s say you’re at the high end of that range.

If your annual CFD tax was $2800, approximately $1850 went toward the debt payments and about $950 went to annual maintenance. That $950 is the part that continues in perpetuity, and it typically increases each year based on inflation.

Hideaway Neighborhood is Exempt

One last note about Hamilton: the Hideaway neighborhood is exempt from the facilities tax. The 19 homes on San Pablo Court are not in the CFD because of a special circumstance in which the developer helped finance the levee and other Hamilton improvements.

Instead, Hideaway was put into a Landscape and Lighting District, and homeowners are assessed a maintenance fee each year.

Pointe Marin Background and Tax

So what about Pointe Marin? Are they on the same timeline as Hamilton? The answer is no.

Pointe Marin is a slightly newer development than Hamilton. The Pointe Marin CFD was approved in 2002, and almost $12 million in bonds were issued to develop the infrastructure for this 103-acre area that runs along one stretch of Ignacio Boulevard.

Pointe Marin Novato aerial

In Pointe Marin, what you pay varies based on the square footage of your home, and there are 11 tax brackets. This year the CFD tax ranged from about $2,100 to about $3,600.

According to the City of Novato, the debt is scheduled to be paid off in September 2032, so property owners here will continue paying the full tax until then.

After 2032, homeowners will just pay the services tax for ongoing maintenance costs. The services tax makes up about a third of the tax, so there will be significant savings when the time comes.

What Does Mello-Roos Mean?

One final note: the terms CFD and Mello Roos are interchangeable. Mello-Roos refers to a law passed by the California Legislature in 1982 that allows the formation of Community Facilities Districts. The name Mello-Roos comes from the names of the two sponsors of the legislation.

If you have any questions about Pointe Marin or Hamilton, please feel free to reach out to us!


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