Inverness neighborhood to vote on road repaving tax


A handful of Inverness residents are taking action to fix their cracked roads, imposing an annual tax to fund road maintenance in their neighborhood. If Measure C receives a two-thirds “yes” vote in the Aug. 26 special election, it will impose an annual $1,417 tax on developed properties and $708 on undeveloped properties for improvements on about two miles of unmaintained stretches of Rannoch Way, Keith Way and Stirling Way. “Nobody is happy with the number, but we all realize the longer this gets kicked down the road the worse the roads will get,” said Eric Moeller, a committee member for the Inverness Permanent Road Division No. 2. Sections of the roads that are currently gravel will receive an asphalt surface and paved areas will receive a seal coat. Mr. Moeller thinks the road division’s mechanism for road repair can be a model for other neighborhoods. “There are huge sections of road in Marin County that are privately maintained, and they are in horrible shape,” he said. Countywide, eight road divisions exist. A website to explain the formation of permanent road divisions—which residents petition the county to create in order to levy a special tax—will launch in the next few months, according to Ernest Klock, the assistant director of the county public works department. The alternative to a road division is buddying up with neighbors and paying for a project upfront, which comes at a fraction of the price because residents don’t pay administrative costs or interest, Mr. Klock said. “The process of taxing yourselves and turning it into public money results in more costs,” but with comprehensive projects like the one proposed in Measure C, it’s a reasonable solution, he said. The last parcel tax for the Inverness Permanent Road Division No. 2 expired in 2008; if the measure is approved, the county will loan the road division the $566,664 that the 10-year tax will raise, and a contractor will complete the repaving by the end of the year, Mr. Moeller said. Ballots have been mailed, and the measure is likely to pass—93 percent of lot owners supported the petition for it to end up on the ballot. “Everyone up here is thrilled to get the roads fixed,” Mr. Moeller said.