Let's support housing solutions that work.
Let's create the Jefferson County
Home Opportunity Fund.
Vote "YES" on November 7, 2017.
If approved by a majority of voters, this Jefferson County ballot measure will establish a county fund for creating or preserving affordable housing throughout Jefferson County.
The Home Opportunity Fund will provide grants and loans to organizations that can create or preserve housing that will remain affordable to low- and very low-income households for forty years or more. Organizations, not the county, will build, operate, and maintain the housing. The funds are for building, renovating, and acquiring affordable housing, not for operations or rent subsidies.
The fund will be created with revenue from a seven-year limited-term property tax levy of 36 cents per thousand assessed property valuation. The revenue will be held in a segregated county fund and used only for the purpose of creating or preserving affordable housing.
The fund will be overseen by a citizen Fund Board that will recommend funding for the best proposals. Organizations applying for funds will need to demonstrate to the Fund Board that they have capacity to follow through on a plan that meets objectives and that pencils out over the long term.
You can see the Board of County Commissioners’ resolution, the ballot measure, and the draft Financing Plan here.
All registered voters in Jefferson County will see this measure on their ballots.
It’s easy to check your voter status, to register to vote, or to change your address at MyVote or at the Auditor’s Office.
The deadline for changing a Washington registration is October 9. The deadline for registration of new Washington voters is October 30 (in person only).
Ballots must be received at the County Auditor’s office or postmarked by November 7. (Mail your ballot early, some mail sent on election day may not be postmarked in time.)
Prop 1 will generate about up to $1.9 million a year for seven years, for a total between $13-13.9 million, all for affordable housing. This is a significant amount of funding in our small county, but to get the most bang for our bucks we can get additional outside grants and other funding, or “leveraging” (see question on leveraging below).
All real property in Jefferson County is subject to the levy, including homes, businesses, and other property. Some seniors and people with disabilities will be exempt from a portion of this levy. (See fuller discussion below.)
The County Assessor determines the assessed value of each property in the county. Your property taxes are calculated based on this value. The levy is 36 cents for every thousand dollar assessed value of your property per year.
To determine your Prop 1 levy amount for 2018, multiply the assessed value of your home by .00036. Think of it this way: For every $100,000 of value, the levy is $36 a year.
According to the Assessor, the median assessed value (half above/half below) is about $277,000. Prop 1 will increase the levy on that property by about $99 a year. For a home assessed at $300,000, the levy will add $108 a year, or $9 a month.
Many can be exempt from most of it. Over 1100 Jefferson County homeowners take part in the state Property Tax Exemption program for low-income seniors over 61 years of age and people with disabilities.
For all households with income below $40,000, the assessed value of their property is frozen and they are exempt from all excess levies. (Prop 1 is a regular levy.) So all homeowners who have a frozen value below today’s assessed value will pay less.
For a household new to the program with income $35,001-$40,000 and a home assessed at $165,000, the HOF levy is $5 a month, and the homeowner is exempt from the new school tax.
For a household new to the program with income $30,001-$35,000, the owner is exempt from regular property taxes on $50,000 or 35% of the valuation, whichever is greater, not to exceed $70,000. If the home is assessed at $165,000, the HOF levy is $3.22 a month, and the homeowner is exempt from the new school tax.
For a household new to the program with income $0-$30,000, the owner is exempt from regular property taxes on $60,000 or 60% of the valuation, whichever is greater. If the home is assessed at $165,000, the HOF levy is $1.98 a month, and the homeowner is exempt from the new school tax.
The details on all state deferral and exemption programs are here.
Before supporting a property tax, we understand that voters want to be sure that all other avenues have been explored. They have.
Our community has been struggling with this housing challenge for a long time, and our community conversations have explored all alternatives. Many committees have met and reports have been written. This ground was reviewed in developing this measure. Some ideas are discussed lower in the FAQ.
What we have lacked is funding, and a local funding source will make us competitive for matching grants and other funding.
Leaders of our affordable housing organizations are knowledgeable and competent when it comes to finding and receiving grants. They are in touch with the staff and boards of major funders like the Washington State’s Housing Trust Fund and Housing Finance Commission. They are part of larger networks like the Washington State Low Income Housing Alliance who keep up to date on all the latest developments in Washington, D.C, and Olympia. They are in touch with our representatives in the legislature and in congress.
They agree that this fund will make us more competitive for the additional grants and other funding we need to create affordable housing for our neighbors.
Over the years, housing leaders, elected officials, and city and county staff have also taken part in discussions with creative housing-interested volunteers and citizens who bring even more valuable ideas about technology and policy changes into the conversation. Local housing activists advocated for a bill about smaller houses. It passed the state house during the 2017 legislature, but it died in the state senate.
To meet the housing need in our county we need to make progress with funding for affordable housing through Prop 1. We must also continue to enact policy changes at the state, county, and city level; put new technologies to work; and create additional infrastructure.
Funding for affordable housing often involves leveraging a little local resource with a much larger combination of matching grants and other funding. That local commitment can make all the difference.
Over the last decade, Jefferson County has received very little in the way of outside funding for housing. Our chances of receiving competitive grants will be vastly improved if we have a local source of funding through the Home Opportunity Fund.
Outside sources of funding include:
The Washington State Housing Trust Fund, managed by the state Department of Commerce, has a competitive process for affordable housing grants. State revenue goes to this fund through the state capital budget.
The Washington State Housing Finance Commission can assist in acquiring funding through low-income housing tax credits.
Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) are one of the longest-running programs of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). They fund local community development activities such as affordable housing, anti-poverty programs, and infrastructure development.
It will be up to applicants to find and secure the additional funding. Local agencies experienced in doing that include Peninsula Housing Authority, Habitat for Humanity of East Jefferson County, OlyCAP, Sarge’s Place, Bayside Housing and Services, and Dove House. Other affordable housing developers could certainly step forward once we have local funds available.
Bellingham and Vancouver have been very successful in leveraging local funding since creating their Home Funds. See the next question.
Yes. Bellingham (2012) and Vancouver (2016) each passed measures that created Home Funds with levies of 36 cents for seven years. Things are going well for them, as you’ll see below.
While Jefferson County’s Home Opportunity Fund and its Financing Plan are inspired by them, there are important differences. Bellingham and Vancouver are cities with far more people than Jefferson County, and their challenges are different. Their measures raise a lot more revenue, and they provide rent support, staff for supportive housing, and temporary shelter.
Our Home Opportunity Fund is for roofs, not rent support.
Our fund is best invested in creating and preserving affordable housing stock that will be around long after the seven years pass. We have other immediate needs, and we need to address them, but this resource is dedicated to this single purpose.
Bellingham: Last year, Bellingham reported that they were leveraging local revenue at a better than 5:1 ration. They had $12 million in local revenue and $63 million in committed outside funding. This July, they reported that 400 new homes and 300 renovations have been completed or are in the pipeline.
Consolidated Plan of Bellingham, Housing Resources, update fact sheet. July, 2017.
Vancouver, Washington: In November 2016, Vancouver voters approved a seven-year, 36-cent housing measure creating a Home Fund. The revenue began to accrue in 2017. Many proposals came from solid organizations that had secured significant additional funding, and the awardees should be announced soon.
2017 Application List, City of Vancouver
The Financing Plan describes how the fund will be administered. It outlines the program objectives, process for considering proposals, process for fund disbursement, eligible costs and fund recipients, who is eligible to benefit from the housing, affordability period, monitoring for compliance, and much more.
The resolution passed by the Board of County Commissioners on July 31 included this Draft Financing Plan, adapted from plans used in Bellingham and Vancouver, and a final plan will be adopted through public process before the end of the year.
A major aspect of the Financing Plan is the establishment of a citizen Home Opportunity Fund Board. (See next question.)
As described in the Financing Plan, the Board of County Commissioners will appoint a citizen Home Opportunity Fund Board to evaluate proposals and to make sure that funding goes to the best projects. In this way, volunteer citizens can be directly involved in determining priorities for the fund and in evaluating the proposals brought forward.
This approach is based on the successful model of the county’s Conservation Futures Board. The program will be administered through the Health Department, as safe, stable housing is critical to the health of our community.
Responsibilities: This advisory board of citizens will set criteria for projects, put out Requests for Proposals, evaluate them, and recommend funding for the best proposals. Their work will be facilitated by a single county employee, with support as needed from other county staff.
Composition: The draft plan describes a Home Opportunity Fund Board of nine voting members:
a citizen from each of the three commissioner districts;
a citizen with low- or very low-income;
a citizen from each of the two planning commissions (county and city);
a citizen with expertise in finance/loan underwriting,
a citizen with expertise in building/design,
a citizen with expertise in health/social determinants of health.
In addition, the commissioners could appoint non-voting members who have helpful expertise.
How chosen: The Board of County Commissioners will use the same procedure it uses for appointing citizens to other advisory boards: they will advertise the vacancies and carefully consider appointments through a public process.
Fund Board Processes: The first year will be especially busy as the Fund Board ramps up. After that, the work is likely to settle into an annual cycle: developing Requests for Proposals, evaluating them, making recommendations, and reviewing progress and processes.
The federal Department of Health and Urban Development (HUD) sets standards for many housing programs. HUD considers housing affordable if the household spends up to 30% of its income on gross rent (includes an allowance for basic utilities).
To determine which households have “low-income” or “very-low income,” HUD calculates the Area Median Income (AMI) for Jefferson County every year, then looks at income bands and household size.
Very low-income: By HUD standards, households with incomes of 50% of the AMI or below have “very low-income”. Two-thirds of the housing created or preserved by the Home Opportunity Fund will be for households in this income band, and they will pay up to their affordable rent to live in it.
|Affordability for “Very Low Income” Housing at 50% of the Area Median Household Income in Jefferson County|
|Persons in household||HUD annual income limit||Hourly wage to earn this income at
40 hours x 52 weeks= 2,080 hours/year
|Affordable monthly gross rent|
Low-income: By HUD standards, households with incomes of 80% of the AMI or below have “low-income”. One-third of the housing created or preserved by the Home Opportunity Fund will be for households in this income band, and they will pay up to their affordable rent to live in it.
Affordability for “Low Income”
|Persons in household||HUD annual income limit||Hourly wage to earn this income at
40 hours x 52 weeks= 2,080 hours/year
|Affordable monthly gross rent|
When the Fund Board requests proposals from organizations, the request will specify a minimum period during which the project must remain affordable to people with low-incomes. It is typical in the affordable housing world for projects to remain affordable for forty or fifty years. The draft Financing Plan calls for a period of at least forty years, but the Fund Board can choose a higher level.
If the owner fails to live up to the contract, or if the owner attempts to terminate the agreement early, the Financing Plan calls for severe penalties meant to deter such action.
That would be great, and it’s possible under the Financing Plan, but it’s not yet practical.
Assuring affordability over the long term requires that an organization be committed to managing and maintaining buildings, as well as monitoring affordability. Expectations and costs over a set-term can be projected and quantified … but forever is a long time.
For perpetual affordability to work, that “forever” commitment needs to be taken up by a competent organization such as a Community Land Trust (CLT). The CLT model is successful nearby (Vashon, Bainbridge, San Juan, Whatcom, Seattle).
One of the most successful examples of a CLT is the Champlain Trust in Vermont. Since it began in the early 1980s, the capacity of the trust has steadily expanded in concert with public confidence in it.
A local CLT may emerge and become capable of taking on such a commitment. If it does, the Home Opportunity Fund Board can consider their proposals alongside others, and consider proposals that include them as partners. That’s what it will take to make perpetual affordability practical in Jefferson County.
In time, we could have a strong CLT, but we need to start here and now with our initial seven-year commitment to affordable housing, and organizations that can demonstrate their capacity to assure affordability for at least forty years.
Each proposed project will have its own business plan, called a pro forma, a standard document used in the affordable housing field. Before any funds are awarded, the organization will have to demonstrate to the Fund Board and to the county that their proposal pencils out over the long term.
Proposers need to demonstrate that they can meet anticipated maintenance needs and management costs, all while keeping the homes affordable to people with low incomes.
If you’re really into it, here’s a sample pro forma for HUD funding.
The county has many revenue streams dedicated to specific programs, and ultimate accountability for their management falls to our elected officials.
The Board of County Commissioners will assure that the Financing Plan is followed. The Treasurer will handle the cash. The Auditor will handle the accounting. The State Auditor and granting agencies will also assure integrity. Because we have such open government, citizens and the press will be able to see just how things unfold.
It is well within the capacity of the county to take on this program. With the assistance of staff in several departments and the Prosecutor’s office, the county currently manages hundreds of contracts. Through sound practices over time, the county has earned a high bond rating.
The housing providers will also be held accountable. Throughout the period of affordability, the county will monitor the housing to assure that it is serving its intended purpose.
The specific projects the fund will support will be recommended by a citizen Fund Board after they evaluate proposals from organizations that can build them.
Eligible fund uses include any of the following that will create or preserve affordable housing: building new housing, converting existing property, preserving housing, renovating housing, acquiring land, and providing infrastructure.
The types of housing in the plan objectives include mixed-income developments, workforce housing, and housing for vulnerable populations. Another objective is to distribute the housing throughout the communities of Jefferson County.
We estimate that the fund will create of preserve 280 homes or more. Some housing providers with experience in finance of affordable housing helped develop this estimate. It is predicated on 4:1 leveraging and typical affordable housing building costs.
Nothing, at this point. Homeward Bound is a Community Land Trust serving Jefferson and Clallam counties. They have been in existence for about ten years, managing a property in Clallam County. In May, 2017, they took on the Cherry Street Apartment project with help from the City of Port Townsend.
This fall, Homeward Bound is going through a re-organization, and electing a new board. In time, they may compete for funds like any other applicant.
The Financing Plan is very clear that Eligible Fund Recipients need to demonstrate that they have the capacity to complete the proposed project, manage the on-going operations, and repay any loans.
As an organization with a new board, capacity to develop, and a major project underway, it will take time for Homeward Bound to become competitive for county funding.
Projects are likely to have several funders, all holding developers accountable to the purpose of the housing. If they break their contract with the county, and with any other funders, penalties will be severe. Projects rarely go sideways, but when they do, organizations work together to ensure continuity for tenants and continued affordability.
On July 31, the Board of County Commissioners declared "the existence of an emergency with respect to the availability of housing that is affordable to very low-income households."
Very low-income people looking for rentals will not be surprised to hear that the vacancy rate is below one percent, that landlords willing to accept Section 8 vouchers are rare, and that housing created for low-income people has long waiting lists. Social service agencies have had to turn people away.
The declaration of a housing emergency is also necessary to moving forward with Proposition 1. Under RCW 84.52.105, the county has authority to ask voters to fund affordable housing for very low-income households. In order to use this authority, the county needs to declare "the existence of an emergency with respect to the availability of housing that is affordable to very low-income households." This RCW also requires the county to adopt a Financing Plan before receiving any revenue.
Yes. This levy will end in seven years. Continuing beyond that point would require a new measure and a new vote of the people.
Local governments don’t have the authority to regulate the cost of housing. People have a right to sell or rent their property for what they can get for it. They can also leave it vacant. In a market like this, where housing is in short supply at all levels and demand is high, prices rise. Rentals are in especially short supply because many are being sold into ownership.
We DO need more good-paying jobs, but even people with good-paying jobs are having a really hard time finding housing. And good jobs go unfilled, and workers here from out of the county.
The market will eventually create homes for people who can afford them, but the market does not create homes for people in our community who do the necessary work that doesn’t pay especially well. We need our caregivers and cooks and clerks and custodians. They are all part of the fabric of our community and they belong here.
The Economic Development Council (EDC Team Jefferson) and many others recognize that addressing our housing shortage will help with local economic development and job creation.
Infrastructure throughout the county is an issue, and creating it will make it easier to build housing at all levels. A sewer system in Port Hadlock would make it easier to build in one small area of the county, but without Prop 1, all created housing would be market rate.
A REET is a transaction tax paid whenever real estate changes hands. It is a percentage of the sale price and is usually paid by the seller.
We have REET 1 and REET 2 taxes, but the state has not given Jefferson County the authority to levy a REET 3 tax that can be dedicated to affordable housing for very low-, low-, and moderate-income households.
Jefferson County REET: 1.78%
Where does it go: 1.23% of the tax goes to the state.
REET 1 (0.25%) can be used for county infrastructure projects, and housing does not qualify.
REET 2 (0.25%) can be used for county infrastructure maintenance, and currently funds maintenance of Jefferson County facilities.
About REET 3:
REET 3: (0.50) For affordable housing. Under RCW 82.46.075, only San Juan County has the authority to adopt a REET 3.
MRSC.org reports: RCW 82.46.075 gives a county that has levied a one percent real estate excise tax for conservation areas under RCW 82.46.070 by January 1, 2003 the authority to levy a one-half percent tax for the acquisition, construction, and operation of affordable housing for people with very low, low, and moderate incomes, and those with special needs. Only San Juan County qualifies to levy this tax, and it has not done so to date.
Counties have very limited authority to levy taxes, and those authorities are specified in the RCWs legislated at the state level.
The state of Colorado does use pot taxes to fund housing programs. Washington does not. A very small portion of the marijuana taxes collected are distributed to cities and counties, and the vast majority at the state level goes to health care. Jefferson County does not have the authority to levy a marijuana tax.
Well, they’re already working really hard and raising a lot of funding. And they already look for grants and support from foundations. They just can’t keep up with the growing need.
Even with Prop 1, they will be working just as hard to raise funds to do what they do now. Our community is extremely generous, and supports a large number of non-profits through charitable giving and volunteer work, and they will keep donating and volunteering.
Many of them are dedicated to housing issues: COAST, Dove House, Bayside Housing and Services, Homeward Bound, and Habitat for Humanity of East Jefferson County. The generous spirit of our community has made our Habitat affiliate one of the most successful in the country for a community our size.
Changes to codes and zoning rules could make it easier to create affordable housing, and there are changes we need to consider. Still, changes alone would not make it possible for market-rate builders and non-profit organizations to meet our growing need.
Many codes and zoning rules are set at the state level, and we can work with our legislators on those.
Others are within the authority of the city and the county. The public can participate in these discussions through the Port Townsend and Jefferson County Planning Commissions. These citizen boards explore possibilities and make recommendations.
Port Townsend recently wrapped up its Comprehensive Plan process and Jefferson County’s process is taking place now. Public input is invited at this time. To learn about the county process go here.
The donor-supported organizations see a growing need they cannot address. COAST and Bayside Services and Dove House need permanent housing for their temporary guests. OlyCAP has wanted to build out South Seven in Port Hadlock for ten years.
We have not had any investment by the Washington State Housing Trust Fund since 2008. Development of market rate multi-family housing has also been at a near standstill, creating only two six-unit apartment buildings in Port Townsend since 2009.
For organizations that could create affordable housing in Jefferson County, the critical missing piece has been a local funding source that can be used to leverage grants and other funding.
In fall, 2016, 150 people, providers of housing and social services, government officials, and citizens, gathered for an annual regional forum sponsored by OlyCAP. They heard about the success of the Home Fund in Bellingham.
OlyCAP really wanted to get the ball rolling, in December, they asked an analyst for a report on what it might take to pass a measure here. Over a period of several months, an ad hoc group of housing and social service providers and others discussed the needs of Jefferson County, shared research and expertise, consulted with communities who have Home Fund programs (Bellingham and Vancouver), and considered how the approach could be tailored to suit our community.
The Prop 1 idea is simple: create a fund dedicated to increasing a preserving the stock of affordable housing. Create a competitive grant process involving a citizen fund board, providing both public involvement and oversight.
The proposed ballot measure and the Draft Financing Plan had taken shape by the end of June. The measure, including the draft Financing Plan, was discussed over the following month, and a public hearing was held on July 24. The commissioners voted to put it on the ballot on July 31. The public discussion continues as voters consider Proposition 1. After the measure passes, there will be additional public process around the adoption of a final Financing Plan.
A Chinese proverb asks: When is the best time to plant a tree. The answer is: Twenty years ago. The second best time is, “Today.” We’re called Homes Now because we need homes now. We wish we could wave a wand and have them yesterday at the latest. It is going to take time to get fruit from this tree. But if we don’t plant it … no fruit!
There were junctures when we did not plant the tree. This 2007 article describes a situation we are still living with.
Six years later, in 2013, we weren’t in a much different place. 2013: Article
Funding has always been the primary challenge.
The Utah “housing first” model for chronically homeless people is supported by state and federal taxes, and includes an expensive service component. We’re just a small county. We don’t have those funds, and we have other primary challenges. In Prop 1, we have a housing first model targeted at low- and very-low income people, not just the chronically homeless.
Homes Now is the citizens’ committee campaigning in favor of Prop 1. The managers are Bruce Cowan and Deborah Pedersen. After the election, Homes Now will have no role in implementing Prop 1. Neither Cowan nor Pedersen is interested in working on the Fund Board, on the board of any housing organization, or in administration of the program.
We filed as a committee with the Washington State Public Disclosure Commission and we do our best to comply with their rules on reporting donations and expenditures, including listing our top five donors in advertising. We have taken the Port Townsend and Jefferson County Leader’s Fair Campaign Pledge.
It’s not complicated: We want to inform voters. We think that most Jefferson County voters who care about our community and who understand Prop 1 will choose to support it. We don’t expect to win over every voter, but we think it’s important to give every voter the opportunity to understand the measure.
To that end, we created an informative website; held Community Meetings in Brinnon, Quilcene, Marrowstone, Tri-Area, and Port Townsend; attended coffees; and spoke to many organizations and their boards. We are also doing the standard things campaigns do: signs, endorsements, outreach, and advertising.
The Homes Now plan is also to treat everyone with civility. We believe strongly that democracy is served best when campaigns discuss the issues at hand. Incivility turns voters off, inhibiting discussion and participation. We took the Fair Campaign Pledge at the Leader as soon as it was posted.
We’d better take the high road; we are working alongside highly-respected organizations and community leaders, over eighty donors, and a group of clergy. We’ve done our best to run a dignified, positive campaign.
All our donations and expenditures, included those we expect to make, are reported at PDC.wa.gov. Look under single-year committees and you’ll find us.
This report is referenced in “How did Prop 1 get on the ballot?” Last December, OlyCAP asked Progressive Strategies NW, a small consulting firm in Tacoma, to prepare a report. PSNW completed the Jefferson County Report in winter of 2017. The work reflects the views of PSNW. The report was a starting point for discussion. PSNW also offered to run a campaign and offered a budget. PSNW was not engaged for any further work.
No, not for anyone using Home Opportunity Funds. The fund is only for building housing that will remain affordable for forty years or more.
Advocates in the “No” campaign have misread both a state law and the Board of County Commissioners’ Resolution 35-17 and suggested that it does.
Within the resolution there are many “Whereas” statements. These statements make the case for putting Prop 1 on the ballot, and are not themselves part of the ballot measure.
In one “Whereas” statement, the BoCC says that they took the prudent step of exploring possibilities under RCW 36.01.290. Under this state law, any religious organization can establish temporary encampments, indoors or outdoors, on their own property. This RCW limits the authority of counties: they can regulate only the safety and health aspects of services offered by religious organizations. Prop 1 doesn't change this in any way.
Our campaign held our third Community Meeting on October 11. The Republican Party was well aware that proponents of the No position were welcome in our meetings, but that their campaigning was not. We were also clear that the meetings were informational, and not opinion forums. The No campaign respected our wishes in our first two meetings, leaving their signs outdoors and participating in the discussion indoors.
Before the PT meeting, a demonstration by the No campaign went on outdoors. We were fine with that. We went outside to ask them to keep access to doorways clear and to let them know that, once again, they were welcome inside, but not their signs and literature. Outside the meeting, we also informed them of our right to set guidelines for our meetings, as we had engaged the room for the purposes we’d outlined.
Nevertheless, the No campaign insisted on entering our meeting carrying their signs and chanting. There was jostling and pushing in the inner doorway. To the best of our knowledge there were no blows. In the hallway and inside our meeting they argued with us.
As the No campaign was intent on disrupting our meeting, and because we feared for the safety of people there, we called the police. The Port Townsend Police responded, order was established, and we had a good meeting and we answered all the questions we had time for.
At our last meeting a week later in Quilcene, the No campaign participated very respectfully.
It does NOT mean that the levy can go to $1.80. It means that the additional 12 cent portion of the levy will not raise the county general fund levy above the legal limit of $1.80 per thousand assessed value (AV).
The ballot language describes how the 36 cents per thousand will be collected under two separate authorities for the purpose of creating housing for two types of households: Very-low income (24 cents per thousand AV) and low-income (12 cents per thousand AV).
Others have asked about the language that says “low- or very low-income housing including disabled people, veterans, seniors, and families with children” does not mean that these are the only folks who will qualify for the housing. All households with qualifying income will qualify. It is possible that the Home Opportunity Fund Board will prioritize projects for veterans or families.
36 cents per thousand is equivalent to $108 a year ($9 a month) on the median AV home. For a modest home assessed at $169,000, the rate would be about $60 a year ($5 a month).