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  • Writer's pictureCrystal Coleman

What Is the Mills Act, and will it work for you?

According to CA State Parks Office of Historic Preservation The Mills Act is the single most important economic incentive program in California for the restoration and preservation of qualified historic buildings by private property owners. What is it? The Mills Act is state legislation, enacted in 1972, to provide property tax relief to owners of historic properties for the purpose of assisting in the expense of restoration and maintenance. To qualify, a historic property must be listed on a national, state, county, or city register. Under the program, property owners receive a significant reduction in local property taxes (50-80% on average) in exchange for their promise to actively participate in restoring, rehabilitating, repairing and preserving their properties. Participants enter into a perpetual 10-year contract with the City that cannot be cancelled. What you should know: Contracts are automatically renewed each year and are transferred to new owners when the property is sold. The act provides for inspections, as needed, by city, county, or state officials. Penalties may be imposed for breach of contract or failure to maintain the historic property. There are two fees associated with your Mills Act application a non-refundable application fee (currently $404.46; may be adjusted) and a contract initiation fee (currently $3274.08; may be adjusted). The City accepts applications during the month of June every year.

For more information contact Barbara Bouska, Associate Planner at (951) 826-5507.

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