City invites applications for Mills Act Program
The City of Redlands invites applications from property owners to participate in the Mills Act program, designed to encourage the preservation of historic properties in Redlands.
Participation by the City in the State of California’s Mills Act Program was approved by the City Council on Nov. 20, 2012.
The Mills Act is an economic incentive program in California for the restoration and preservation of qualified historic buildings by private property owners. Enacted in 1972, the Mills Act legislation grants participating cities and counties the authority to enter into contracts with owners of qualified historic properties who actively participate in the rehabilitation, restoration, preservation, and maintenance of their historic properties. Since the costs of doing so can be prohibitive, property tax relief can offset these costs.
Property taxes are recalculated using a formula in the Mills Act and State Revenue and Taxation Code. The average savings for individual properties under the Mills Act contract is between 20 and 60 percent. The full amount of the tax savings received by the property owners must be used to finance the preservation, maintenance and improvements to the property. If a property owner defaults on the conditions, the City may cancel the contract and the owner would be subject to a cancellation fee.
Under the program approved by the City Council, the City will accept applications for the next five years, limited to seven contracts per year, including five residential properties and two commercial properties. Each contract that is accepted or approved will include a term of 10 years and will renew automatically each year.
The eligibility and program guidelines include:
- An assessed value of less than $1 million for residential properties with no limit for commercial properties;
- Property must be located in the City of Redlands;
- Property must be privately owned;
- The property is not currently exempt from taxation; and
- The property is listed in a National, State or City official register.
The application filing period for 2013 will continue through March 31. Application periods for each of the following years will be Jan. 1 through March 31. Applications are available at the City’s One Stop Permit Center, 35 Cajon St., Suite 15A. For further information, contact the Development Services Department at (909) 798-7655.
Information on the statewide program is available at the Office of Historic Preservation website at www.ohp.parks.ca.gov or by calling the California Department of Parks and Recreation’s Office of Historic Preservation at (916) 653-6624.