Mills Act Program
Historic Preservation Contract
The City of Redlands currently invites applications from property owners to participate in the city’s Mills Act program, designed to encourage the preservation of historic properties in Redlands. The Mills Act Program is an economic incentive program statewide in California for the restoration and preservation of qualified historic buildings by private property owners.
Participation by the City in the California Mills Act Program was approved by the City Council on November 20, 2012. The California Mills Act Program was first enacted in 1972, and 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 high, and ultimately have the effect of prohibiting preservation activities, property tax relief can offset these costs. Thus, the Mills Act program is offered as a strong incentive for property preservation work.
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:
- 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.
Application periods are from January 1st through March 31st annually. For further information or if you simply have questions, please feel free to contact Loralee Farris in the Planning Division at (909) 798-7555 option 2, or click here to send an email.
Application forms are also available from the Planning Division public counter at the “One Stop Permit Center” located at 35 Cajon Street, Suite 15-A, in the Redlands Civic Center.
Examples of typical properties in Redlands that could take advantage of the Mills Act Program include the following.
State of California Mills Act Program
Information about the statewide program is available from the State Office of Historic Preservation, Mills Act Program website (click here), or go to www.ohp.parks.ca.gov, or call the California Department of Parks & Recreation’s Office of Historic Preservation at (916) 653-6624.