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  • Writer's pictureNaomi Hartman & Leah Brenner

Understanding Real Estate - The Mills Act

Providing property tax relief, The Mills Act is an incentive program for owners of qualified historic properties who actively participate in the preservation, restoration & maintenance of their historic properties. Since 1972 each local city of county government is responsible for establishing its own criteria and determining how many Mills Act contracts it will allow in its jurisdiction. The Mills Act program is extremely beneficial for recent buyers of historic properties and for current owners of historic buildings who have made major improvements to their properties.

Various Facts

- Contracts are entered into for a minimum 10-year term

- After the minimum term, contracts are automatically renewed annually

- To release a property after the minimum contract is served, a letter on non-renewal must be submitted to the city or county

- Contracts are transferred to new owners when the qualified property is sold

- Periodic inspections ensure proper maintenance of the property

- All completed work/renovations must be consistent with the Secretary of the Interior's Standard for the Rehabilitation of Historic Properties

Several Qualifications

- Property must be listed on any federal, state, country or city register and locally designated as a landmark

- Property must be owner occupied

- Property must meet tax assessment value thresholds

- The assessed property valuation (improvements and land) may not exceed:

- single family residences: $1,500,000

- multi family and commercial properties: $3,000,000

Links & Contact Info

In order to be considered for the Mills Act, a property must be a Contributor to a Historic Preservation Overlay Zone (HPOZ) or be a designated Historic-Cultural Monument (HCM). All recently nominated HCMs must be designated by City Council on or before March 1, 2019.

- Mills Act program application guide:

- Standards for Rehabilitation:

- Mills Act Contacts:

If you have any questions, contact:

Lambert Giessinger, Architect

Historical Property Contracts Manager

City of Los Angeles

Office of Historic Resources

Tel. (213) 847-3648

Melissa Jones, Planning Assistant

City of Los Angeles

Office of Historic Resources

Tel. (213) 847-3679

Office of Historic Resources

Figueroa Plaza

221 N. Figueroa Street, Suite 1350

Los Angeles, CA 90012

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