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Home / Neighborhood / Riverside County / Deadline for historic preservation tax relief approaches in Riverside

Deadline for historic preservation tax relief approaches in Riverside

by Staff
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The May 31 application deadline is approaching for a program to help owners of historic real estate in the city of Riverside with property tax relief for restoration and maintenance, officials announced Wednesday.

The state law known as the Mills Act allows the owner of a historic parcel to receive property tax relief to help pay for restoration and maintenance. The property owner must agree to reinvest the tax savings in the property.

Landowners who participate in the Mills Act program may get significant property tax savings, generally between 20% and 60% annually. Where an individual property may sit in that broad range of tax relief depends on the “property attributes and the current property tax valuation,” according to a city of Riverside statement. The contract terms require stakeholders to apply the tax savings specifically to rehabilitating their historic properties.

The Mills Act program is “the single most important economic incentive program in California for the restoration and preservation of qualified historic buildings by private property owners,” officials said.

“Designated historic properties include those individually listed as Landmarks or Structures of Merit, as well as contributors to designated Historic Districts or Neighborhood Conservation Areas,” according to the city. 

A set of 2002 Planning Department guidelines approved by the Riverside City Council determines how to distinguish between properties that are eligible and ineligible for Mills Act tax relief.

On March 19, the City Council lowered fees for the now nearly closed 2024 application cycle from $3,678 — a $404 application fee plus a $3,274 “contract initiation fee” — to $975 with a $114 application fee and $861 for contract initiation.

“A maximum of 20 contracts will be awarded this year, so space is limited,” officials said.

Application forms are online at riversideca.gov/cedd/planning/forms, or at the Riverside Community & Economic Development Department, Planning Division, 3900 Main St., 3rd Floor. Mills Act information is available by calling 951-826-5371.

Additional information on the city’s Mills Act program is available at riversideca.gov/millsactinfo

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