The State of California enacted the Mills Act in 1972 to allow cities to enter into a contract with an owner of a “qualified historical property” to provide property tax reductions in return for appropriate preservation/ restoration/ rehabilitation of their historic property.
In Larkspur, any property owner whose residence is listed on Larkspur’s Inventory of Historic Resources
is potentially eligible to apply for a Mills Act Contract. Some of the benefits of entering into a Mills Act Contract are:
- Preservation of the valuable historic and architectural tapestry of the City.
- In most cases, lowering of the property taxes to be paid, sometimes quite dramatically.
- More money remains available to the property owner for maintenance and or restoration/rehabilitation of the resource due to property tax savings.
- When a property under a Mills Act Agreement is sold, the tax rate approved under the Mills Act Contract transfers to the new owner and the property is not reassessed based upon the selling price.
- The inherited property tax savings can be a big selling point to potential buyers.
The City of Larkspur’s Mills Act program is limited to residential property only, and is not applicable to historic commercial properties. Applications are accepted by invitation only. An invitation to apply for a Mills Act Contract will be will be mailed to all property owners of residences listed on Larkspur’s Inventory of Historic Resources
when an opening becomes available. All Mills Act applications will be screened for eligibility
and will be reviewed based on established criteria
Be advised that the Larkspur City Council has set a limit on the amount of property tax loss the City will accept as a result of the Mills Act. The limit on permitted tax losses restricts the number of concurrent contracts that may be authorized.
The terms and conditions of a Mills Act Contract are provided under California Government Code Section 50280-50290
If approved, the Marin County Assessor
will re-assess the property in the manner specified in the California Revenue and Taxation Code Sections 439-439.4