Owners of older property might get tax break, city planner reminds group
Many property owners in the city are unaware their older homes might qualify as historic and save them money on taxes.

Owners of older property might get tax break, city planner reminds group

Owners of property deemed historic could pay far less property taxes to the county if they file a bit of paperwork with the city and agree to maintain the property’s historic characteristics.

Property owners in Palm Springs may be missing out on a tax break courtesy of Riverside County.

The news: Ken Lyon, principal city planner with the Department of Planning Services, reminded local Realtors about the Mills Act during a Greater Palm Springs Realtors breakfast meeting at the Mizell Center Wednesday morning.

  • Under rules of the act, owners of property deemed historic – including Class 1 and some Class 2 historic properties – could pay far less property taxes to the county if they file a bit of paperwork with the city and agree to maintain the property’s historic characteristics.
     
  • Lyon said the act is in place to recognize the additional costs often associated with maintaining older properties of historic value.
     
  • Commercial building owners may catch an additional break, Lyon said. Many older structures are exempt from the requirements to provide additional off-street parking or to pay “parking in-lieu fees.”

Bigger picture: Lyon said he frequently mentions the Mills Act during a slideshow he’s presented numerous times over the years to real estate professionals. He considers it a vital part of the educational work he performs as the city’s Historic Preservation Officer.

FYI: Lyon cautioned that just because a property is old doesn’t mean it’s historic. There’s a thorough review for anyone who applies for that designation. The city adopted a comprehensive update to its Historic Preservation Ordinance in 2018.

  • “Simply because somebody slept in it once who may have been on the silver screen at one time doesn’t make it a historic property.”

Bottom line: Think your property might be historic? Start the process of discovery here.

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