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.