Description of the Mills Act real estate tax benefits for historical buildings. History and requirements of the rule as well as what it means for San Diego real estate owners.
Hey everyone, John Collins, San Diego Realtor. I wanted to talk to you a little bit today about the Mills Act. Specifically what it is, and what it means for San Diego real estate owners. Now, the Mills Act itself was a piece of legistlation that was passed back in the early seventies by the state of California and what it said was that local jurisdictions could make their own rules for tax breaks and incentives for owners of historical properties so they could take that money and reinvest it back into the home, and maintain it for posterity and for the benefit of the community.
San Diego passed its rules for the Mills Act, or based on the Mills Act, in 1995 and since then it's become one of the most active Mills Act areas in California. Last count, I think there were around three hundred properties taking advantage of that tax break. That tax brea is about 50%, so it is a very significant savings if you do go through and qualify those benefits.
Now, historical designation for your property does mean there are some restrictions on what you can do to that property going forward. Typically, as you would expect, you need to maintain the historical aspects that are of interest to people. So there are rules around that. There is a cost associated with it as well, typically around three thousand dollars, and that's for the historical designations and well as the fees that go along with with the application for the Mills Act. Obviously, compared to 50% savings that could be very worthwhile.
As far as the neighborhoods that have the most historical properties in them, in San Diego; it's the ones that go back to the early days of the city, of course. Either the maritime industry or the missions. So, Point Loma, Bankers Hill, MIssion Hills, and then down the east side of Balboa Park; North Park, South Park, and Golden Hill have quite a few historically significant properties. But, there are historical properties all over San Diego, so you may have one, regardless of the neighborhood you are in. I was in a property in Pacific Beach the other day that dated all the way back to 1905. It was a beautiful property, I loved seeing it. I hope this information is helpful. If you have any questions you can always reach out to me, whether it is in regards to the Mills Act or buying, selling, or investing in San Diego real estate. I look forward to having that conversation. I thank you for your time, and I hope you have a great day!