City to Offer Financial Incentives to Owners Who Protect Historic Properties

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The Villa Riviera is a historic property that qualifies for Mills Act tax abatement. File photo. 

The City of Long Beach is accepting applications for the third year of its reinstated Mills Act Property Tax Abatement Program (Mills Act), a program offering incentives to owners of historic sites if they agree to protect the property.

Two upcoming events will be held for those interested to learn about how to qualify and apply for tax benefits, while also preserving the city’s designated landmarks.

All potential applicants or their representative must attend the Pre-Application Workshop on Saturday, February 25 at 10:30AM, to be held at Jenny Oropeza Community Center at Cesar Chavez Park, located at 401 Golden Avenue.

The Pre-Application Workshop will give attendees an overview of the Mills Act and its eligibility requirements. The event will also include a review of how to prepare an application and calculating individual property tax savings.

The Application Workshop, the second event, will be held on Saturday, March 4 at 10:30AM at the Dana Neighborhood Library Meeting Room located at 3680 Atlantic Avenue.

The Application Workshop will provide more specific information for those interested in moving forward with the application process.

“Long Beach is committed to preserving its rich heritage and maintaining the unique properties that reflect the character and diversity of our City,” said Mayor Robert Garcia in a statement. “The Mills Act helps to further protect these historic sites, while providing qualified property owners with substantial savings each year.”

The Mills Act is a state program administered by local governments that offers economic incentives to qualified owners of historic or designated landmark sites if they agree to rehabilitate, restore and protect their property.

The City Council approved revisions to the Mills Act on January 6, 2015 to provide more opportunities for eligible historic property owners.

“Under the Mills Act contracts, private owners receive tax benefits in exchange for proper maintenance and preservation of the historical and architectural character of the property for an initial 10-year term,” according to the release. “The Mills Act is especially beneficial for recent buyers of historic sites, or owners who may have recently had a property transfer or tax re-assessment.”

In 2016, 15 Mills Act contracts were awarded for historic Long Beach properties, including a mix of single-family homes, commercial properties, mixed-use apartments and condominium buildings. Currently, there are 58 properties with Mills Act contracts in the city, according to the release.

Applications are processed once a year, during the application period. The deadline to submit an application is Friday, March 17, 2017.

For questions regarding the Mills Act, please call (562) 570-6437 or e-mail [email protected]

For additional information about the program, visit the website here. To view a copy of the Historic Preservation Element, visit the link here.

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Asia Morris has been with the Long Beach Post for five years, specializing in coverage of the arts. Her parents gave her the name because they wanted her to be a world traveler and they got their wish. She has obliged by pursuing art, journalism and a second career as a competitive cyclist.