The Mills Act & How It Can Save You Money On Property Taxes


by Janet Lawless Christ

What is the Mills Act?The Mills Act Rancho Santa Fe California

In the state of California, the Mills Act is a law that allows owners of historically designated buildings the ability to reduce their property taxes in exchange for restoring and maintaining their buildings.

The Mills Act is administered and implemented by local governments, and the contracts are between the property owner and the local government granting the tax abatement. Each local government establishes their own criteria and determines how many contracts they will allow in their respective jurisdiction.

What are the terms of the Mills Act?

Owners sign a 10 year, endlessly renewable legal contract with their city, which states what the responsibilities are. The agreement is automatically renewed each year for an additional year, and changes the expiration date so that 10 years is still left in the term of the agreement. The agreement will thus continue in effect indefinitely unless notice is served by either party for the automatic renewals to stop. If either party serves notice for the automatic renewals to stop, the agreement will expire on the agreement’s current expiration date, which would be ten years after the notice is recorded.

How much money could it save me on my taxes in Rancho Santa Fe?

To put it in perspective for residential real estate in Rancho Santa Fe, CA our current listing for sale at 16811 Via de Santa Fe was originally built by the legendary Architect Lilian J. Rice, which ultimately gave the estate it’s Historical Designation.

The current property assessment is $266,171 (Roughly 86% less than the actual value), which was recorded in 2006 and will not change in the event of a sale. The Mills Act benefits go with the land. That way, new owners will inherit the agreement’s benefits and responsibilities.

16811 Via de Santa Fe-Rancho Santa Fe CA 92067-Janet Lawless Christ Real EstateMills Act (Annual)

County Property Tax: $3,558.88
RSF Association Tax: $372.64
Total Annual Property Tax: $3,931.52

Without Mills Act (Annual)

County Property Tax: $19,800
RSF Association Tax: $2,520
Total Annual Property Tax: $22,320


This adds up to an annual property tax savings of $18,388.48 . Throughout the life of a 30 year loan this equates to over $550,000 in mortgage payments.

For more information, give Janet Lawless Christ a call at (858) 335-7700.


Want to see the interior of the historical 16811 Via de Santa Fe? Take a look at the interactive 3D virtual tour below:

Leave a Reply