Monday, November 19, 2012

Tax-Saving Mills Act in Effect for Owners of Qualifying Historic Properties

BOMA San Francisco Members:

Owners of historic properties in San Francisco are now able to take advantage of tax savings due to updates to the Mills Act, recently adopted by the Board of Supervisors and the Mayor. These changes will allow more eligible owners to take advantage of tax-saving legislation, while making it simpler and easier for owners to apply.

The Mills Act Program, a program developed to help promote the preservation of San Francisco’s historic landmarks, is considered the greatest economic incentive in California for private property owners of historic buildings.

A number of changes are now in effect including:
  • A timeline for processing applications in an effort to ensure timely completion; 
  • A reduction in application fees: 
    • from $9,159 for residential properties, to $2500 
    • from $18,310 for commercial properties, to $5000 
“These changes will improve access to the program, reduce processing costs and time and streamline the coordination between city departments, all of which makes it easier for owners to benefit from this program,” said Planning Director, John Rahaim.

These legislative changes aim to increase the number of Mills Act applications, specifically by small-scale residential and commercial properties. Other cities across the state have seen a positive impact on the reinvestment in historic properties and providing financial assistance, especially to single-family homes, small-scale residential and commercial properties due to this legislation. For example, San Diego has 1,100 active contracts; Los Angeles currently has 601 active contracts; and Oakland’s program, which began in 2008, has 24 active contracts. To date, San Francisco only has 6 contracts in effect.

For more information on the program, visit

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