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Mills Act Contract


The City of Monrovia has adopted and established a number of incentives to encourage the rehabilitation, maintenance, and preservation of designated historic landmarks. Upon submitting for landmark designation, a property owner may apply concurrently for a Mills Act Contract. The Mills Act Contract is an agreement between the City of Monrovia and the owner of a designated historic landmark. Any property listed as a local, state or national landmark is eligible.

The agreement requires the owner of the property to undertake specific restoration tasks specified in the contract and to properly maintain the landmark. In exchange for this commitment, the property owner may benefit from a reduction in property taxes. A Mills Act Contract requires that the County Tax Assessor’s Office assess the value of the landmark based on its current income potential, rather than future development potential. This can result in substantial property tax savings, especially to recent purchasers of property.


Mills Act Contracts extend for a period of ten (10) years and are renewed automatically each year on the anniversary of the contract. The rights and obligations of the contract are also binding upon all successive owners of the property during the life of the contract. To end the contract, either the City or Property Owner may submit a notice of non-renewal which will terminate after ten (10) years from the time the non-renewal is approved. Immediate cancellation of the contract by either the City or property owner requires a public hearing and will result in the immediate termination of the contract and a penalty equal to 12½ percent of the assessed market value of the property.


A Mills Act Contract is a monetary incentive that is granted by the City Council following a review and recommendation by the Historic Preservation Commission. The process is:

  • Property owner(s) request Mills Act Contract by submitting Mills Act Contract application to the Planning Division of the Community Development Department. (This can be done concurrently with a Historic Landmark application).
  • Staff prepares a report for consideration by the Historic Preservation Commission.
  • The Commission reviews the proposal will make a recommendation on the request to the City Council. The City Council will make the final decision on application.
  • The restoration plan for the property will be reviewed in conjunction with the Mills Act Contract Application. In addition to tasks identified on the restoration plan, there will be other conditions of approval that include: completion of an electrical safety inspection and placing an historic landmark plaque on the house within two years. A seismic retrofit must be completed within 10 years of approval of the Mills Act Contract.

Once a property is designated a historic landmark, all changes to the exterior of structures on the
property are subject to the approval of a Certificate of Appropriateness by the Historic Preservation

To grant approval of a Mills Act Contract Application, the City Council must make the following findings:

  1. The Mills Act Contract will serve to compensate for the cost of rehabilitating and/or maintaining the historic landmark. The submission of the application and the required documentation will be provide the basis to make this finding.
  2. The rehabilitation of the historic landmark will occur in conjunction with the use of the Mills Act Contract and that it will not impair the architectural, historic or aesthetic integrity of the historic landmark.


After the Mills Act Contract is approved by the City Council, it is required to be filed with the County Recorder in Norwalk. The applicant is responsible for insuring that the document is properly recorded by the County Recorder’s Office.

After recordation, the Recorded Contract is taken to the Los Angeles County Assessor located at 500 West Temple St., Los Angeles. The Assessor calculates the exact tax savings. Every year the property tax for the property is recalculated by the Assessor.

Property owners are required to report to the State Office of Historic Preservation (OPH) that a Mills Act contract has been concluded. The County Assessors Office cannot reassess your property unless OPH has been contacted. Send a copy of your completed contract to:

State Office of Historic Preservation
1416 Ninth Street
Sacramento, CA 95814
Attention: Mills Act Contract Consultant