Mills Act Program

The Mills Act Program provides a potential property tax reduction to owners who agree to preserve and rehabilitate their historic property. The Orange Mills Act Program was created by City Council in 1998, following state legislation that enabled the program.

Property owners of qualified historic properties may submit a Mills Act application to the Community Development Department - Historic Preservation. More than 200 properties in Orange have received this benefit to date.

Qualified Historic Properties

The following properties are eligible for Mills Act Contracts:
  • Contributing (historic) property within the boundaries of an established historic district
  • Property identified as a historic resource in the City's Historic Resources Inventory
  • Property designated or found eligible for designation in the National Register of Historic Places or California Register of Historic Resources
Prior to submitting an application, please confirm that your property qualifies by using the Historic Preservation Viewer or Eichler Historic District Maps or contacting the Historic Preservation Planner.

Mills Act Application for New Contracts

Mills Act applications are processed twice yearly by the Community Development Department - Historic Preservation. A Mills Act Contract is a legally binding agreement between the property owner and the City of Orange. It is recorded against the property and transfers to future property owners. We encourage you to consult with your attorney and/or tax representative prior to applying.
Mills Act Program Deadlines

Applications Accepted Starting Final Day to Apply
First Round Applications January 4, 2021 March 4, 2021
Second Round Applications March 8, 2021 August 5, 2021

Potential Property Tax Reduction

Different property owners with Mills Act Contracts may receive different property tax reductions depending on how long they have owned the property and the property's existing assessed value. The City does not control or set the assessed value of property under the Mills Act Contract. This value and the ultimate property tax paid by the property owner is determined by the Orange County Assessor, using a formula that is established by the state Mills Act legislation. 

For guidance on the Mills Act historical property valuation from the Orange County Assessor, click here

If you have specific questions about the potential assessed value of your property under a Mills Act Contract, please contact the Orange County Assessor - Special Properties Division at (714) 834-2727.

Forms for Existing Mills Act Contracts

The City requires Mills Act property owners to report regularly on repairs and maintenance to their historic property and to update their Rehabilitation Plan (Exhibit D) of the Mills Act Contract once every ten years.