Mills Act Program

The Mills Act is a State law that allows cities and owners of historic structures to enter into contracts that ensure continued preservation of buildings and property in exchange for decreased property taxes.

State law enables the City of Benicia to enter into ten‑year contracts with owners of properties in the Historic District, by which owners agree to maintain and, if necessary, rehabilitate historic structures. The contracts automatically renew annually for another ten years, unless not renewed by the action of either party (in which case the contract lasts only through stated ten-year term) or cancelled.

It is the policy of the City of Benicia to foster and encourage the preservation, maintenance, rehabilitation and restoration of historically designated properties.  It is recognized by the City that the reduction in property taxes afforded by the Mills Act will serve as a key monetary incentive for citizens to acquire, maintain and restore historic properties within the City of Benicia.  However, it is also recognized that the reduction of property taxes affects the City’s General Fund. As such, the City requires ongoing maintenance and inspection of Mills Act properties and has limited the program to forty contracts.

At this time, the Mills Act program threshold of forty contracts has been reached and no additional contracts may be awarded.