It's The $658,000 Question
In June 2022, the City of Los Angeles released a comprehensive “Mills Act Program Assessment and Equity Analysis” containing 32 recommended changes. Chief among them is the possibility that existing Mills Act contracts, including our own, will not be renewed once they expire. If City Council approves this change, Village Green residents would lose over $658,000 per year in property tax savings.
In December 2010, Village Green entered into a financial incentive program to preserve historic properties in the City of L.A called the Mills Act. The contract provides property tax reductions for participating historic properties with
the understanding that the savings would help pay for maintaining and restoring the property. VG is one of 948 Mills Act contracts in Los Angeles.
With 629 individual owners covered in one agreement, VG is the single largest participant by ownership in the Los Angeles Mills Act program. Since signing the Mills Act contract in 2010, VG owners have seen over $7 million dollars in property tax savings, much of which has been funneled from VG owners to HOA dues which have then paid for long-term infrastructure needs such as piping, sewers, and painting.
Why was the Mills Act assessed?
In June 2022, the City of LA released an Assessment and Equity Analysis of the Mills Act Program addressing two broad concerns: it is sorely underfunded and understaffed, and the program disproportionately benefits areas categorized by “low barriers to opportunity.” Overall, the Assessment recommendations are both needed and noble.
However, Recommendation 12 calls for the City to “not renew existing contracts older than 10 years.” This has been met with considerable outcry and resistance. If enacted, it would effectively end existing Mills Act contracts and eliminate the property tax savings for contracts older than 10 years. VG owners will stand to lose their annual property tax savings if the city moves forward with this recommendation.
When might VG owners lose their Mills Act savings?
VG is covered by the Mills Act through 2032. Mills Act contracts are for a 10-year period and automatically renew every year. If the City moves ahead with contract non-renewal, VG would be covered by the contract for an upcoming ten years.
$658,000 is a lot of money. When will we know?
Unfortunately there is no set answer right now. The Office of Historic Resources is currently compiling feedback to determine which, if any, of the recommendations to approve. These recommendations then go before the Cultural Heritage Commission (CHC), then to City Council for final approval.
What can I do?
Stay informed; voice your opinion at public forums. The Village Green website contains all of VG’s Mills Act information, plus links to all current City documents under on the Governing Documents page.