Owners of historic properties who wish to receive a tax break will pay a fee to join the program under a resolution recently adopted by the City Council.
The $500 fee for the city's new Mills Act program will help to pay for the staff, officials said.
The state Mills Act allows for reduced property taxes on a historic building if the owner agrees to maintain and preserve the property for at least 10 years. The amount of tax reduction is determined by the county assessor and can be as much as 75%.
The act allows local governments to collect administrative fees as long as they do not exceed the cost of administering the program.
Tustin officials estimate the program will cost the city about $1,480 for each historic property over a 10-year period. With the $500 fee, the city's cost will be about $980.
The fee may be waived in some cases of hardship, City Manager William A. Huston said.
Council members Mike Doyle and Jim Potts opposed the fee.
For more information on the city's Mills Act program, call (714) 573-3016.