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Vote Expected on Tax Cut for Historic Homes

August 25, 1998|LESLEY WRIGHT

After postponing a decision three times since April, City Council members are expected to vote tonight on a program that offers property-tax cuts to owners of historically significant homes.

The state's 1972 Mills Act allows cities to form contracts with these homeowners.

In exchange for restoring or preserving their homes for at least 10 years, homeowners can cut their property-tax bills by up to 50%.

City officials and some residents have expressed concerns about enacting the program, citing the size of Old Towne's mile-square historic district, listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Nearly 900 homes would be eligible for the cuts, according to city estimates.

But the local version of the act has been drafted as a "pilot program" and will be reviewed after the first 10 projects or the end of the first year.

Community development officials said applicants will have to agree to spend the money on specific structural renovations, such as roof or foundation repair.

Landscaping and interior renovation are excluded from the program.

A public hearing on the issue begins at 7 p.m. at City Hall, 300 E. Chapman Ave. The regular council meeting begins at 4:30 p.m.

Information: (714) 744-5500.

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