Historic Preservation Programs

Mills Act Program

The Mills Act is a voluntary historic preservation program enabled by the State of California that allows local governments the authority to grant property tax relief to owners of qualified historic properties.

In June of 1997, the Tustin City Council authorized the implementation of the Mills Act Program and established a policy specifying which properties would be eligible for the program.

Pursuant to City Council’s direction, the Mills Act Program is made available to the owners of residential properties within the 2021 Tustin Historical Resources Survey. Only residential properties that are significant contributors are eligible for the Mills Act Program. The City’s 2021 Historic Resources Survey is available here.

A pre-approval inspection is required under State law and will include only the exterior of the property. Applications must be received no later than May 31st to be considered and are accepted by appointment only.  

The Mills Act is a formal contractual agreement between the property owner and the City. If you are considering applying for a Mills Act Contract, please note that properties typically see a reduction in property taxes ranging from 15% to 60%. However, 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.

Additonal Programs

In addition to the Mills Act Program, the City of Tustin offers additional preservation programs to owners of historic commercial and residential properties. 

  • The Historic Register Plaque Program allows property owners to educate the public, increase public interest in historic properties and promote community pride by displaying a bronze plaque on their building.
  • The Commendation Program, which recognizes outstanding properties.


Below are additional links to help you navigate historic preservation efforts within the City of Tustin.