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Belvedere ends tax breaks for historic properties

Belvedere will permanently stop doling out tax breaks to historic properties, with officials calling the state program a waste of taxpayer money and saying it’s too difficult for the city’s small staff to monitor.


The City Council voted 4-0, with Jim Lynch absent, at its April 8 meeting to end participation in California’s voluntary Mills Act program, which is currently reducing the taxed value of just 11 local homes by more than $40 million — without any assurances the owners are using their savings for maintenance and restoration as intended.


A routine second vote of formal adoption is scheduled for May 13, with the change taking effect 30 days later, on June 12. The city will then issue notices of nonrenewal for the five properties with more than 10 years remaining on their 15-year contracts. That will gradually increase their property taxes annually over the next decade until they return to the full rate.

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