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Mills Act tax breaks help preserve history 

Regarding the commentary “Scrutinize Mills Act tax breaks” (May 20) I see Richard Schmidt is yet again criticizing the city he has enjoyed for the past 40 years. He publicly criticizes the great work of the Cultural Heritage Committee who gives up time to help preserve the community’s history.

The Mills Act encourages residents to place their homes on the Master Historic list. Getting a property tax break is a trade-off to maintaining their properties for the future benefit of the city. Historic properties are expensive to maintain and not the first choice for many homeowners. Yet, wherever you go in California it is always refreshing to turn a corner and see these well-maintained historic homes that capture the past. In my opinion, there are many more structures new and old, commercial, residential, and agricultural that should be included on the Master list; wonderful Californian barns for instance, or even new creative architecture.

The Mills Act makes a positive contribution to preserving the historic buildings in this town and many others. Most residents in San Luis Obispo take pride in their properties, adding to the street scene by handsomely maintaining their properties and gardens. Perhaps Schmidt always wanted a historic home protected by the Mills Act.

Barry Jones

San Luis Obispo

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