Tag Archives: Church Real Estate

Solar Panels

Solar Panels and the Church Solar panels on church roofs are becoming more and more popular. For starters, the electricity bill at any given church can be astronomical, especially in the summer. Churches are often looking to cut cost in order to be good stewards of their property and finances. Saving money, and possibly profiting from solar panels may be a good alternative, but there are always risk involved. Cost: Always of primary concern, one must consider the cost of taking advantage of a large roof area in order to […]

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Conditional Use Permits

Conditional Use Permits As with most things in real estate, especially when dealing with Special Use Property, it all comes down to highest and best use. Both of which have their roots in the zoning ordinances. In other words, what uses are permitted on the property. Sometimes a Special Use property is permitted by right, or “Grandfathered”. Other times, a Conditional Use Permit is required. Although a permit sounds simple enough, don’t let the name fool you. A Conditional Use Permit can be a long and expensive process with no […]

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Church’s and the Attorney General

California Attorney General California has given great over-sight to the Attorney General’s office to regulate and protect the assets of charities, including churches and religious organizations. Since nonprofit organizations are established to perform a particular purpose, the Attorney General makes sure that the organizations assets are used for that intended purpose. Religious Organizations: Religious corporations classified as religious by the Secretary of State are automatically exempted from registration and not required to register or file annual reports with the Attorney General’s Registry of Charitable Trusts. However, the Attorney General does […]

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Premises/Trespasser Liability

Premises/Trespasser Liability Considering the current trend, trespass on church property has been steadily increasing. Whether your church is accepting of those individuals or not, there are a few things you need to know regarding your liability. First and foremost, your church has the legal duty to implement and maintain measures which reduce the foreseeable risk of harm that may come to others; trespassers or otherwise. Liability: When someone suffers and injury, regardless of whether they are a tenant, contractor, church member, visitor, or trespasser, your church may be liable. Although […]

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How Zoning Code Effects Church Property Use

Municipalities establish a General Plan which contains the overall land use scheme by restricting some areas to particular usages. These governmental actions must not be arbitrary, capacious (unreasonable) or vague. Zoning regulations, or codes, must be reasonable and bear a rational relationship to the objectives of the city, while taking affirmative measures to provide housing for all. Municipalities have been given reasonable control over the private use of land from the state through enabling statutes for the protection of the health, safety, morals, and general welfare of its citizens. Legal […]

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Must a Church Apply for Tax-exempt Status

Does a Church need to be a registered 501 (c)(3) Tax-exempt Organization? Although not all non-profit organizations fall within section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, religious organization do. As such, this article focuses only on those 501(c)(3) organizations and whether or not a church must apply for tax-exempt status.   Defined: According to the IRS, to be tax-exempt religious organization, an organization must be organized and operated exclusively for exempt purposes set forth in section 501(c)(3), and none of its earnings may inure to any private shareholder or individual. […]

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Why Use Bushore Real Estate

Why use Bushore Real Estate; here are a few reasons. We are a father and son California Real Estate team with offices in northern and southern California. We specialize in nearly all matters concerning Church Real Estate, including religious, nonprofit and tax-exempt organizations. Over decades of carving out a name for ourselves among church groups, we found a niche with locating and/or uniting church property buyers, sellers, landlords, and tenants. Along the way, our skills have been fine-tuned covering all aspects of forming, maintaining, merging and dissolving nonprofit organizations and […]

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Churches and Property Tax Exemptions

Church Property Tax ExemptionsCounties throughout California are looking to churches as a way of increasing their revenue. One way to do so is by revoking all or part of an organization’s property tax exemption. Generally speaking, once a property has been classified as exempt, there is no specific guarantee the organization will continue to be exempt from the general tax levy against their property.In General:Churches are not exempt from special assessments, but only from taxes. Taxes are imposed on both real and personal property; with very few exceptions, special assessments […]

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Church Officer and Director Liability

Liabilities of being a Board MemberMore often than not, I attend church council meetings that require some action be taken by the church board that results in some form of a corporate resolution. In many cases, the board members present can’t tell me who the officers or directors of the corporation are, or whether or not a quorum is present to ratify their actions. In my attempt to walk the board through the legal impact of their corporate bylaws, many are surprised to hear of the affect that particular document […]

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