Tag Archives: Property tax

Selling Church Property

Assuming your congregation is incorporated and has decided that it’s time to sell your property, several steps need to be taken to make sure that endeavor is handled responsibly. This involved acting in the best interest of the congregation/corporation, the governing documents, and the applicable state laws. Ownership: Not all churches own their property. Your real property may be owned by your denomination, regional office, synod, or similar as opposed to your congregation. How title to the property is lead will most likely be set forth in a recorded deed […]

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Extension Cords

When someone suffers an injury, regardless of whether they are a tenant, contractor, church member, visitor, or trespasser, your church may be liable. Although the Court will take into consideration the reason someone was on the property when they were injured, that doesn’t necessarily protect you from trespassers. This is particularly relevant when a dangerous condition is known to exist, but no steps are taken to correct it. A church owner can be liable if found to be is negligent in the failure to use reasonable care to keep the […]

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Why Use Bushore Church Real Estate

By way of an introduction, we are a father-and-son California Real Estate team, having offices in both northern and southern California, working nearly exclusively for and with churches with their real estate needs for over forty (40) years. We focus on nearly all matters concerning Church Real Estate, including religious, nonprofit, and tax-exempt organizations with the highest spiritual and ethical standards. Over decades of carving out a name for ourselves amongst church groups, we found a niche by locating and/or uniting church property buyers, sellers, landlords, and tenants. Along the way, […]

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General Plan vs. Zoning

All property has an underlying or specific zone wherein the City or County has outlined in its General Plan for all zones within its jurisdiction. These zones indicate what the general, current, or future use of the land in a particular area will be. The purpose of this is to maintain continuity throughout the city while providing for the health, safety, morals, and general welfare of its residents. In short, it prevents things such as a steel mill from taking place in the middle of a neighborhood. Notwithstanding, the underlying […]

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Endowments

Per Investopedia, “an endowment is a donation of money or property to a nonprofit organization, which uses the resulting investment income for a specific purpose. An endowment can also refer to the total of a nonprofit institution’s investable assets, also known as its “principal” or “corpus,” which is meant to be used for operations or programs that are consistent with the wishes of the donor(s). Most endowments are designed to keep the principal amount intact while using the investment income for charitable efforts. Taxation: When the donated endowment accrues dividends, […]

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ADA Deficiencies in Churches

As per the United State Department of Justice Civil Rights Division, the Americans with Disabilities Act, (“ADA”), was modeled after the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin – and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 — the ADA is an “equal opportunity” law for people with disabilities. To be protected by the ADA, one must have a disability, which is defined by the ADA as a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or […]

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Clergy-Penitent Privilege

Although informally referred to as the Priest-Penitent Privilege, the following applies to all clergy, i.e. a priest, minister, religious practitioner, or similar functionary of a church or of a religious denomination or religious organization. In general, any conversation had with or amongst religious leaders (assuming that they are acting in their religious capacity) cannot be brought into court. Each religion may have its own internal governance concerning the preservation of confidence which goes beyond that of the California Evidence Code. Confidential Communications: California defines a “penitential communication” as a communication made […]

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CONFLICTS OF INTEREST

Serving as an officer, director, trustee, elder, or pastor of a church comes with certain responsibilities. The most important of which is acting in good faith in the best interest of the church. In short, when servicing is such a position on the church council/board, one must not act in their interest at the expense of the church by usurping a corporate opportunity, having an interest in a particular transaction, or competing with the corporation to advance one’s personal interest. Conflicts of interest often arise when entering into a transaction […]

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HOMESTEAD EXEMPTION

The California Constitution provides for a Homeowners’ Property Tax Exemption which is a $7,000 reduction of the taxable value of your principal residence. Upon qualification, this can amount to a cost saving of approximately $70 each year on your property taxes. In addition to this cost savings, the primary benefit is the protection it provides from a judgment creditor. Timing:To qualify, the property must have been the principal residence of the owner as of January 1 of that particular tax year. Although there is no cost to file for the […]

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Churches and For-Profit Tenants

It often becomes necessary for a church to seek out tenants in order to meet the financial needs of the congregation. Some are happy to open their doors to other churches, while other desire schools or other groups to make better use of their facilities. Regardless of the approach, the type of tenant sought after can make a world of difference regarding your property taxes, especially if the tenant is a for-profit organization. The following is a brief overview and the proper professional should be consulted as the laws in […]

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