Tag Archives: Property tax

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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Church Parsonage

The Harm in Renting Out the Church Parsonage We often work with churches that have a parsonage going unused or rented out to non-members. As such, the question arises as to tax liabilities. The primary concern is either Property Taxes or Unrelated Business Income Tax. Parsonage Property Taxes: A residential property, (parsonage) owned by the church and being leased does affect the property tax exemption, namely the religious exemption. However, the parsonage may still quality under a welfare exemption. That is, provided its use can be deemed incidental to the […]

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