Blog

Employment Discrimination and Religion

Religious employment refers to employment that is directly related to the religious activities or mission of a religious organization, such as a church, mosque, temple, or synagogue. Religious employment can include positions such as clergy, religious educators, music directors, and administrative staff. Civil Rights Act of 1964: A landmark federal law in the that prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin in a variety of areas including employment, education, and public accommodations. It was signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson on July […]

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Incidental Use of Church Property (weddings, fairs, garage sales…)

Under federal tax law, non-profit organizations such as churches are tax-exempt because they are organized and operated exclusively for religious, charitable, scientific, literary, or educational purposes, or for the prevention of cruelty to children or animals. This means that the assets of a non-profit organization, including a church, must be used exclusively for achieving its exempt purposes. Exclusive Purpose: This requirement is often referred to as the “exclusivity of purpose” rule. It means that a non-profit organization cannot use its assets to benefit individuals or private interests, or for any […]

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Independent Contractors

Individuals who are “independent contractors” are not considered employees for wage and hour purposes. California Assembly Bill 5 addresses the “employment status” of workers when the hiring entity claims the worker is an independent contractor and not an employee. Additionally,  Assembly Bill 2257, enacted in 2020, intended to clarify AB 5 and provide additional exemptions to the test for determining whether an independent contractor has been misclassified as an employee. Why it Matters: California’s labor law protects employees, but not independent contractors. Additionally, employees can go to state agencies such […]

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Group Tax Exemptions

While often used interchangeably, “nonprofit,” “tax-exempt,” and “501(c)(3)”  have distinct meanings under the law and different legal obligations.  Nonprofit organizations are created under state law but are not automatically tax-exempt from state sales and income taxes without filing for such an exemption through the Franchise Tax Board. Additionally, organizations are given tax-exempt status from federal income tax under federallaw, through the Internal Revenue Service. Group Exemption: A group exemption affords the opportunity for a nonprofit organization to share the tax-exemption of another 501(c)(3) without the need for each entity to […]

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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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