• Sonoma County Home Value

    Exemptions and Exclusions

Church Exemption

Overview

The Church Exemption may be claimed on property (real or personal) that is owned, leased or rented by religious organizations who use the property exclusively for worship services.

If another church also uses the property for worship services, the user church must also apply for the church exemption. If any other outside use is allowed on the property, other than religious worship, the owner church will need to file a welfare exemption claim.

Requirements

To receive the exemption, claims must be filed within ninety days after the first day of the month following the month in which the property was acquired or by February 15th of the following year, whichever occurs first.

A late filing penalty, not to exceed $250, will be applied to claims received after the deadline.

Restrictions and Limitations

If another church also uses the property for worship services, the user church must also apply for the church exemption. If any other outside use is allowed on the property, other than religious worship, the owner church will need to file a welfare exemption claim.

Annual Filing Period

  • Annual filing period is between January 1 and February 15.
  • 90% of the exemption is available if filed after February 15 but prior to the following January 1.
  • 85% of the exemption is available if filed after January 1 of the next calendar year, subject to the four-year statute of limitations for refunds of taxes paid.

Note: Tax, penalty and interest for a given year may not exceed $250.

Newly Acquired Property

  • Property acquired after the January 1 tax lien date may be eligible for exemption provided that the property is put to exempt use or under construction for exempt use within 180 days after the date of acquisition.
  • To receive the exemption, claims must be filed ninety days after the first day of the month following the month in which the property was acquired or by February 15th of the following year, whichever occurs first.

Note: A late filing penalty, not to exceed $250 will be applied to claims received after the deadline. 

Note: If the church does not own the property, they must be leasing it by January 1st to receive the exemption for the upcoming tax year.

Claiming an Exemption

First-time Church Exemption Claimants Need to Submit

  1. Church exemption claim form
  2. Copy of certified Articles of Incorporation
  3. Tax letter evidencing exemption from either the State Franchise Tax Board or the Internal Revenue Service
  4. If leased property, a copy of the lease agreement is required. A reduction of property taxes on leased property granted the church exemption shall be for the benefit of the church. The lease agreement must state how the benefit will be passed on to the church.

Clerk-Recorder-Assessor

Deva Marie Proto

County Clerk-Recorder-Assessor-Registrar of Voters

Office Hours

Monday – Tuesday
8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Wednesday
8:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Thursday – Friday
8:00 AM – 5:00 PM

Note: Document processing and fee transactions end 30 minutes prior to closing

Business Property Hours

Monday - Tuesday
8:00 AM – 12:00 PM
1:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Wednesday
8:00 AM – 12:00 PM
1:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Thursday - Friday
8:00 AM – 12:00 PM
1:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Address

Assessor's Office

585 Fiscal Drive
Room 104F
Santa Rosa, CA 95403
38.4659106, -122.7251807

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Exemption Forms

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Important Notice

Important Information 75x40The staff of the Clerk-Recorder-Assessor's Office are forbidden by California legal codes to practice law or provide legal advice; this prohibition includes giving advice about what forms you might need or how you should fill them out.