Religious Exemption

Sonoma County Home Value

Overview

The Religious Exemption may be claimed on real property or personal property that is owned by a religious organization which uses the property exclusively for religious worship services, or worship services and on which a religious organization operates its own preschool, nursery school, kindergarten, or schools of less than collegiate grade, or schools of both collegiate grade and less than collegiate grade. 

Requirements

The Religious Exemption may be claimed on real property or personal property that is owned by a religious organization and:

  • Used exclusively for religious worship services, or
  • Used for both religious worship and its own preschool, nursery school, kindergarten, schools of less than collegiate grade, or schools of both collegiate grade and less than collegiate grade.

The religious exemption is also available if another church is permitted to use the property part-time for religious worship and/or to operate a school described above, provided the owner church also conducts worship services on the property. Both the owner and user of the property must file for the Religious Exemption.

Restrictions and Limitations

Property used for school purposes only (such as property where the owner does not conduct worship services) does not qualify for the Religious Exemption, but may qualify for the Welfare Exemption.

If another nonprofit charitable organization uses all or part of the facility for charitable purposes on a regular basis, then the property is not eligible for the religious exemption, and the welfare exemption must be claimed by the church.

Claiming an Exemption

First-time religious exemption claimants need to submit:

  1. Religious 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
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