If another church uses the owner-operated church for worship services, the outside operator must apply for the religious exemption. If any other outside use is allowed on the property, the owner of the church and the operator will both need to file a welfare exemption claim.
The religious exemption is generally more desirable for church-owned property because of its one-time filing provision. Once the exemption has been granted, it is continuous until the owner of the property notifies the Assessor that the use of the property has changed, or a change of ownership has occurred. A "change in eligibility or termination card” and Property Use Report is sent annually in January to remind claimants of this obligation. This is a simplified process that eliminates the need for annual filing and the possibility of being assessed a late filing penalty. A maximum penalty and interest of $250 may apply if a church fails to notify the Assessor that an exemption should be terminated.
The initial claim form is a one-time requirement and the use is subject to a site inspection. The annual Change in Eligibility Notice and Property Use Report is not required to be returned unless there is a change in eligibility, however, a site inspection may be performed to verify continued use.
**Denotes an exemption that requires an annual filing, which is timely if received or postmarked by 5:00 p.m, February 15th, or the next business day if the 15th falls on a County Holiday or weekend:
** Religious Exemption (Annual Filing - BOE-267-S) (PDF): The Religious Exemption is available for real personal property owned by a religious organization. The exemption is only available for real and personal property used by the owner church to conduct worship services on the property, or conduct worship services on the property and operate one or more schools on the same property, specifically preschools, nursery schools, kindergartens, elementary schools, secondary schools, or any combination thereof. For property acquired after January 1, or property owned by a newly formed organization, the full exemption may be allowed if a Religious Exemption first time filing BOE 267S is filed within 90 days from the first day of the month following the date of acquisition or by February 15 of the following calendar year, whichever occurs earlier.
** Religious Exemption Change in Eligibility or Termination Notice (Annual Filing - BOE-267-SNT) (PDF): This is sent annually after the first time filing prior to January 1 for verification of continued qualification of the exemption. Failure to return the annual notice does not constitute a waiver of the exemption but may result in an on-site inspection of the property to verify the exempt activity. Use this form to notify the Assessor if there is any change in the use of the property.
** Church Exemption (Annual Filing - BOE-262-AH) (PDF): The Church exemption is for churches exclusively conducting regularly scheduled religious worship services. They are eligible for an exemption on buildings, land on which the church is situated including parking lots and equipment, whether owned or leased, as of lien date (January 1st).
Most religious organizations qualify their property for exemption under the church exemption. Church exemptions are covered under section 3(f), 4(d) and 5 of article XIII as implemented by section 206 of the R&T Code. The church exemption is most often used for leased real property. The exemption does not apply to areas used for fellowship, or other non-worship activities. Other allowed uses are Sunday school and recreational activities. First-time church exemption claimants that lease property need to submit the Church Exemption Claim form and a copy of the current lease agreement. If another church uses the owner-operated church for worship services, then that church must also file. If any other outside use is conducted on the property, the owner church and the operator will both need to file a welfare exemption claim. If the property is leased to the church, any portion of the land used exclusively by the church for parking is exempt only if the congregation does not exceed 500 members.
The claim form must be filed annually after January 1st but received or postmarked before 5:00 p.m. February 15th.
Welfare exemptions are available for churches or religious organizations who use the property for a non-profit use yet not exclusively for religious worship. This use is primarily but not exclusively:
- Housing for clergy, staff or visiting missionaries
- Counseling services or community outreach,
- Use by another non-profit entity which is not exclusively for religious worship
- Religious radio stations, television programming, printing of literature, etc.
Any use for a thrift or retail store, exclusively for fund raising, shared or exclusive use other than incidental by an individual or for-profit entity would not be exempt.
Claim for Welfare Exemption (First Filing - BOE-267): The Welfare Exemption is available to nonprofit property owners who own and operate real and personal property for Religious, Scientific, Hospital or Charitable purposes. This claim form is for the initial request of welfare exemption for a specific property when the claimant is a new filing in the county or requesting exemption for a new location in the county. Financial documentation and a valid Organizational Clearance Certificate is required for filing Find further information on the Board of Equalization website.
** Claim for Welfare Exemption (Annual Filing - BOE-267-A) (PDF): This claim form is filed on an annual basis after an initial "been met" finding, pending an Organizational Clearance Certificate ruling, or properties that were granted exemption in the prior year.
** Welfare Exemption Supplemental Affidavit, Organizations and Persons Using Claimants Real Property (Annual Filing - BOE-267-O) (PDF): This affidavit is filed if indicated on the Claim for Welfare Exemption First Filing (BOE-267) (PDF) or Claim for Welfare Exemption Annual Filing (BOE-267-A) (PDF). This affidavit is required if other persons or organizations use any of the Real or Personal Property.
** Lessors' Exemption Claim (Annual Filing - BOE-263) (PDF): The Lessors' Exemption is available to property owners who lease real property to free public libraries, free museums, public schools, charter schools, community colleges, state colleges, state universities, University of California, churches, and non-profit colleges. Both the owner of the property and the exempt organization are required to sign the claim. The benefit of the exemption must go to the exempt organization in the form of a rent reduction or direct refund, unless otherwise stated in the lease. A copy of the lease is required to be submitted with the first claim.