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Temporarily Vacant Church Buildings and Property Tax Exemption

When a congregation moves, must it pay property tax on its old building?


• In an important decision, an Illinois state appeals court ruled that a church building does not lose its property tax exemption when it is temporarily vacant following the congregation's move to another location. A Lutheran church owned a piece of property on which was located a single building consisting of a church, an office, and a parsonage. The church and parsonage portions of the property were connected by the office. In 1985, following the minister's retirement, the church merged with a campus ministry at a nearby state university. Thereafter, church activities were conducted at the campus location. The church attempted to sell its old building, but was not successful for nearly a year. During that year, the church and office portions of the property were used for storage of church property, including church records, pews, hymnals, an altar, a cross, the church pipe organ, ...

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  • July 1, 1991

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