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Property Tax Exemption for Parsonages

The definition of a "parsonage" is limited in some states.

Key point: Some states exempt parsonages from property taxes, but the definition of a "parsonage" is limited in some states to homes owned by churches and occupied by clergy who serve a local church.

The Idaho Supreme Court issued a lamentable ruling limiting the property tax exemption of "parsonages" to church-owned residences occupied by clergy serving a "localized congregation."

Idaho law exempts parsonages from property taxes. For many years, a home owned by the Mormon church and occupied by the president of the Idaho mission was considered to be exempt from property taxes as a parsonage. The president is an ordained minister who devotes his full time to overseeing the spiritual and physical needs of 157 lay missionaries in his jurisdiction. The president conducts weekly religious services for the missionaries, and visits each one at least monthly.

The president's ...

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  • January 3, 1994

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