Asked, Answered: How to Respond to an Unexpected Property Tax Bill

Did your church receive an unexpected property tax bill? Why does this happen? What can be done? This video can help.

An unexpected property tax bill can be a confusing, complex and sometimes shocking development for church leaders.

It’s why Church Law & Tax teamed up with Senior Editorial Advisor Midgett Parker in an in-depth Q & A on property taxes, and why we’ve created this brief overview from attorney and Church Law & Tax Editor Matthew Branaugh.

In it, we cover the basics of:

  • The different exemptions churches usually enjoy
  • The reality of claiming and maintaining church property tax exemptions at the local level
  • Why churches sometimes receive an unexpected property tax bill
  • What to do when it happens
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It’s also important to remember churches are generally exempt from federal and state taxes, but not always at the local level.

In fact, we routinely field questions from church leaders asking why they’ve received a bill from a local municipality.

It can be alarming, it can be frustrating, and it can be difficult to know how to respond. But, it’s always an opportunity to build strong relationships at the local level, bear witness to the Gospel, and find creative solutions in partnership with local government officials.

Meanwhile, are you wondering how to maintain and protect your church’s tax-exempt status?

This downloadable .pdf offers tips on what it means to be tax exempt, and more importantly, how churches sometimes jeopardize that status without even knowing it.

This content is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter covered. It is sold with the understanding that the publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting, or other professional service. If legal advice or other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent professional person should be sought. "From a Declaration of Principles jointly adopted by a Committee of the American Bar Association and a Committee of Publishers and Associations." Due to the nature of the U.S. legal system, laws and regulations constantly change. The editors encourage readers to carefully search the site for all content related to the topic of interest and consult qualified local counsel to verify the status of specific statutes, laws, regulations, and precedential court holdings.

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