Information collected February 8, 2019.
Virginia Property Tax Law
Virginia Constitution: Article 10: Section 6. Exempt property.
(a) Except as otherwise provided in this Constitution, the following property and no other shall be exempt from taxation, State and local, including inheritance taxes:
(6) Property used by its owner for religious, charitable, patriotic, historical, benevolent, cultural, or public park and playground purposes, as may be provided by classification or designation by an ordinance adopted by the local governing body and subject to such restrictions and conditions as provided by general law.
Note. The above constitutional provision clearly indicates that the property does not have to be in the name of the church: “Property used by its owner for religious …purposes.” However, the law and forms may present a problem.
The Code of Virginia § 58.1-3606. Property exempt from taxation by classification.
- Pursuant to the authority granted in Article X, Section 6 (a)(6) of the Constitution of Virginia to exempt property from taxation by classification, the following classes of real and personal property shall be exempt from taxation:
- Property owned directly or indirectly by the Commonwealth, or any political subdivision thereof.
- Real property and personal property owned by churches or religious bodies, including (i) an incorporated church or religious body and (ii) a corporation mentioned in § 57-16.1, and exclusively occupied or used for religious worship or for the residence of the minister of any church or religious body, and such additional adjacent land reasonably necessary for the convenient use of any such property. Real property exclusively used for religious worship shall also include the following: (a) property used for outdoor worship activities; (b) property used for ancillary and accessory purposes as allowed under the local zoning ordinance, the dominant purpose of which is to support or augment the principal religious worship use; and (c) property used as required by federal, state, or local law.
TAX EXEMPTIONS FOR CHURCHES AND RELIGIOUS BODIES (http://www.pwcgov.org/government/dept/finance/Pages/Tax-Exempt_Churches.aspx )
Virginia law authorizes tax exemption on real and personal property owned by churches or religious bodies and exclusively occupied or used for religious worship or for the residence of its minister and such additional adjacent land reasonably necessary for the exempt use. Property can be held by incorporated churches or by unincorporated churches or religious bodies in the name of a Court-appointed trustee, an elected or appointed bishop, minister or other ecclesiastical officer with proper authorization or a corporation created pursuant to §57-16.1 of the Virginia Code, as amended, to hold the property.
Application for Exemption (This is for the County of Prince William. See https://hampton.gov/433/Tax-Exemption for property tax exemption webpage for Hampton VA. You can click the link at the bottom of that page to go to the application for exemption. Section 6 a states: “6. Under sections A, B or C please check the qualifying use for which exemption is being sought (one only). A. Article X, Section 6 of the Constitution of Virginia – current qualifying uses; owned and exclusively occupied by churches or religious bodies for religious worship or for residences of their ministers.” There is no specific subsection of Section 6 that fits holding in property in trust as we do it. I mention this so that you know that you may have to deal with the tax board to get exemption on property and may have to litigate this issue if you try to claim a property tax exemption for property used by the church. I would be glad to talk with you more about this.)
We have gone over Indiana Property Tax Exemption law and what you need to do at closing to keep the property tax exemption. As we discussed, you will emphasize to the Title Co. what they need to do at closing and make sure they do it. I will talk to them as well as to the name of the owner in the deed, and the way the Trustee is to sign the deed. Call me at any time for any reason.
Virginia Sales Tax Law
COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA SALES AND USE TAX CERTIFICATE OF EXEMPTION is at: https://tax.virginia.gov/sites/default/files/taxforms/exemption-certificates/any/st-13a-any.pdf