Non-profit organizations do not have to pay property taxes. This is a true statement, but there are stipulations that apply to the rule. The first thing that has to be defined is whether the organization is actually non-profit. Non-profit meaning that they do not have any profits made from monies received. The other qualification is the non-profit organization has to be recognized by the government as a qualifying activity to claim the exemption for property taxes. You need to know the laws of the particular state to know if your organization is tax exempt.
The most common non-profit organizations are nursing homes, social service groups, hospitals, museums, cemeteries, churches and schools. Any property used solely for performances for dance or musicals or any literary adventures and buildings that house historical collections are also exempt from paying or owing property taxes. A union hall however is not exempt from property taxes unless they also offer some training inside the building, then they can qualify for tax exempt status. To qualify for exempt status from property taxes, an organization must fill out an application that is submitted to the state taxing committee.
Properties that are exempt from property taxes are not allowed to have any monetary profit, if the organization allows a group to use the property for profit, they can and will lose the status of a non-profit property whether is for their gain or someone else’s. The guidelines for tax exempt properties are very strict. If the organization sell a property to a new owner that new owner is subject to property taxes. If it is another non-profit group, they need to file an application for tax exempt status. If the property is qualified for tax exempt status, it is not for the current year, it is for the next tax year.
One example of a non-tax exempt property is a house used as a church. For example, if a house is used as a church, there can be no other uses allowed. No one will reside in the house as a permanent tenant. This would then change the status of the house and disqualify it from a tax exempt status. The property taxes would be owed according to the county clerks records. Local governments would review the issues with the church, but if it is found to be used as a residence, the status is automatically changed to property owned for profit.
Some building that are land marked as historical places may qualify for tax exempt property taxes. There are however strict guidelines for determining the exemption of property taxes. To determine if the property is exempt from property taxes, one must go through a review process, the community’s historical society committee usually conducts that review. As you can see there are many steps to take for exemption of property taxes, it not something is given out without a great deal of review and examination. A property owner must present all records pertaining to the non-profit organization to prove no profit is being made.