Riverside County, June 22, 2010

mnql1

Patron Meritorious
From the June 22, 2010 meeting of the Riverside County Board of Supervisors (Jeff Stone was absent):

YouTube - Scientology: June 22, 2010 (1/2) Repeal Ordinance 884

YouTube - Scientology: June 22, 2010 (2/2) Tax Exemptions and Gold Base

Additional notes from AnonOrange:

I understand that they occasionally lease the Cine building (castle) for filming unrelated projects (including porn, so I have heard several times from the locals). According to the Welfare Exemption rules, leasing buildings or equipment invalidates their exemption. Same for the Golf Course.

Catherine Fraser brags about raising $135,000 in the IE Weekly article for unrelated or political causes fundraisers at Gold Era's golf course.

They make secular publications, movies, audio tapes for associated front groups such Narconon, WISE, Applied Scholastics, all for-profit enterprises. They design, build and repair electronic equipment all for profit, again invalidating the Welfare Exemption.

The Christian Broadcasting Network got in trouble for political activities and some religious broadcasters in Illinois were denied a tax exemption.

Why is this happening? Because Riverside County lets it happen.

We are right in the middle of Property Tax Status evaluation season.

Tommy Davis states that they pay a LOT of property taxes: they don't.


Church and Religious Exemptions
The corporation or entity, however, must meet the following requirements:
(1) it must be organized and operated for those purposes;
(2) it must be non-profit;
(3) no part of its net earnings can inure to the benefit of any private shareholder or individual.

County assessors administer the church and religious exemptions.

The welfare exemption is co-administered by the Board Of Equalizatoin AND county assessors. Effective January 1, 2004, the BOE became responsible for determining whether an organization itself is eligible for the welfare exemption and for issuing Organizational Clearance Certificates to qualified nonprofit organizations. AND, the assessor became responsible for determining whether the use of a qualifying organization's property is eligible for exemption and for approving or denying exemption claims.

The assessor may, deny an exemption claim, based on non-qualifying use of the property, notwithstanding the claimant's Organizational Clearance Certificate issued by the BOE.


PRIVATE INUREMENT:

Things of that I know were bought for David Miscavige, personally.

Acura RL - Int Base ... $50,000
Acura TSX - Int Base ... $35,000
Mazda Miata ... $25,000
Range Rover ... $80,000
Bullet proof GMC Van ... $150,000
New RTC Building - sitting empty ... $15,000,000
Redoing Music Studio at Gold - 3 times ... $5,000,000
House for LRH (Built two decades after death) ... $10,000,000
Birthday Party for Tom Cruise aboard Freewinds 2004 ... $250,000
Birthday Party for Tom Cruise aboard Freewinds 2005 ... $250,000
Flights for Miscavige & staff for events only ... $20,000,000
SP Building in CW ... $100,000,000
Fort Harrison Renovations ... $40,000,000
David Miscavige personal berthing building in Hollywood ... $4,600,000
David Miscavige's office sound systems worldwide ... $10,000,000
Custom hand crafted motorcycle for DM ... $25,000
Renovations at Hacienda Gardens berthing ... $100,000
Average cost of suit worn by David Miscavige ... $5,000
BMW M6 bought for him by ASI for birthday ... $110,000
Acura - CW one that sits around most of year ... $45,000

TOTAL COSTS ORDERED BOUGHT BY DAVID MISCAVIGE = $205,725,000

As noted by an Anon on WWP, the list above first appeared in a WWP post by Marc Headley.
 

mnql1

Patron Meritorious
One of the documents that AnonOrange displayed is a booklet entitled "Property Tax Welfare Exemption" (California State Board of Equalization Publication 149), which can be downloaded via the following link:
http://www.boe.ca.gov/proptaxes/pdf/pub149.pdf

AnonOrange emailed the letter below to the Riverside County tax auditor and "her response was to go ask the State Board of Equalization, whom I already spoke to, prior."

Ms. Dee Senior
Office of the Treasurer-Tax Collector
Riverside County
Institutional Exemptions


CC: Katie Julian


Hello Ms. Senior,

Your e-mail address was given to me by staff, since I could not reach you by phone. It's also easier to explain question by e-mail.

I read publication 149 (attached) and I have some questions about how the different exemption categories are applied. I am particularly confused with the meaning of "Welfare Exemption", which seems to encompass more than the regular "Church Exemption".

Here are some relevant excerpts from pub 149 and my questions are below that:

California State Board of Equalization:
Qualifying Purposes
California property tax law has its own requirements that may differ from other state and federal laws. One of these differences affects organizations applying for the Welfare Exemption. California property tax law requires that, in order to qualify for the Welfare Exemption, the organization must be organized and operated exclusively for one or more of the following purposes
• Religious
• Charitable
• Scientific
• Hospital

Three exemptions—Welfare Exemption, Church Exemption, and Religious Exemption—provide a means of exempting property from taxation for property used for religious purposes.

Most religious organizations qualify their property for exemption under the Church Exemption. The Church Exemption is limited to religious organizations using the property for worship only. Worship has been defined by the courts as the formal observance of religious tenets or beliefs. This limits activities eligible for the Church Exemption to traditional ceremonial functions.

Welfare Exemption:
General Filing Requirements
The county assessor is responsible for reviewing claims for the Welfare Exemption to determine whether the property of an organization qualifies for exemption based on its use (that is, is the property used exclusively for religious, hospital, scientific, or charitable purposes by an organization that has already received an Organizational Clearance Certificate from the Board, see below).

Organizational Clearance Certificate
Board staff reviews claims for organizational clearance certificates to deter-mine if the organization is organized and operated exclusively for one or more qualifying purposes, and otherwise meets the requirements of Revenue and Taxation Code section 214.
4. The operations of the organization may not directly or indirectly materially enhance the private gain of any individuals.
5. The organization must be exclusively organized and operated for one or more of the qualifying purposes—religious, hospital, scientific, or charitable.


Questions:

For a church that has the "Welfare Exemption":

1) Are property taxes due on the building that the Pastor personally lives in?

2) If the Pastor lives on the Church grounds, such as in large megachurches, are property taxes due on that building?

3) What about the apartment buildings in which employees of the church live? Are those buildings tax exempt, particularly if located on the same grounds as the church. Same for guest houses.

4) What about sports facilities such as gyms, weight rooms, basketball / baseball courts, running tracks, swimming pool, golf course, shooting ranges, etc. Is there a reasonable entertainment budget for guests?

5) What about video/movie studio facilities?

6) What about pure production of audio/video and duplication (making of books/CD's)

7) What about electronic manufacturing? Storage? Vehicle maintenance?

8) On page 9 of Publication 149 "An advantage of the Church Exemption is that it is the sole exemption available to leased property. The Welfare Exemption covers the greatest number of uses."
Does that mean that if a substantial amount of property on the grounds is leased, the Church should not use the "Welfare Exemption" but rather the "Church Exemption"?
But if "Church Exemption" is used, would that not invalidate all above exemptions? Would the above better fit under the "Religious Exemption"?

9) How do you determine if the organization is a business rather than a Church?

10) How can a re-assessment be initiatied?

11) Do you have a qualification test to determine specific tax exemptions or to evaluate cases where personal inurement may be an issue? What are the reasonable personal spending limits for a Pastor, as compared to his/her salary. Can items like suits, sports equipment, cars, motorcycles be purchased under Church corporate funds or must they be only purchased from the Pastor's salary?

12) If the Church corporation controls other for-profit organizations, such as management services, does that invalidate the top Church corporation from the Welfare Exemption?

Thank you in advance for answering this long list of questions. I'll give you several days to think about it and you may reply to me by e-mail.
 
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