|Submitted||April 10, 2019|
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To Whom It May Concern:
Pursuant to the California Public Records Act, I hereby request the following records:
All files pertaining to the application of Iseum Sanctuary for a Church Exemption of property tax, this is to include and not be limited to notes, documentation, maps, correspondence regarding Church Exemption for the following properties:
APN 0630-061-34-0000 2291 Surrey Road, Landers
APN 0599-461-01-0000 4049 Sunny Vista, Joshua Tree
These properties are used solely for worship, religious rituals, meditation, ceremonies and celebrations. As such, the properties are consecrated and sacrosanct places used exclusively by the Iseum clergy and
members. Conducting worship and ceremonies outside in nature is a key aspect of the faith's religious belief and practice.
Provide Assessor's description as to why these parcels, which are dedicated and used for the exclusive use of the Iseum Sanctuary, a 501(c)3 church/religious organization, have been denied a Church Exemption for Property tax.
If the Assessor claims these parcels are not being used exclusively for religious worship, provide full description/documentation of what other uses the Assessor has determined. Provide proof of the so-called other uses.
Provide documentation/explanation of how San Bernardino County Assessor determines what is religious use.
The requested documents will be made available to the general public, and this request is not being made for commercial purposes.
In the event that there are fees, I would be grateful if you would inform me of the total charges in advance of fulfilling my request. I would prefer the request filled electronically, by e-mail attachment if available or CD-ROM if not.
Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation in this matter. I look forward to receiving your response to this request within 10 calendar days, as the statute requires.
To Whom It May Concern:
I wanted to follow up on the following California Public Records Act request, copied below, and originally submitted on April 10, 2019. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response.
Thanks for your help, and let me know if further clarification is needed.
Good afternoon, per your request, information included below and attached is in response to the PRA received 04/24/2019 regarding the Iseum Sanctuary and reasons for the denial of the Church exemption claim forms submitted on 08/05/2018 and 01/18/2019.
Per Revenue & Taxation code section 256, the Church exemption requires a building and land required for the use of the building must be used solely for the religious worship. If there is a building on the property, used solely for religious worship, other incidental and necessary uses for the accomplishment of the exempt purpose may take place on said parcel(s) without hindering the exempt status.
The parcels in question (0599 461 01 0000, 0630 061 34 0000 and 0632 253 31 0000) are all vacant lots indicated to be used for religious worship and a wildlife sanctuary. Due to the fact there are no buildings on these parcels used solely for religious worship, in order to possibly qualify for a property tax exemption, a welfare exemption claim form would need to be filed. Per Revenue & Taxation code section 214, to qualify for the welfare exemption, the property must be owned and operated by a 501c3 nonprofit organization. Per recorded ownership and church claim forms submitted, these three properties are all leased by taxable owners, therefore, disqualifying the Iseum Sanctuary for the welfare exemption.
Attached you will find Revenue & Taxation code section 256 and Publication 48 pertaining to the church and welfare exemptions.
If you should have any additional questions, please let me know.
Supervising Title Transfer Technician II
Office of Bob Dutton
Direct: 909-252-5530 | Fax: 909-387-6765
Confidentiality Notice: This communication contains legal privileged and confidential information sent solely for the use of the intended recipient. If you are not the intended recipient of this communication you are not authorized to use it in any manner, except to immediately destroy it and notify the sender.
Thanks so much for your help with this request. We really appreciate your information and understand what is needed to obtain the property tax exemption.