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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Welfare Exemption?

The Legislature has the authority to exempt property (1) used exclusively for religious, hospital, or charitable purposes, and (2) owned or held in trust by nonprofit organizations operating for those purposes. This exemption is popularly known as the welfare exemption and was first adopted by voters as a constitutional amendment on November 7, 1944. When the Legislature enacted section 214 of the Revenue and Taxation Code to implement the Constitutional provision in 1945, a fourth purpose scientific, was added to the three mentioned in the Constitution. In general, the welfare exemption from local property tax is available to property of organizations formed and operated exclusively for qualifying purposes (religious, scientific, hospital or charitable), which use their property exclusively for those purposes. Both the organizational and property use requirements must be met for the exemption to be granted. The Welfare and Veterans' Organization Exemptions are jointly administered by the Board of Equalization (BOE) and the county assessor. The BOE determines whether the organization is eligible to receive the welfare or veterans' organization exemption and the county assessor determines whether the use of the property is eligible for the exemption. If the BOE determines that an organization is eligible, the BOE issues an Organizational Clearance Certificate for the claimant to provide with exemption claim forms filed in any of the 58 counties. The county assessor reviews claims for the welfare exemption, and the assessor's determination of whether an organization's property use satisfies the requirements of section 214 will be made by the county assessor without review by the BOE staff. However, the assessor may not grant a claim unless the organization holds a valid Organizational Clearance Certificate issued by the BOE. The assessor may deny an exemption claim, based on non-qualifying use of the property, notwithstanding the claimant's organizational clearance certificate granted by the BOE.

Show All Answers

1. What is the Welfare Exemption?
2. How does an organization file a claim for the Welfare or Veterans' Organization Exemption?
3. When must a claim for the Welfare or Veterans' Organization Exemption claim be filed?
4. What documents do I file with the assessor to request a Welfare or Veterans' Organization exemption from property taxes?
5. What documents do I file with the BOE to request an Organizational Clearance Certificate?
6. According to the Internal Revenue Service, my nonprofit organization is a section 501(c)(3) organization and, therefore, exempt from income taxes. Why must we file separately for a Welfare Exemption
7. The assessor determined that the property was not eligible for the welfare or veterans' organization exemption. What is my recourse if I do not agree?
8. Who Can Claim The Church Exemption?
9. Who Can Claim The Religious Exemption?
10. What Is The Disabled Veteran Exemption And Who Can Qualify?
11. Can I Receive Both The Disabled Veterans Exemption and the Homeowners Exemption?
12. What Is The Definition Of A Principle Place Of Residence?
13. What Is The Difference Between A Property Tax Exemption And An Exclusion?