California

SAVING GRAVES

 

CEMETERY TAX EXEMPTION

 

Cemeteries that are not "used or held" for profit are exempt from property taxes and other assessments under the California State Constitution.

STATE CONSTITUTION
Article 13  -   Taxation

SEC. 3. The following are exempt from property taxation: 

(a) Property owned by the State. 
(b) Property owned by a local government, except as otherwise provided in Section 11(a). 
(c) Bonds issued by the State or a local government in the State. 
(d) Property used for libraries and museums that are free and open to the public and property used exclusively for public schools, community colleges, state colleges, and state universities. 
(e) Buildings, land, equipment, and securities used exclusively for educational purposes by a nonprofit institution of higher education. 
(f) Buildings, land on which they are situated, and equipment used exclusively for religious worship. 
(g) Property used or held exclusively for the permanent deposit of human dead or for the care and maintenance of the property or the dead, except when used or held for profit. This property is also exempt from special assessment.
[....more categories, non-cemetery related]

Although cemeteries are exempt from taxation if not used or held for profit, the Revenue and Taxation Code requires that a form known as a Cemetery Exemption Form, be filed annually in order to prevent a property tax from being assessed.

REVENUE AND TAXATION CODE

Sec. 204.   The cemetery exemption is as specified in subdivision (g) of Section 3 of Article XIII of the Constitution.

Sec. 251.   (a) The board [Board of Equalization]  shall prescribe all procedures and forms required to carry into effect any property tax exemption enacted by statute or constitutional amendment.

Sec. 254.   Any person claiming the church, cemetery, college, exhibition, welfare, veterans' organization, free public libraries, free museums, aircraft of historical significance, or public schools property tax exemption and anyone claiming the classification of a vessel as a documented vessel eligible for assessment under Section 227, shall submit to the assessor annually an affidavit, giving any information required by the board.

Sec. 256.5.   The affidavit for the cemetery exemption shall show that: (a) The property is used or held exclusively for the burial or other permanent deposit of the human dead or for the care, maintenance or upkeep of such property or such dead, and (b) The property is not used or held for profit.

FORMS AVAILABLE
[courtesy of the Sacramento County Tax Assessor]

In order to make an example of  the Cemetery Exemption Form available online,
the following are forms from the Sacramento County Tax Assessor's Web Site.
They are in PDF format and require Adobe Acrobat.

Cemetery Exemption
Cemetery Exemption - Section B
Cemetery Exemption Instructions

 

BOARD OF EQUALIZATION  -  ASSESSOR'S HANDBOOK

The Board of Equalization's website has the Assessor's Handbook available on line.
  Use this link to the chapter on tax exemptions for cemeteries:

Cemetery Exemption, Assessor's Handbook


BACK