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An Urban Approach to Church Property?

June 25, 2008

We have a lot of respect for Jeff Vanderstelt at Soma Communities in Tacoma, WA.  About a year ago, WORLD Magazine (a great mag) did an article concerning how church property and buildings can be used to engage culture and encourage a good reputation in the community.

Here is the gist of the article:

  • Church properties often increase traffic and use city resources while not paying property taxes that contribute to the maintenance of those roads and services
  • Churches end up getting a bad rap in the city and among those in the community
  • Rather than start a building campaign, Vanderstelt formed an LLC corporation to purchase the building, pays taxes and leases meeting space to the church.
  • They also lease the basement to AT&T and a recording studio, as well as other businesses that rent the facility.  These expenses cover the mortgage and taxes, while the profits are given to the church.
  • They also open the space to civic groups, schools, art festivals and for concerts which serves the community beyond tax revenue.
  • This has helped their church to serve the city, adding more value than it takes and it helps them build their reputation in the city.

The above was just to whet your appetite, check out the full article for more.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. June 26, 2008 3:16 pm

    Great idea. Churches and other expemt organizations don’t pay their fair share of taxes. We’ve thought about asking to pay all the property taxes except school, since we wouldn’t send our kids to the government school.

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