Idaho Board of Tax Appeals Hearing

Idaho Board of Tax Appeals
November 25, 2002
Moscow, Idaho
Appeal Number 02-A-2358
Property ID: RP M0001006001A A

Linda Pike (LP), Idaho Board of Tax Appeals Hearing Officer

Representing Latah County:

Linda Pike, chair; Robin Eckmann, Deputy Prosecutor, Latah County; Steve Fiscus, Latah County Assessor.

Linda Pike, chair; Robin Eckmann, Deputy Prosecutor, Latah County; Steve Fiscus, Latah County Assessor.

Robin Eckmann (RE), Latah County Deputy Prosecutor; Steve Fiscus (SF), Latah County Assessor.

Representing Christ Church:

Greg Dickison, Eric Burnett, Doug Wilson

Greg Dickison, Eric Burnett, Doug Wilson

Gregory Dickison (GD), attorney for Christ Church; Eric Burnett (EB), treasurer of Christ Church; Douglas Wilson (DW), pastor of Christ Church.

Linda Pike administered the oath at 4:32.


  1. Opening Statement (@8:17)
  1. Call Doug Wilson to testify (@12:13)
    1. How long Wilson has pastored the Kirk (@12:32)
    2. The Kirk’s name changes (@13:17)
    3. The Kirk’s form of church government (@13:50)
    4. Wilson’s expertise in church government (@16:55)
    5. The CRE (@17:30)
  1. The Kirk’s constitution & confession of faith (@18:20)
    1. The Kirk’s relationship to historic confessions of faith (@20:10)
  1. The Kirk’s liturgy (@21:00)
    1. The Kirk’s liturgy is normal (@22:03)
  1. Vast array of Kirk ministries (@22:45)
    1. Canon Press (@22:49)
    2. Credenda/Agenda (@23:00)
    3. Collegiate Reformed Fellowship (@23:06)
    4. New Saint Andrews College (@23:16)
    5. Greyfriars Hall (@23:57)
    6. Canon Press gives books away to the church (@25:00)
  1. Reasons for the legal formation of Christ Church (@25:30)
    1. It has to function in this world (@27:10)
    2. Not registered with the IRS (@28:17)
    3. Give tax-deductible receipts (@28:56)
  1. Christ Church employs people (@29:47)
    1. They had grown so much they bought the Haddock Building and are applying for tax exemption. (@30:20)

    End Script (@31:58)
    Wilson excused (@49:28)


LP: “Now, I know you all have been to a Board of Tax Appeal hearings before; have you ever been to a Board of Tax Appeal hearing before — you folks?”

GD: “Nope.”

LP: “Okay, before I get started and read the information that I need to into the record, I like to explain to people who’ve been before the Board of Tax Appeals exactly who we are. The Board consists of three people; they are appointed by the governor for three-year terms. Typically we have somebody from the northern Idaho — I used to live in Alberta [inaudible] — northern Idaho and, and so that’s me and I cover from Grangeville to the Canadian border. And then we have two other board members — one, David Kinghorn, who is in southeastern Idaho; and we have Lyle Cobbs, who’s in the Boise area. And then we have a very small staff in Boise, with a director and two clerks and then a hearing officer, who helps out the board members to cover the whole state and conduct our hearings. We are not associated with any other state agency; we are an independent body really answerable only to the governor; we are not part of the State Tax Commission and people get us so confused with that, but we are not part of the State Tax Commission at all; in fact they appear before us. So our sole purpose is to travel the state; conduct hearings on any — almost any kind of state tax matter — we don’t hear utilities, but we do hear income tax, sales tax, and most every other kind of state tax and then to render decision in those matters. So, do you have any questions about how the board functions?”

GD: “Nope.”

LP: “Okay, then I’ll go ahead and read information into the record to identify this hearing:

‘This appeal is being held before the Idaho Board of Tax Appeals in Moscow, Idaho, on the 25th day of November 2002. The case before the board is in regards to Appeal Number 02-A-2358 in the matter of the appeal of Christ Church and order of the Board of Equalization of Latah County for the tax year 2002. An appeal was filed on August the 8th by the appellant for the order of the Latah County Board of Equalization is dated July the 10th based upon the petition of the appellant filed with the Latah County Board of Equalization for tax year 2002. Jurisdiction for this appeal is based upon Title 63 Chapter 38 Idaho Code and section 63-511 of the Idaho Code. The appeal is made with respect to the property described as parcel number RPM0001006001AA. Appellant maintains eligibility for tax exemption under Idaho Code section 63-602b. The Latah County Board of Equalization maintain that its decision was fair and equitable in denying that exemption. And as most of you know by now I am Linda Pike on the Board of Tax Appeals and I will be the hearing officer today. This hearing is being conducted under the procedures and the authority of the Idaho Administrative Procedures Act, Title 67 Chapter 52, Idaho Code, and the rules the Idaho Board of Tax Appeals set forth in Idaho 36 Title 1 Chapter 1.’

And we are recording the proceedings here today and that’s the mic. So, um, it does a pretty good job, but, and I imagine — I’ve heard you speak, Doug, so I know you’ve got — you’re not gonna be one with a timid voice, so I think we won’t have any trouble picking that up. But if we do, we can move it down a little bit. Just, I would just ask you to not put any papers on it and to please state your name before you speak so I can identify you on the record. That would be helpful. Okay, appellants would you please state your names and addresses for the record.”

GD: “My name is Gregory C. Dickison; my address is PO Box 8846, Moscow, Idaho, 83843, and I am the lawyer for Christ Church.”

EB: “My name is Eric J. Burnett; my address is 2241 Arbor Crest Road, Moscow, Idaho, 83843; my position is the Treasurer for Christ Church.”

DW: “My name is Douglas Wilson; 1151 North Polk Extension, Moscow, Idaho, 83843; and I am the minister of Christ Church.”

SF: “Steve Fiscus, Latah County Assessor, PO Box 8068, Moscow, Idaho.”

RE: “Robin Eckmann, Deputy Prosecutor with Latah County; same address as the Assessor.”

LP: “Okay, thank you. I’d like to swear in now everybody who will be giving testimony please: Do you swear the testimony you will give today will be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but truth?”

SF: “I do.”

DW: “I do.”

EB: “I do.”

LP: “Let the record show that Eric Burnett and Steve Fiscus and Doug Wilson have all been sworn in; the other two people are attorneys and will not be giving testimony today. Okay, are there any preliminary motions?”

GD: “No.”

RE: “None.”

LP: “Now, the exhibits — I assume you both have exhibits?”

SF: “We have no exhibits, Madam Chair, because the focus of our being here is only to answer any questions regarding the law. We have not opposed the Christ Church receiving an exemption. The Board of Equalization denied the application just because of the timing. Christ Church came to the Board of Equalization at a late moment, was not prepared at that time, and so the Board of Equalization denied it and encouraged them to go to the Board of Tax Appeals. So our purpose here is to determine what portion of the building will be exempt because they’re only applying for a partial exemption on the property, not necessarily here to argue the case of whether or not the Christ Church is exempt entity.”

LP: “Okay. Alright. You have some exhibits?”

GD: “Yes, I provided copies of these to the county. I have first of all a copy of the Christ Church Confession of Faith and Constitution.”

LP: “Okay, you’re gonna give me this for the record, right?”

GD: “Yes.”

LP: “Alright. The appellants are entering some exhibits that I am going to now mark. The Confession of Faith I am going to call A-1, and I’m assuming that there aren’t going to be objections and since I’m my own clerk, may forget that I’m admitting them into evidence.”

GD: “And I also have a — this is a printout from the Secretary of State’s webpage showing that Christ Church is registered as an unincorporated non-profit association.”

LP: “Okay, I’ll mark that as A-2.”

GD: “And the third and final one is a cover sheet discussing the square footage of the building in question and what is used by Christ Church, a copy of the warranty deed, and then three pages, which are a copy of the floor plan and Eric Burnett will be testifying about that.”

LP: “Okay, that will be A-3. Okay, is that it?”

GD: “That’s it.”

LP: “Okie-doke. And I’m assuming you all won’t need to see this — you won’t need any time off — you don’t need any recess or anything?”

RE: “No.”

LP: “Okay, the way that we will run the hearing today is won’t be too much of a surprise for either one of you — but the appellants having the burden of proof, I’ll allow them time to make their presentation — you may make an opening statement or just proceed in the presentation of your case. When you have finished, then I will allow the respondents to ask you any questions that they have; then they can make their side of the case, and you will be allowed time to ask them questions. Then we can have summations from both sides and then appellants will be given a chance for rebuttal, if they so choose. And I do have another hearing at eleven so we’ll just have to keep that time frame in mind. Okay, go ahead, proceed.”

GD: “Thank you. I don’t think we’ll take that long.”

LP: “Okay.”

GD: “I would like to make a brief opening statement.”

LP: “Sure.”

Gregory Dickison

Gregory Dickison

GD: “The a — we’re seeking the tax exemption for property located at 205 East Fifth Street, here in Moscow, it’s the former Haddock Building, and the church purchased it in late 2000 and occupied it in the middle of 2001, was in occupancy on January 1, 2002. And 2002 is the year we seek the property tax exemption for. It is an exemption pursuant to Idaho Code section 63-602b in that it is property belonging to a religious corporation or society, society in this case, that is used exclusively in, excuse me let me find the right. . . right wording here, used exclusively for and in connection with public worship. And in reviewing the case law this is one of those cases where ‘and’ means ‘or’ — ‘exclusively for “or” in connection with public worship.’ Christ Church does not have a regular worship facility; it rents the field house at Logos School, but the offices are located at the property at Fifth Street. We did file a request for the exemption; it was timely filed. I followed up on I believe January 5th, or July 5th, excuse me, of this year. We hadn’t heard anything back and in following up with the assessor’s office it was apparently misfiled and hadn’t been sent for hearing and Mr. Fiscus did advise the commissioners of that at the hearing. The hearing was held on July 8th, which was the last day for such things to be heard. I had to be out of town that day and was unavailable so one of our then deacons, Brian Gibbs, appeared and presented the record.”

LP: “I assume that both of you got the minutes from the Board of Equalization?”

SF: “Yes.”

RE: “Yes.”

GD: “And a copy of the hearing transcript. In looking at the minutes and especially in reviewing the transcript it appears that the main issue was that there was not — the commissioners were not satisfied that Christ Church was a church because there was not a filing anywhere that showed a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status. And there isn’t any such thing. We filed as an unincorporated non-profit association under the Idaho Unincorporated Non-Profit Association Act as Exhibit 2 will show. But we have not filed with the IRS and that is because 501(c)(3) grants a specific — well, 501(c)(3) allows a church to register as a non-profit charitable organization, but 508 — section 508 of the Internal Revenue Code expressly exempts churches from the notice requirements, which would normally be required for something to gain tax-exempt status under 501(c)(3). So in a sense — or in essence a church is tax immune; they are tax exempt just by the nature of being a church. They do not have to give notice to the IRS under Section 508 to establish their tax-exempt status under section 501(c)(3). So there is nothing like that on file. However, as I said we have filed with the Secretary of State as an unincorporated non-profit association so that we may hold property. The — it’s my position that the record that was presented to the commissioners was sufficient to establish its existence as a church. Christ Church previously had a tax exemption from the county for property located at 116 West C Street here in Moscow. It’s listed under Community Evangelical Fellowship because there was a name change in there, but I believe that the commission already had enough evidence that this was a church. Nonetheless, because of time and what the commissioners were looking for, we weren’t able to meet that burden that day so we are going to present that today.”

LP: “Okay.”

GD: “And first I’d like to call Douglas Wilson to testify. Is it fine if he just sits down there at the end?”

LP: “Sure.”

GD: “Doug, will you state your occupation again please.”

DW: “I am Douglas Wilson and I am the minister of Christ Church.”

GD: “How long have you been the minister there?”

DW: “I have served in that capacity since somewhere in 1977.”

GD: “Is that when the church was first established?”

DW: “No, the church was established in 1975 and began meeting on the Lord’s Day weekly for worship. Another gentleman, Lowell Carlson, was the minister for the first year and a half or so. He took a position in another town, moved away and I was the song leader at the time and became the person responsible for preaching, presenting the sermons, when he left. So for all but a year and a half or so of Christ Church’s history I’ve been the minister.”

GD: “The name was originally ‘Community Evangelical Fellowship’?”

DW: “Actually, no. The original name was ‘Faith Fellowship’ but then that was confused with another church in Pullman so we changed the name, I forget when, to ‘Community Evangelical Fellowship,’ which is what it was for the majority of our history and then a few years ago we changed the name to Christ Church.”

GD: “Do you remember exactly when that was when that name was changed?”

DW: “No, not precisely. It’s within the last two or three years.”

GD: “I believe that over the years the governance of Christ Church has evolved, if you will.”

DW: “Yes, that would be a fair statement.”

GD: “How is it currently governed?”

DW: “It is currently governed by a session of elders. Our form of church government is presbyterian, so we have a session of elders, which corporately is the highest authority in the life of the local church. I serve as one of the elders, there are about thirteen — I have to count — about thirteen elders, and I am the elder responsible for the ministry of the Word and sacrament, but there — we have ruling elders, teaching elders and ministers are the three different kinds of elders, but corporately they come together. We meet weekly at the Christ Church building, we meet weekly from 6 to 7:30, Thursday mornings, and make governance decisions, pastoral decisions, liturgical decisions concerning the life of the church.”

GD: “How long has there been a regular session of elders that’s overseen the church?”

DW: “We didn’t have an established government when I began preaching in 1977. We didn’t have any established government at all. I attribute this to the fact that it was the ’70s. It was a strange time for all of us. But we were just sorta out there. We were meeting on Sundays and preaching and singing, doing what churches do but we didn’t have any established constitution, confession of faith, church government. I began — I was the de facto minister — I began a meeting of ‘responsible brothers,’ we called them, you know, people who began making decisions — someone had to make decisions — that group evolved into our elders. We were pretty young to be elders at the time, but we evolved into a group of elders probably within the first few years. So by the early ’80s we were essentially at the local level functioning under the kind of government that we have now.”

GD: “How many elders are there currently?”

DW: “About thirteen, I have to go back and count.”

GD: “And there are also deacons that that help in the governance?”

DW: “Correct. There is a board of deacons and there’s a board of elders. The elders are responsible for the spiritual, pastoral, liturgical life of the church. The deacons are responsible for the financial, practical, physical side of the things that need to be taken care of. So Eric Burnett, our Treasurer, is one of the deacons, so the financial affairs, the budget is prepared by the deacons. The elders approve the budget, but the deacons prepare, do the research for the budget — annual budget. We have a deacon responsible for computer services; he’s the exorcist. We have deacons responsible for computers, for the deacons’ fund, for helping families who are strapped, physical services and practical services are overseen by the deacons, and then the broader oversight is done by the elders.”

GD: “I take it as the minister of Christ Church you have studied other churches and church government and how that functions?”

DW: “Correct, yes.”

GD: “Is there anything usual about this form of government or is this a common presbyterian form used by other churches?”

DW: “This is a common presbyterian form of government. Broadly speaking there are three different kinds of church government: One is independent, the other is Presbyterian, and the third is Episcopal. So Roman Catholic and Episcopal Church sort of — episcopal obviously; presbyterian churches are presbyterial in their operation and that means our presbyterian form of government means that we’re connected to a broader set of churches. So there are — we belong to the Confederation of Reformed Evangelicals — the CRE. There are 19 churches involved in that presbytery. We have an annual presbytery meeting each church sends two delegates to presbytery. This last year presbytery was in Bellevue in October. Next year presbytery will be in Houston. So we — we’re connected to a national presbytery. And, and our form of government, with some adjustments here and there, is typically presbyterian.”

GD: “Would that — you said you belong to a presbytery; could you also say that there’s denomination — the CRE?”

DW: “Yes, the CRE would qualify as a denomination for sure.”

GD: “Okay. I’m gonna give you what’s been marked as Exhibit 1-A — a copy of that — that is the Christ Church Confession of Faith and Constitution. Is that correct?”

DW: “That is correct.”

GD: “When was that first established in writing?”

DW: “Um, the . . . let’s see, I think we even have dates here. The Confession of Faith was first adopted in 1989 — the Statement of Faith was first adopted in 1989. And the Constitution was adopted in ’91.”

GD: “I think that says on the front that that’s amended as of December 2000.”

DW: “Correct, there’s been an additional amendment of the Constitution since that time. So there’s, there’s a revision that is not here. It was just revised a month or two ago. This is — it’s essentially the . . . the same document in continuity. We make adjustments as time progresses. We have, for example, here maybe ten — one, two three, four . . . seven, eight, nine, ten — eleven revisions and with this latest one, twelve.”

GD: “The, the constitution — is that anything that is outside of the mainstream of a common presbyterian constitution?

DW: “No. We . . um . . . we address issues like membership, who qualifies to be an elector in the church; the elders are elected by the congregation and we have the procedures for conducting such elections. The deacons are elected by them. The constitution also addresses transfers of membership; who qualifies for membership in the church; what the responsibilities of the elders are; what the deacons have to do, and so forth. So it’s typical constitutional procedural language.”

GD: “I believe the Confession of Faith refers to a couple of historical confessions; is that right?”

DW: “Uh, we say at the beginning that we are in substantial agreement with the historic confessions of the Reformation, including the Synod of Dort, Belgic Confession, Heidelberg Catechism, the Westminster Confession of Faith of 1646, and the London Baptist Confession of 1689. So that’s not — those aren’t part of our confession, but we’re standing in the stream of those confessions of faith from the Reformation era.”

GD: “So you’re not reinventing the wheel here?”

DW: “We’re not a brand new thing in religious affairs.”

GD: “Okay. Let me ask you about some of the ‘rubber meets the road’ stuff. You talked earlier about meeting on the Lord’s Day regularly since the ’70s and Christ Church still meets every Sunday; is that right?”

DW: “Every Sunday, yes.”

GD: “That’s where?”

DW: “We meet currently at the Field House at Logos School, the gymnasium there.”

GD: “Does Christ Church own its own sanctuary?”

DW: “No, we’re working on it, but we don’t. During these years we’ve never had a permanent sanctuary in which to worship.”

GD: “The a — what is the — generally, what is the liturgy of the worship service consist of?”

DW: “The liturgy consists of a call to worship, a confession of sin; appearing of consecration that includes the sermon, the message; Psalms and hymns sung; the tithes and offerings presented; the communion, we have weekly observance of the Lord’s Supper, communion; and a commissioning benediction, sending people out. The service lasts for an hour and forty-five minutes to two hours.”

GD: “Is there anything about the liturgy that is — well, let me ask it this way — I take it the liturgy is something that is, other than perhaps details, a common presbyterian liturgy.”

DW: “Correct. As I’ve traveled around the country and as I’ve worshipped in other, um — two weeks ago I was — two Sundays ago I was in a presbyterian church in Florida, not in our denomination, and their liturgy of worship was noticeably similar to ours. You — if you were to walk into worship service you would know from any given five minutes that it was a worship service, not a meeting of the Kiwanis or Rotary. It’s distinctively liturgical; it’s a worship service.”

GD: “What other ministries does Christ Church oversee?”

DW: “Christ Church oversees the literature ministry of Canon Press which is a publisher of books; it oversees Credenda/Agenda, which is a periodical magazine that is mailed out around the country; it oversees CRF, Collegiate Reformed Fellowship, which is a ministry to college students at the U of I and WSU; and it used to oversee New Saint Andrews College, until New St. Andrews College — New St. Andrews was a daughter ministry until they embodied themselves as a trust and became a sister ministry in fact. So, when . . . when we first obtained the building that we’re talking about NSA, New St. Andrews, was under the authority of the church, like Canon Press and Credenda, but we’ve just recently detached them so they could flourish as their own entity.”

GD: “But the other ministries — Canon Press, the Collegiate Reformed Fellowship, and Can—, excuse me, Credenda — those are all still part and parcel of the church. Is that correct?”

DW: “Correct. They are still under the authority of the elders and there’s a fourth called Greyfriars Hall, which is a ministerial training program. It’s a . . . it’s like a seminary in some respects but it’s a seminary where the students work in an apprentice-type of setting. So ministerial students who want to be ministers in the future come and study for two- to three-year program, the second year they begin meeting with the elders in an apprenticeship setting trying to learn how, how a church is actually governed and people are pastored and so forth.”

GD: “And some of the men that have gone through Greyfriars have been established as pastors in other churches, is that correct?”

DW: “Correct. There are former Greyfriars who are pastoring in Bellevue, Washington; Fallon, Nevada; Raleigh, North Carolina; Lynchburg, Virginia. So we’re sending pastors out to pastor other churches.”

GD: “Okay. Oh, Canon Press, they’re ‘the literature ministry,’ you said.”

DW: “Uh huh.”

GD: “And part of what Canon Press does when they have a new book out is distribute that to the church; is that right?”

DW: “Correct. When Canon Press publishes a new book — within the last month or so they had two titles, and the titles are taken to church on Sunday morning and an announcement is made that every household can feel free to pick up a free copy of the book.”

GD: “Let me ask you about the legal formation of Christ Church. And I know that you’re not a lawyer but the board of elders did make — did review — or did discuss the issue, did make decisions with regard to how Christ Church would be legally organized; is that right?”

DW: “That is correct.”

GD: “And it’s currently organized as an unincorporated non-profit association; is that right?”

DW: “That is correct, yes.”

GD: “And if you could briefly explain the reasons for that — for choosing that particular form of entity.”

Douglas Wilson

Douglas Wilson

DW: “Um, in the first . . . um . . . in the first place we knew and understood that there was no way we could function in a town, society, culture, without the civil magistrate needing to know who we were. They — we’re not just a collection of individuals; we had to have some sort of legal embodiment — so that we could own property, so that we could have officers that the civil magistrates could talk to and we could talk to them in settings like this. We had to have a discrete formation. At the same time we had theological difficulties with what incorporation entails for a church. We don’t have problems with incorporation per se. A corporation is a creature of the state. So Pete Cenarrusa was the Secretary of State when we were considering this would create this entity, this legal fiction, this legal — this personage called the corporation, and for theological reasons we didn’t believe the church fit in that description. We believe the church is a creation of God’s, not the state. At the same time, as a creation of God’s it has to function in this world — it has to, you know, own property and have sidewalks, you know, gets police protection, so forth. And so we wanted to find some structure that would meet both those needs — that wouldn’t make a theological point we didn’t want to make and at the same time would give the civil magistrate everything the magistrate needed in order to deal with us — to give titles to property and so on. And so in our constitution, we say,

‘Christ Church has constituted herself under the authority and headship of the Lord Jesus Christ is an association of natural persons and recognized as such by the laws of the State of Idaho.’

So we wanted a legal entity that didn’t make a theological point we didn’t want to make.”

GD: “For the record, what page is that on?”

DW: “That is page 30 of the document that is turned in earlier.”

GD: “And so you — given all that you decided to register with the state as an unincorporated nonprofit association; is that right?”

DW: “Correct.”

GD: “The a — you also had some discussion among the elders, I take it, that, as to whether you would register with the IRS as a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization?”

DW: “Correct. And we determined that that was not necessary because of what you mentioned earlier — um, the IRS recognizes the churches as churches are tax immune, they don’t have to make the case, they don’t have to prove the case or apply for it. We had that status already. So we decided that having that status we didn’t have to apply for it, which is upheld by the, by federal law — IRS code. So we give, for example, we give receipts when people give donations, we can give a receipt for the donation they have given and that receipt functions on their tax return in exactly the same way that a receipt is given to a 501(c)(3) philanthropic organization function.”

GD: “Okay. And as you mentioned you discussed this with the elders and looked at yourself and you also got legal advice from me on those points as well.”

DW: “That is correct. We were not trying to do amateur legal work. That would be bad.”

GD: “Let’s see, if I can have just a minute. Christ Church also has — it has employees working for it? You have people on staff that you pay?”

DW: “Correct.”

GD: “And are those people — the other tax laws apply to those people, in other words you pay Social Security on those people, you pay unemployment, and Workers Comp on those people; is that right?”

DW: “That is correct. For the details of that you would have to talk to Eric as the treasurer. But, yes, we pay our staff and do withholding and normal things that you do.”

GD: “Okay. The building at 205 East Fifth Street, when did Christ Church purchase that building?”

DW: “Ah, we purchased it in late 2000, December 2000.”

GD: “And what was the purpose of that?”

DW: “Uh, the purpose was, we . . . we had a church office at the C Street location and we were falling out of the windows, so we just were walking on each other — the ministry had grown and expanded where Canon Press was in the back of that office; we needed more space for them. The church needed more office space; uh Greyfriars Hall needed more — we just needed more space. And the opportunity came up to purchase this building; the price was a good price that we could afford and so we bought it in late 2000 and moved in in the summer of 2001.”

GD: “Okay. And for the record, part of the reason is that you still had some people who were leasing office space there that needed time to get out; is that right?”

DW: “Ah, yes. Correct. It was — part of the delay was remodeling time; part of the delay was people who had current leases that had run out or we had to make a deal with them, so forth. So it was not, it was not an empty building.”

GD: “And you have an office at 205 East Fifth; is that right?”

DW: “I do.”

GD: “And, well, essentially all the church offices are there at 205 East Fifth; is that right?”

DW: “Yes, all the church, everything that the church does with the exception of the worship service itself is done there. Well, excuse me, there is another worship service that’s at the Nuart downtown, but in terms of the church offices, all the church function, the church government is all done there.”

GD: “That’s all I have.”

LP: “Okay. Response, do you have any questions for them at this time?”

RE: “Can I have just a minute?”

LP: “Sure.”

RE: “With your permission Mr. Fiscus will just ask the questions that he has; do you have any problem with that?”

LP: “No, no.”

RE: “All right.”

SF: “Okay, thank you. This is Steve Fiscus. Just a couple of questions after going through what you’ve been speaking about. What happened with the previous building, the one that was on C Street?”

DW: “That, as we moved, we moved all the church offices out of that building, and at the time, as I mentioned, NSA, New St. Andrews College, was still under the authority of the church, and so that building was turned into Tyndale Library and classrooms for New St. Andrews College which it is down to the present. But New St. Andrews has just bought the old Verizon Building on Friendship Square so they will be moving out, they have been renting basically from Christ Church, once they detached from us they began renting from us as a separate entity and when they move out to move into their new building they will, then Christ Church is going to put the building up for sale, probably in the next month or so.”

SF: “Okay, okay so that building will be sold once they’ve moved out. New St. Andrews, what type of, because they are still utilizing some, in this request for exemption, you are using them as one of the reasons for requesting this because of the space that they are using.”

GD: “Actually, if I could clarify, we’re not.”

SF: “They are not included in that?”

GD: “No, they are not.”

SF: “So when you are at this 1,025 that you are using that’s part of the ‘not’?”

GD: “Right.”

DW: “That’s part of the ‘not,’ right.”

SF: “So I can drop that leg of my questions. The other one, and this might be for the treasurer or for any one you, you’re speaking about the title 508 and that there was no need to have, so there’s no documentation of the title 508 from IRS, there’s no certification of that?”

GD: “Right . . . the statute. . .”

SF: “Because you received this from online and somewhere you have a certificate indicating this on file.”

EB: “They, they haven’t mailed us the new certificate yet. They’ve approved it but they have not mailed me a new copy yet.”

SF: “And so for the IRS purposes, because like you were speaking of the donations that people make and they are deducting those I would assume that the IRS is going to want something to define that so that the people are actually qualified for those designations.”

GD: “I can give you two answers to that: The current record from the last hearing has the unincorporated nonprofit association appointment of agent for service and process, which shows Blake Blakey, and that’s Exhibit Number 2 in the current record, or the Board of Equalization’s record. Eric filed a new one that had his name on it, which is why the Secretary of State’s printout has his name. He did not receive a copy back, however, with the Secretary of State’s file stamp. The Internal Revenue Code, which is 26 United States Code Section 508(b), says that except as provided, I’m sorry, in (a) it says that

‘new organizations must notify that they are applying for the recognition of 501(c)(3) status except as provided in subsection (c).’

Subsection (c) states the exceptions under subsection 508(c)(1) the mandatory exceptions are

‘(A) churches, their integrated auxiliaries, and conventions or associations of churches.’

So the tax code grants a church tax-exempt status without filing anything with the Internal Revenue Service. So there won’t be any paperwork with the IRS. Does that answer that question?”

SF: “Yep.”

GD: “Okay.”

SF: “The other thing you were speaking of, and you were speaking of losing your train of thought and I lost mine, also because I have the, oh, you were speaking of not feeling that your ‘constitution or bylaws are any different than any other religious worship,’ but looking at page 10 it speaks about political involvement, is that something that is typical in religious corporations, that they speak of political involvement as part of their. . . ?”

DW: “Well, yes, on page 10, if I could read, there’s a whole section on civil government, but let me read I think a salient part of this:

‘We believe that Christians should be involved in the political process; Christ required His followers to be salt and light in the world and he did not exclude civil government from that Christian influence.’

But this section is established in the form of affirmations and denials. And then we say that

‘We deny that the power of the gospel is to be found in political involvement. We do not believe civil government to be a savior and deny that the church is a political organization.’

So, we appeal to — we say that Christians should be involved in politics in the same sort of way that they should be involved in shoveling snow off their walks. They are people in the world, they have to be involved in their town, but they should do so as Christians.”

SF: “Individuals rather than as —”

DW: “Yeah, we don’t believe that the church is a partisan political organization. But we do believe the church has political ramifications, that there are political implications for our faith, but we don’t, we reject the idea that the church can or should be, it can be, but it should not be made into a partisan organization. So, for example, we would not permit any candidate for office time, leave to speak in worship service or time to speak at all. We would probably not let him speak if he were running for office in the midst of a campaign even if he was speaking in some legitimate religious way. We would want to keep partisan politics out of the church and at the same time strongly affirm that the faith does have political implications. So we’re trying to establish or affirm the longstanding Christian doctrine of the separation of church and state; at the same time denying that there is a separation between morality and state.”

SF: “Okay. One other question, actually, I have two more and that’s it. Just reading about the selection of your elders and deacons, it only uses the word ‘man.’ Are you — are your elders strictly males, you have no females?”

DW: “Correct. We do not have women elders in the church, or a woman minister would not be possible. We also, the elders are voted in by heads of households. Heads of households can be women. So our membership is reckoned by household, so each household gets a vote, not each individual gets a vote, and if you have a widow or a woman who is divorced and she is the functioning head of her household she would, she would vote in elder elections. But we believe the Scripture prohibits women in pastoral ministry or elder ministry. We do not believe that it prohibits necessarily women from other areas of service in the church.”

SF: “And the last thing was dealing with Canon Press, and two questions then: What is published, what do you publish at Canon Press? And then the second part of that was, it was indicated that you distributed copies to your parishioners at the ah, at your church services, but do you also sell books outside of the ones that you —”

DW: “Correct, the books that are given away, for example, first let me answer that question first, the books that are given away are also sold over the Internet and through a mail-order business to Christians all around the country. So the books are sold and Canon Press is a self-sustaining entity financially. But they give, since they are under the authority of the church, they give copies of the book to everyone in the local congregation. The sorts of things that are published — the last — I’ll give you the last two and maybe some other representative titles. The bread and butter of Canon Press would be — the last two are a book I wrote are called ‘Reformed’ Is Not Enough on the objectivity of the covenant. It’s an examination of covenant theology, it’s a theological, exegetical religious book. The other book is Face to Face, which is a book on the necessity of biblical hospitality, friendship. So both those books are theological in nature, practical, ethical sorts of things. Canon Press sells family books. I wrote a book called Reforming Marriage; my wife wrote a book called The Fruit of Her Hands; we’ve written, published books on biblical childrearing — just a number of subjects. The motive behind Canon Press’ publications is we believe in worldview application, so we want books that address every different possible subject from a biblical perspective. So you wouldn’t be surprised to find a book on art or a book on politics or a book on literature, but they would all be done with a distinctively Christian biblical take. We’re not, we’re not a, we’re not a secular publishing house with a Christian veneer. It’s a theological operation.”

SF: “Well, has that been a financially favorable endeavor? Is that —”

DW: “It has been financially self-sustaining for Canon Press. But the point of Canon Press is to — when they make money from it — is to turn the money back around into books, the publication of additional books. So it would be inaccurate to say that Canon Press is functioning as a cash cow for the church. The church oversees the ministry, but the funds that Canon Press makes cycle back into the publication of more books. The same with Credenda; Credenda receives donations to publish the magazine. The money that comes in is used to publish more magazines, it’s not a — the church is not siphoning funds out of these lucrative businesses.”

SF: “At this point I don’t have any further questions.”

RE: “I have a few, if I could.”

LP: “Okay.”

RE: “But first, could I see, you have a document that I didn’t have. . . Maybe it’s part of this. Okay, my question, is the Canon Press property, or the physical property that the Canon Press takes up, are you seeking a tax exemption for that?”

DW: “Yes, Canon Press is part of the, part of what we’re talking about.”

RE: “Okay, is that separate and distinct, is there a, is there a clear delineation between the Canon Press site and the remainder of the church offices?”

DW: “Yeah, you go down, you go down the hall and there’s a door near the Canon Press production offices and then down below are the Canon Press shipping offices. So the church office is here; Canon Press is over here; they’ve got their own entities that way. But Canon Press, the manager of Canon Press serves at the pleasure of the elders. So Canon Press is, in terms of the line of authority, the elders of the church could tell Canon Press we don’t want you to publish that book, or we want you to publish this book, or we would like you to do this or that. So Canon Press functions in its day-to-day operations as its own entity, but it’s under the authority of the church.”

RE: “Right. And the manager is a church employee?”

DW: “The manager is a church employee, and well, he’s a church elder. The manager of Canon Press is Douglas Jones, who also serves as an elder in the church. And he’s an employee of Canon Press, and he’s paid by Canon Press as the other Canon Press employees are. And all that is under the church. He’s not paid — he’s not a church employee in the sense that he’s paid from the tithes and offerings that come in. So, for example, my salary is paid by the tithes and offerings that come in at the worship service, the church secretary the same, the church staff is paid off of the donations that the parishioners give. Canon Press pays its staff from what it is able to earn from the sale of books. So their — yes and no — ‘Is he a staff member of the church?’ — ‘Yes and no.’”

LP: “Is it a requirement that the manager be an elder?”

DW: “You know I don’t believe so. But that would probably be the way it would work. That’s the way it has been and that’s what we want. I’m not sure that there is any constitutional requirement for that.”

RE: “And then, does the church endorse or oppose political candidates in any fashion?”

DW: “No — go back to — we never have. I can — I can envision an election at some point in the future where it would be, you know, an ‘I love the devil’ candidate, and I would never want to say that ‘that’s impossible.’ I —”

[Tape ends abruptly.]


LP: “Okay, we’re back on tape, we turned the tape over.”

RE: “Okay.”

DW: “Um, as I said earlier, we make a great effort to stay out of what I would call ‘partisan politics.’ At the same time there are certain issues that in our culture-wars-divided society other people think are partisan issues that we do not. So for example, we are, we are crawl-over-broken-glass pro-life in our stand, so I could see from the pulpit, saying, ‘You have an obligation to honor and respect human life as you vote.’ But we wouldn’t do something, ‘Vote for Smith,’ that — we would keep a detachment from a particular campaign, particular individuals, and issues.”

RE: “Okay.”

DW: “So —”

RE: “And does the church publish, or has it ever published, any kind of a ‘voter’s guide’ kind of a thing analyzing the candidates under, you know —”

DW: “No.”

RE: “— theories of the church?”

DW: “No, we have not.”

RE: “That’s all I have.”

LP: “Okay, do you want to make a presentation of your case, or do you have one?”

GD: “Actually, can I ask a follow-up, a couple of follow-up questions?”

LP: “Okay.”

GD: “Yesterday, keying off the questions Steve and Robin asked, yesterday in your sermon you made a statement about partisan politics from the pulpit; do you recall what that was?”

DW: “Yes, in fact I was preaching through Psalm 20 yesterday and David is talking about ‘In God’s name we will set up our banners’ and so forth, and I was talking about the interaction between theology, worldview thinking, and the political realm, which I said was necessary, but at the same time I said from the pulpit that it would be inappropriate and wrong to ever electioneer or campaign for a particular individual from the pulpit. That’s not the place for it. And that would, we would go so far as say, if there are local candidates who are candidates or officers who are members of our congregation, and there are people who are members of our congregation, that would not, that standard would not change under those circumstances. If a candidate for political office were an officer in the church or a member of the church, they would not get a special ten-minutes pulpit to share their vision for anything. We wouldn’t do that.”

SF: “Okay, this is Steve Fiscus again. Mr. Dickison, you had, I believe I saw a tax notice maybe that was sticking out of your. . . there was a file. No, there was also, I was certain out of your file I saw the corner of a, your tax bill — oh, maybe it was — okay. Thank you.”

GD: “Can I interject? Is it all right if Mr. Wilson leaves if you don’t have any more questions for him? He has matters to take care of this morning.”

SF: “I don’t believe I have any.”

LP: “No, I imagine somebody else can answer these questions. I want somebody to address this exhibit A-3 because I’m not sure I completely understand it. But if Eric can do that —”

DW: “Eric — that’s his, that’s his baby.”

LP: “Okay, you can be excused.”

DW: “Thank you.”

GD: “Thank you, Doug.”

DW: “It was a pleasure. Steve —”

SF: “Thank you. . . . In, in looking at this, just so that the record, because I don’t believe it’s been indicated, and even I went through the transcript, and the valuation, which isn’t typical unless you have the notice —”

LP: “Well, I have the, I have the notice of the appeal to the Board of Tax Appeal, which it says ‘Land 72,000; Improvements 351 one—”

SF: “Okay, that’s —”

LP: “And total 423 one.”

SF: “Right. That’s correct. And I just wanted to clarify that for the record, because typically in the letter that goes from the Board of Equalization to the appellant, that’s indicated, and I did not receive a copy of that in my files, so I just wanted to make sure that that was in the record what the valuation was, so that when the, your board sits down and looks at whether it’s percentages based on the square footages that you’re talking about or umm. . . .”

LP: “Yeah, that’s what we need to get down to because it’s about twenty-five after and I do have another hearing at eleven and I’m, I’m still uncertain as to what we’re talking about here in terms of the square footage of the building and who owns what.”

SF: “Okay. Okay. My, to the best of my knowledge — and I looked at the file that the, the square footage is, is accurate, and if you look at it at a percentage then of the total building, what is being leased, at least in this case, what Christ Church is requesting and also then the total, that same percentage then should apply to the land also because the underlying land would also carry that same use as far as some being exempt and some being not exempt.”

LP: “But what about when there are different floors on the building and they — and you know — say floor one, it’s got so much percent, or floor two, is that a different —”

SF: “Correct. But they, they have, they have broken that down as far as the square footage and that’s combined on certain floors. That 1600 and 91 is a, is on — it’s not all on one floor, and when I looked at the building valuation — our building valuation is based upon the whole, not necessarily a different valuation per floor, that the valuation of the 400 and . . . I don’t recall — anyway, 400 and some thousand is the value of the whole, not necessarily broken down on a per-floor basis. Whereas, that’s very — that’s a good point, sometimes you see that the basement is unfinished and so its valuation is a lot less per square foot than the other floors, but in this case we value the building, um, utilizing the same value per square foot for the entire building.”

LP: “Okay, now, um, because I don’t think I have anything from . . . showing me what you all are saying how much of this should be exempt.”

SF: “Well, I can’t at this point, the only discussion that I would have would just be the area that is used by Canon Press. I feel that based upon the interpretation of — my interpretation of reading the very small section of code that pertains to religious corporations that the property does qualify. The only question is, what, what portions of it do not qualify. And so I’m thinking that what they’re asking for is probably a fair and accurate representation of that, other than, if in fact there are questions about Canon Press. Canon Press was on the tax rolls at one time and then it was exempted several years ago, I don’t recall the year, a representative from Evangelical — Community Evangelical came into the Board of Equalization and that was exempted at that time. But the personal property of that business at one time was on the tax rolls, and it was exempted by the Board of Equalization.”

LP: “Is that your presentation? Are we done with you?”

SF: “Well, I really don’t have much to present in this case because the question is not, is not arguing valuation, so I’m not bringing in sales to show that — they’re not appealing the valuation of the property, which, so the only discussion is what portion of the building should be exempted and not exempted. We’re not, I’m not, I’m not here to battle over the fact that a portion of the building should be exempted. I believe that they do qualify. So our only discussion then is to what, what portion of that building is exempt and non-exempt.”

LP: “Okay.”

SF: “And one of the reasons that the Board of Equalization and everything that Mr. Dickson indicated was correct. We received the notification; it was presented to the Board of Equalization by them to me in a timely fashion; however, the Board did not hear the case; it did not get to them until the final day. So they contacted . . . The second problem was that there were only two board members present — one of the board members I believe was a member of the congregation, a head of one of these households. So even at that time if a decision had been made, I feel that there probably would have been some disagreement among the members of the Board of Equalization. So it was just said, ‘Why don’t we just go ahead, do this with the Board of Tax Appeals, it would give everyone time to get this thing together.”

LP: “Okay, well, I’m, I’m confused, because on this Exhibit A-3 where it gives the square foot and then, you know, you folks are talking about percents, but I haven’t heard anybody talk about what percent —”

SF: “Well, we could do that if I had a calculator I could divide 1691 into 9,035 and determine what the percentage is of taxable property.”

LP: “So . . . what part are you, are you thinking is not exempt?”

SF: “Sixteen hundred and ninety-one square feet.”

LP: “Okay, the total rented.”

SF: “Right, and shared space is, would remain on the tax rolls.

LP: “Okay, so 1691 is what you think is exempt — no, not exempt. Right?”

SF: “Nineteen percent or nineteen or twenty percent —”

LP: “But you think that is not —”

SF: “Is, is taxable.”

LP: “Okay.”

GD: “And, and we agree.”

LP: “Oh.”

GD: “It, it comes out to 81% if you crunch the numbers — 81.28.”

LP: “Alright, and what, um, so 81%, you’re both agreeing is taxable.”

GD: “No, is tax exempt.”

LP: “Tax exempt.”

GD: “Correct.”

SF: “19% is taxable. . .”

GD: “19% would be taxed.”

LP: “Oh, okay. And what, what entities are in that 19% space?”

GD: “That is New St. Andrews College. . .”

LP: “Okay.”

GD: “And the Association of Classical Christian Schools.”

LP: “Okay, and that composes the 19% that you both are agreeing is taxable.”

GD: “Right.”

LP: “Okay.”

SF: “This is Steve Fiscus. What — on what floor — what area does Canon Press occupy?”

GD: “The second.”

LP: “Now, if there were, if there was any disagreement between the two of you, is that what you would be focusing on, would be Canon Press?”

GD: “I’m not sure there is any disagreement.”

SF: “I don’t know if there’s disagreement in the sense; just questions as to the a . . . the use of that square footage, that area and Canon Press what their contribution is to the Christ Church.”

LP: “It’s on your little chart here — your floorplan chart — it’s not going to show me Canon Press separately. . .”

SF: “It actually does . . . not separate but it indicates the area on the second floor area, area suite number four I believe is Canon Press.”

EB: “On the first floor, it would be the part that has the diagonal line through it.”

LP: “Okay.”

EB: “On the first floor, yes, that’s their work space. They’re occupying two floors.”

LP: “So . . . is this the Canon Press area.”

EB: “That is correct.”

LP: “Anybody object if I write Canon Press on that?”

SF: “No.”

EB: “Go ahead.”

SF: “It’s also on the second floor.”

LP: “Okay, is this the main floor?”

EB: “That is the main floor.”

LP: “The second floor — this is the second floor?”

GD: “That’s the basement. The second page of that floorplan is the basement.”

LP: “Alright, yeah, it’s the basement.”

GD: “And I believe the highlighted areas, Eric, are Canon Press storage?”

EB: “Ah. . .”

LP: “Well the pink says Associated. . .”

EB: “The pink is the Association of Classical Christian Schools. . .”

GD: “That’s right.”

EB: “And the orange is New St. Andrews storage, and then Canon Press has a little storage down there too, which would be item number four on the basement and they have some storage around the sump pump as well.”

RE: “Do they use those rooms exclusively or are those rooms given to other uses as well?

EB: “Yes, they use those rooms exclusively.”

LP: “Okay, so. . . oh, the second floor, okay. So um, now what did we say about the second floor, now I forgot.”

SF: “Suite number four.”

LP: “Suite number four is Canon Press?”

SF: “That’s correct.”

LP: “So, am I hearing that, that both parties are stipulating to this?”

SF: “I don’t believe so — stipulating to . . .”

LP: “That the 19% is taxable?”

SF: “Well, in my case because I don’t have any better information regarding Canon Press in front of me than, than I did in, in July because we didn’t question it at that time. The only thing that I look at is a . . . profit . . . is the only question because 602(b) an entity qualifies if it’s designed — not designed for profit and Mr. Wilson indicated that any proceeds that come from Canon Press are put directly back into Canon Press rather than being profit that goes into the church itself, so that would be my only concern.”

LP: “I know Mr. Wilson is gone but I’ll ask Eric this. Now is Canon Press — it may have been brought up and I may be lost here — but at Canon Press is it, it has its own organizational entity, or is it part of. . .”

Eric Burnett

Eric Burnett

EB: “This is Eric Burnett. It is part of the church. It is included under the church’s employer identification number with the federal government, so all the, all the payroll that’s paid is paid by Christ Church, though it’s maintained separately within just to make sure that Canon Press is covering its own expenses. They don’t roll any of the profits into anything other than books and continued operations.”

LP: “So, if Canon Press were to quote, ‘make a profit,’ they would take that profit and maybe, I don’t want to put words in your mouth, but from what I’m hearing you say, put it back into the operation, they’d either expand their operation, make more books, or something like that?”

EB: “Right. The only exception would be that they help to contribute to with building expenses, making sure that the building is maintained and —”

LP: “The . . . which building?”

EB: “The current building that we’re operating within, the 20 . . . 205 East Fifth.”

LP: “The, the Haddock. . .?”

EB: “The Haddock Building, yes.”

GD: “May I ask a couple of questions?”

LP: “Sure.”

GD: “This is Greg Dickison. Eric, the distinction, to the extent any is made of Canon Press within Christ Church, is essentially a bookkeeping distinction; is that right?”

EB: “Correct.”

GD: “But organizationally it is part of Christ Church?”

EB: “That’s correct.”

GD: “Oh and the — we have been talking the profit or making money — none of that profit inures to anybody’s private or individual benefit?”

EB: “That’s correct.”

GD: “And I asked that because that’s the legal definition of ‘for profit’ is whether it inures to the private benefit of any shareholder or entity, and it doesn’t. So legally it would be ‘non profit.’”

LP: “Okay. I’m not sure this is — I’ve never asked this question before but because I was at a hearing and I’m, I’m just, I’m going to ask the respondents, do you recall a hearing that we had, it was at, it had to do with greenhouses being run by a church. And I was wondering if you can distinguish that from this because that’s running through my head — because it was another entity that was doing something to — selling a product but it was associated with a church.”

SF: “Yes, if that was your question, yes, I recall.”

RE: “Her second question was, Can you distinguish?”

SF: “Um, in that case, well that was a case of it’s actually a church and school both. It’s the Adventist, Adventist school and then the students were working in the greenhouses for class basically there — part of their curriculum. But they were selling the — I can think of one difference — they were selling the products from that and it was paying those — profits from that — were paying a family to live there. A husband and wife and their children, who also worked in the greenhouses and — I don’t, I don’t recall — it was more significant the number, the income that they were receiving was more significant than just to pay those individuals. But I can’t recall — I would have to dig that out to see what the board’s decision was, because that went to the Board of Tax of Appeals, didn’t it? — to see what the decision was based on because I can’t — I recall the case and I recall the numbers but I can’t —”

LP: “I just thought you might because I think we were both here, at that hearing. It just reminded me of it because it’s another entity — church entity — producing something that does make money. Alright, um, so for my clarification, both sides are in agreement with this 19%. Are you in agreement with this 19% that they proposed, that they calculated, that only 19% of this total square footage should be taxable?”

SF: “Yes, and, and the reason that I, I, I am speaking on behalf of my office, not necessarily the county, the reason that I am comfortable with it at this point is because I don’t have enough information on Canon Press. That might be a future issue that we look at and, and sit down with the representatives from Christ Church prior to a hearing to see, to go over some facts and figures and see where we’re at with that. At this point, I don’t feel that it’s fair because that wasn’t part of our request to the Board of Equalization — it was never mentioned in the transcript that it was something that we had questioned prior, and so. . .”

LP: “Okay, now my other question is that on the, on the assessed value of this, this entire building, did you assess it at a certain amount per square feet? You probably didn’t — I mean, not every part of this building is going to be assessed at the same amount per square foot.”

SF: “Well, it is in this case because we looked at — if you looked at strictly a cost approach based on the cost per floor, it would vary, but when the appraiser looked at the valuation he correlated between the income and market approach, which does not, is not respective to any one floor or another. It’s looking at the entire property and the valuation for the property.”

LP: “So, are you saying, then, that a person would, um, this $351,100 that is on the improvements, that is the value of the improvements, now is that the total value — I’m trying to figure out how this 19%, you know, to come up with a value, how is this going to come into play.”

SF: “19% of the figure you mentioned and also 19% of the $72,000, or 19% of the whole. It’s just that we have to break out into numbers for adjustment purposes, so 19% of the $72,000 and also 19% of the $351,100.”

LP: “Okay. . . Okay, um, do I — since you are all so happy with each other and such agreement, does anybody have anything else they want to add to this?”

GD: “Nope, we don’t.”

SF: “I would just indicate that exemptions can be, can be reviewed annually if there is any question as to the validity of that exemption either by the assessor or the Board of Equalization themselves can. And so just to be aware that this isn’t necessarily something that’s permanent. If the uses change, those type of things or if Christ Church rents out more of that building once they build a congregation of their own, um, maybe they’ll find that they can rent out more space or something but those type of things. . .”

LP: “And, and I’m not saying, I’m not saying that just because the two sides agree that when the board, our board meets, it’s necessarily going to agree with the two sides either, because we might come up with a different decision. I don’t know at this point. But, I’m only one of the board members, and all three of us review these decisions. I will tell you how, how it works for now on — ah, what we try to do, because typically the fall is our busy tax season with, especially with these ad valorem appeals so we’ve been trying to get our hearings done and then, some decisions are being written already, but we’ll be writing more. But anyway I can’t remember the code section, there is a code section requiring us to have our ad valorem decisions by May 1. You won’t get the decision before taxes are due so you’re going to have to go ahead and pay those; then you get a credit if the decision is in your favor. Typically what I do is — and I, this is toward the end of my circuit for hearing cases, so you are at the end of mine — but I start reviewing the cases and I review all the evidence and I do what research needs to be done, and I will write a tentative decision usually, and send that to Boise; and then that decision will be sent to the other two board members, and then they will review, and then at least two of us are gonna have to come to some agreement on the decision. It will be findings of fact and conclusions of law, and then it will be sent out to both parties. So I would guess — it’s gonna be early spring sometime I would guess. But anyway it has to be by May — May 1. But that’s kind of what you can expect. Do you have any questions?”

EB: “If it’s helpful, I have calculated out the Canon Press space — it is approximately 1,978 square feet, which would include their storage and their operations.”

LP: “Okay.”


LP: “Now on this Exhibit A-3, the Canon space isn’t — I mean, Canon Press isn’t mentioned. . .”

EB: “Right, because it was included as Christ Church.”

LP: “Okay, okay.”

EB: “It’s a lot different than the remaining balance of the square footage.”

LP: “Okay, I don’t think I have anything else; do you have anything else, any questions for me?”

GD: “Nope.”

LP: “Okay. Doug, I, I appreciate you coming here today; I appreciate you bringing this to my attention and being so completely real with each other. And if nothing else we’ll be adjourned.”

GD: “It’s nice to live in Moscow!”