question about KH finance

by peacefulpete 14 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • peacefulpete

    I've been free of the JWs for many years now and have a question about KH finance.

    1. Is it true that all KHs belong to the WT now?

    2. When remodeling is done who pays for it?

    3. How are utilities paid? Does the WT write the check to the utilities and the congo compensate them?

  • Atlantis


    2005 Information Regarding Ownership of Kingdom Halls.

    Also, go to this link and scroll down and look for Accounting, Budget, HUB, etc. The videos are in English but the site is Russian.

  • blondie

    As to who "owns" the KHs, assembly halls, etc., in the US, a religious non-profit does not "own" property but administers the funds and property. No individual owns it either, whether in the head organization or the local organization. Trustees (3 elders) from the congregation in which the KH and property is in, administer local requirements as to title and taxes. The WTS as the parent non-profit only can at their discretion dissolve any congregation and dispose of funds and properties putting it back into the main funds.

    As far as the utilities, I have never know the WTS to pay them then reimburse the congregation. The congregation is responsible for paying these bills in a timely fashion. If 2 or more share the same building, a maintenance committee is formed with an elder from each congregation serving as the "maintenace" overseer and coordinating how the utility bills will be paid. Using split evenly, but sometimes a smaller congregation (Spanish for example) may pay less or not at all at the discretion of the other congregation(s).

    The WTS still has to approve all remodeling and building of new KHs. Of course, basic maintenance does not fall under that.

    I only know what my husband says he knows from his years as an accounts servant.

    Hopefully, someone else will simplify the info in the documents Atlantis has provided. The legalese is so complicated I wonder how any elder could decipher it.

  • JeffT

    Retired real estate accountant here. (commercial and apartment buildings). That isn't actually legalize, to me that document reads like what I'd expect a bright high school student to say in an essay entitled "How to buy a house," its a cut and paste job by a non professional .

    What most interesting about it is what they don't say about ownership. They mention two ways of owning the property: a trust, managed by the elders; and a coporation (probably an LLC in most of the US). What they don't say is that it doesn't make any difference, the WTBS ends up in control of the property, because they can change the elders anytime they want.

    This happened in California a few years ago. The WTBS wanted to sell a property. When the local elders refused the WTBS brought in new elders that would do as they were told. The original elders filed suit and lost, because the court ruled that it could not settle a religious dispute under the 1st amendment.

    So even though all the paperwork may have the name of the local congregation on it, the real owner is the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society.

  • peacefulpete

    In days past the local congo was a local corporation that held the deed and mortgage. In another country where we were assigned, the building title had only the names of individuals, elders if available.

    The reason I ask is a US congregation was told to extensively remodel including leveling the floor that was previously slightly pitched toward the stage like a theater. The cost was huge. It was explained to me that the WT ordered the work but the costs were born by the congo who had no input. Is that possible?

  • stan livedeath
    stan livedeath

    sounds like the WT wants to make it more saleable

  • peacefulpete

    Atlantis the pdf from 2005 says:

    While some congregations may rent theirKingdom Hall facilities, others have purchased their Kingdom Hallproperty. This is a matter that should be decided by the local con-gregation. The branch office does not decide if a local congrega-tion should or should not purchase its own Kingdom Hall prop-erty.

    That was how I remembered it. Has the situation changed or not? I have heard a number of congos were told their property was being sold at the direction of the WT. Looking for clarification.

  • peacefulpete

    stan...I was wonder that very thing.

  • Atlantis

    You know as well as I do, that if the Watchtower is putting together an ownership contract, it is always in their favor.

    How do you know when the Watchtower is lying? If their mouth is moving!

    Those 2005 documents are 14 years old, so you know the Watchtower has found new ways to scam their members out of everything they have.

    Paradise isn't free! JW's are paying plenty to get there with no guarantees!


  • Giordano

    If I understand correctly the Kingdom Hall ownership is turned over to the WTBTS corporation and a 'Rent' payment is now paid monthly. Even for those KH's that had paid off their mortgage.

    It's a land and money grab approved by each local KH. Doesn't matter that you paid off your mortgage......... you still pay 'Rent'.

    Doesn't matter that the hall was built with volunteer labor and usually kept in good repair.

    Most KH's, which have been in use for decades are usually now worth more.

    Over the years (decades) Cities and Townships have grown out to the rural area the Hall was located in. So the location may be far more desirable and valuable for any number of commercial businesses. Sitting next to a good road and providing more then adequate parking the simple interior can be modified to accommodate any business that zoning will permit.

    Your KH today can become a dry cleaners or convenience store tomorrow.

    Meanwhile that congregation must relocate to another KH that may be a serious distance away.

Share this