who owns Kingdom Halls?

by Dogpatch 34 Replies latest jw friends

  • Dogpatch

    Thank y'all very much!


  • gumby
    Now, let me see if I got this straight....

    1. The congregations donate their labor to build the hall!

    2. They borrow the money from the Society which they actually contributed!

    3. The Society charges them interest on the money!

    4. When the loan is paid off, The Society owns the building?

    And they're worried about the crooked TV Evangelists?


    Priceless! Gumby

  • blondie


    Nonprofit Corporation Basics

    Becoming a nonprofit corporation requires some paperwork, but for many groups, the benefits are worth it.

    All sorts of groups, from artists and musicians to people active in education, health and community services wish to operate as nonprofit (or not-for-profit) corporations. Often the reason for doing this is simple -- nonprofit status is usually a requirement for obtaining funds from government agencies and private foundations. Obtaining grants, however, is not the only reason to incorporate. Here, we discuss two additional important benefits of forming a nonprofit -- tax-exempt status and personal liability protection. We then introduce you to some of the basic rules for setting up and running your nonprofit corporation.

    Tax-Exempt Status

    In addition to qualifying for public and private grant money, most nonprofit groups seek nonprofit corporate status to obtain exemptions from federal and state income taxes. The most common federal tax exemption for nonprofits comes from Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, which is why nonprofits are sometimes called 501(c)(3) corporations.

    If your group obtains tax-exempt status, not only is it free from paying taxes on all income from activities related to its nonprofit purpose, but people and organizations that donate to the nonprofit can take a tax deduction for their contributions.

    Protection From Personal Liability
    Forming a nonprofit corporation normally protects the directors, officers and members of the nonprofit from personal liability for the corporation's debts and other obligations. Called "limited liability," this shield ensures that anyone who obtains a judgment against the nonprofit can reach only the assets of the corporation, not the bank accounts, houses or other property owned by the individuals who manage, work for or participate in the business.

    As an example, consider a nonprofit symphony that is sued by a visitor who falls through a poorly maintained railing on a staircase. The court finds in favor of the visitor and issues a judgment against the nonprofit for an amount greater than the nonprofit's insurance coverage. The amount of the judgment is a debt of the corporation, but the directors, officers and members are not personally responsible for paying it. By contrast, if an unincorporated association of musicians owned the premises, the principals of the unincorporated group could be required to pay the judgment amount out of their own pockets.

    Exceptions to the Limited Liability Rule
    • personally and directly injures someone
    • personally guarantees a bank loan or a business debt on which the corporation defaults
    • fails to deposit taxes or file any necessary tax returns
    • does something intentionally fraudulent, illegal or clearly wrong-headed that causes harm, or
    • co-mingles nonprofit and personal funds.
    To cover some of these exceptions, reasonably priced insurance is available to protect volunteer directors, who may be reluctant to serve without it.
    Who Should Consider Becoming a Nonprofit
    The types of groups that typically seek nonprofit status vary widely. Here's a partial list of associations that may be eligible:
    • child care centers
    • shelters for the homeless
    • community healthcare clinics
    • museums
    • hospitals
    • churches, synagogues, mosques and other places of worship
    • schools
    • performing arts groups, and
    • conservation groups.
    If your group isn't on this list, it doesn't necessarily mean you won't qualify for tax-exempt status. As long as your group's activity is charitable, educational, literary, religious or scientific, you should be able to get a tax exemption.
    Forming a Nonprofit Corporation
    Forming a nonprofit corporation is very similar to forming a regular corporation: You must file "articles of incorporation" with the corporations division (usually part of the Secretary of State's office) of your state government. But unlike regular corporations, you must also complete federal and state applications for tax exemptions.

    After filing this initial paperwork, you will create "corporate bylaws," which lay out the operating rules for your nonprofit. Finally, you elect the initial directors of your nonprofit and hold an organizational meeting of the board.

    Running a Nonprofit Corporation
    Most nonprofit corporations are run by a board of directors -- called "trustees" in some states. The directors set policy for the nonprofit and are usually actively involved in the work of the corporation. Officers (who may also serve on the board) carry out the day-to-day business of the corporation and sometimes receive salaries. Depending on its structure, a nonprofit may or may not have formal members with voting rights. If the nonprofit does not create a formal membership structure, the only people who participate in the management of the nonprofit are the directors and officers.

    Nonprofit corporations must observe most of the same formalities as regular corporations. These include keeping good corporate records, holding and preparing minutes of directors' (and possibly members') meetings and maintaining a separate bank account.

    Unlike regular corporations, a nonprofit corporation cannot distribute any profits to its members, contribute money to political campaigns or engage in lobbying activity, except in very limited circumstances.

    Ending a Nonprofit Corporation
    Nonprofits are not actually owned by anyone and therefore cannot be sold. If the directors of a nonprofit corporation decide to dissolve it, they must pay off all debts and obligations of the nonprofit and distribute all of its assets to another tax-exempt nonprofit corporation.

    Copyright 2002 Nolo, Inc.

  • new light
    new light

    One of the smaller congos around here recently sold their KH and started using the one in the next territory over. All the proceeds from the sale went to the Society. This was a hall that was built in 1960 and well beyond paid in full. Unbelievable. Now these people, who are still technically a congregation, have nothing. I know, this doesn't answer the question, but I found it interesting.

  • undercover

    Anyway you look at it, the WTS maintains control of the property. Whether it's deeded locally or to a local non-profit group, if anything happens the WTS can take the property and do what it wants with it.

    Building KHs is the same as if I owned my own property, borrowed money from the bank to purchase building materials, built a house with my own labor, paid my mortgage payment back to the bank, with interest and then after I decide to move later on, I give the building to the bank. Of course for my next house, I'll do the same thing. I'll never own, I'm only leasing, but with all the headaches of full ownership, like repairs, upkeep, landscaping, etc. etc.

    It's a nice little real estate scam. And perfectly legal.

  • blondie

    The WTS doesn't have the absolute control you would think. I know of a congregation a few years back where the WTS wanted them to sell their excess land and donate it to another congregation to build a KH. The BOE balked and refused (and were not removed) and still retain title to that land. It seems the WTS did not have the legal means to force the sale nor had the "spiritual" authority to pressure them to sell. It may be different congregation by congregation. I might note that the congregation no longer had a mortgage with the WTS having paid if off some years before. I found it interesting to see that the WTS did not get its way all the time.


  • kilroy2

    who cares lol

  • Undaunted Danny
  • ozziepost

    The situation downunder is somewhat different. here the Australia branch has sponsored a non-profit corporation which holds the title deeds of all Kingdom Halls and Assembly Halls in the country. There are five directors - all Bethelites or closely associated with Bethel.

    The branch office site is owned by the WTS.

  • RR

    I guess it's hard to say at the moment. WHo knows what arrangements were made with the Society reorganized and the Christian Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses was incorporated.

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