All Posts By

Erik Stanley

Arizona Property Tax Exemption For Churches and Religious Nonprofits: How Does My Organization Get It and How Do We Keep It?

Arizona Property Tax Exemption For Churches and Religious Nonprofits: How Does My Organization Get It and How Do We Keep It?

By | Church

The Arizona Constitution permits taxation of all real estate, improvements to real estate, and, for that matter, all personal property—with certain exemptions determined both within the Constitution itself and in the Arizona Revised Statutes. Among the latter exemptions, as you may have already guessed, is an exemption for churches and religious organizations. But it isn’t just as simple as any property the church owns being exempted from property tax. Read More

Who’s in Charge Here?: Nonprofit Boards and Executive Committees

Who’s in Charge Here?: Nonprofit Boards and Executive Committees

By | Nonprofit

It’s not uncommon for the board of a nonprofit to empower an executive committee to act on the board’s behalf during times when the board is out of session. Especially when the full board cannot be convened expeditiously, boards may find an executive committee to be an attractive alternative. On the other hand, some boards form an executive committee because they simply perceive that other nonprofits have one. Read More

Clergy Confidentiality in Arizona: What is Confidential?

Clergy Confidentiality in Arizona: What is Confidential?

By | Church

Members of religious congregations often rely on their clergypeople in times of uncertainty and distress, and the offering of penitence is even a core practice in some faiths. Naturally this often entails the disclosing of personal and otherwise private information—the sort of disclosures that people generally like kept secret for any number of reasons. Because of how important this is in the practice of religion, the clergy-penitent legal privilege has long been an observed in Arizona, as in the US more broadly. Read More

Can a Religious Organization Require Employees to Sign a Statement of Faith?

Can a Religious Organization Require Employees to Sign a Statement of Faith?

By | Church

The First Amendment to the United States Constitution prohibits the government from either the establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise of religion. The meaning and application of the First Amendment has been hotly debated. One such are of ongoing debate is in the realm of employment law. Religious institutions are after all employers. So how does employment law intersect with the First Amendment? Read More

When a Church Runs a School, Can the State Deny Grants for School Improvements?

Can a Church Participate in a Government Grant Program?

By | Church

There are numerous government grant programs that provide money for all sorts of things. Is it permissible for a church to participate and receive government grant money? The answer to that question can sometimes be complicated, but the Supreme Court has determined that there are certain cases where the government will violate the Constitution if it prohibits a church from participating in a grant program. Read More

Do Courts Ever Have Jurisdiction to Resolve Church Disputes?

Do Courts Ever Have Jurisdiction to Resolve Church Disputes?

By | Church

The tension caused by the Establishment and Free Exercise Clauses of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution is fairly well known. This tension creates a sometimes hazy line that has spawned numerous cases. One of the issues raised in this area is whether the courts have jurisdiction to resolve church disputes. And, as is common in this area of law, the answer is “yes and no,” and the answer depends on a number of factors. Read More