Where will you be on April 19?

The end is almost in sight. It’s been another rough year. So where will you go to try to block out the insanity of the last few months/years?

Here are some of the more intriguing spots I’ve scouted out :

How about sky camping in the mountains of Shanghai, China?

Or how about taking a long, hot soak in the Pamukkale Thermal Pools in Turkey?

For something a little closer to home, you can always visit the Fly Geyser in Nevada.

And while you are there, you can stop in Vegas, but rather than gambling or taking in a show you can contemplate a new career in construction by going to play with all the big construction equipment and tractors at Dig This.

Do you have other ideas or suggestions? Pass them along!

moutains and lake

Steps to increase steps

How many steps we take in a day has become a “thing.” In fact, offices are having contests, and worker–participants are the subject of negative gossip if they aren’t keeping their promises. Here are some suggestions to maximize the step production in the health app on your phone:

  • People with Apple watches seem to get more steps (but I’m unaware of an Apple Rolex).
  • At the airport, you lose steps while your phone is going through screening.
  • Be sure your phone is on your person when on the treadmill and elliptical or you won’t get credit for steps.
  • You get credit for doing bicycle kicks but not crunches.
  • Always carry your phone with you in the house or office. Put it in your back pocket, but don’t forget it’s there when going to the restroom.
  • Take your phone with you while sleepwalking.
  • You may get steps while marching in place sitting down.

The health app also tracks stairs climbed. But I have figured out that you only get credit for going up stairs and not going down, which I think is unfair, and I have complained to Apple.

If you take advantage of all these suggestions, and you still don’t meet your goal, there is a way to add steps without moving your feet. I leave it to you to figure it out.

Post-retirement, Lynn is still writing, although now it’s for fun rather than tax-related purposes. She’s working on a new blog (https://lynnstruetales.blogspot.com/2022/) and possibly a book. But she hasn’t forgotten about the Tax Season Tribune — thanks for the contribution, Lynn!

Forget the annual flavor releases, now you can customize Peeps®

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A dozen will set you back only $29.95 plus shipping and the cost of a couple of fillings.


Your body is a temple, but not for property tax purposes

A church in Modesto, CA was denied a welfare property tax exemption for the portion of the church’s campus that included their gym facilities.1 At trial, the church argued it was ministering to the mind, soul, body, and spirit, and that the gym was an integral part of that mission, but the court didn’t find that the gym was integrated into the church to the extent claimed.

In 2013, a county assessor determined that about one-third of the church’s property was not used exclusively for exempt purposes, as required to qualify for the property tax welfare exemption.2

Exclusive use in this context means the property is used “primarily for exempt purposes.”3 But the existence of one or more secondary uses doesn’t interfere with the dominant purpose being exclusively for exempt purposes (in this case, religious or charitable).4 The test for the welfare exemption doesn’t rely on how many good purposes the property is used for, but whether it meets the exclusive use test.

So even though the church pastor testified that they charged only a nominal fee for gym membership (such that the gym was losing money), and that the main purpose was to minister to the health of the community and provide Christian mentoring, the court agreed with the county assessor. The court noted that physical fitness is secular in nature and that was the primary purpose of the gym.

1 The House Modesto v. County of Stanislaus (March 25, 2022) Cal.App.5d, Case No. F081487
2 Cal. Const. Art. XIII, §4(b)
3 Peninsula Covenant Church v. County of San Mateo (1979) 94 Cal.App.3d 382, 394
4 Y.M.C.A. v. County of L.A. (1950) 35 Cal.2d 760, 767

A few fun facts about this week’s writers:

Sandy Weiner, J.D.Sandy Weiner, J.D., as California editor, loves all things California. Whether it's hiking at Big Sur or playing at the beach in San Diego where she lives, Sandy takes full advantage of all that California has to offer as a way to clear her head after trying to comprehend and explain California's Revenue & Taxation Code.

Kathryn Zdan, EAKathryn Zdan, EA, spends her non-Spidell hours on photography and watching horror films (and then sleeping with the light on). She also enjoys hiking, biking, and watching foreign films.

Lynn Freer, EALynn Freer, EA, is a French literature major, so of course her favorite vacation destination is France. Here she is dining on mussels and fish stew near Nice.

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