2022 Assessment Appeals Process and Guidelines
(Revised May 12, 2022)
In recognition that, despite improvements to the economic outlook, the effects of COVID-19 continue to linger, the Diocese will accept applications for Assessment Relief to assist congregations that continue to confront funding challenges.
The Assessment Appeals Committee anticipates more congregations than usual may be considering a request for assessment relief. To ensure a consistent and transparent process in this unusual year, and to manage the workload of the Committee as it seeks to apportion fairly the finite resources of the Diocese available for relief, the Committee reminds all congregations of the appeal process steps laid out below. These steps are in accordance with the applicable sections in the Diocesan Constitution and Canons and in the Executive Council Bylaws (see the important links below).
Please note that both parishes and missions will be considered equally during 2022 for assessment relief appeals. Also, no congregation that has received assessment relief in the past three years will be eligible to apply, regardless of what the 2017 Assessment Appeals Guidelines stipulate, because of the unusual situation of the pandemic.
If you wish to appeal for assessment relief, please carefully review the Guidelines to determine if your congregation qualifies and meets all requirements and criteria of the Guidelines, especially if the only reason for the relief request is the extraordinary circumstances caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and shutdown. If the congregation meets the Guidelines, follow the steps below, and submit all required materials to the Assessment Appeals Committee by the deadline of September 30, 2022. No extensions in the application deadline will be granted, so that the Committee can complete its work by November 2022.
Steps to appeal your assessment:
- If your congregation plans to appeal your assessment, you must file a written notice of appeal, including the amount for which you seek relief, with the Diocesan Chief Financial Officer (CFO), The Rev. Michelle Racusin, by September 30. E-mailing the written notice is sufficient and satisfactory. Rev. Michelle’s email address is email@example.com. Also email/cc your written notice to Assessment Appeals Committee Chair Bruce Morrow at email address firstname.lastname@example.org and to Canon to the Ordinary, the Rev. Cn. Debra Low-Skinner, at email@example.com by the September 30 deadline.
- Submit your complete appeals application package by the September 30 deadline.
- Items to be included the application package in support of your appeal are:
- The completed 2022 Application for Assessment Relief (found in the important link below)
- A written statement/cover letter explaining the reasons for your appeal and providing the dollar amount of relief you are requesting. The statement must demonstrate how the assessment appeals guidelines are met and give detailed responses to items 1-5 of the “Criteria” section of the Guidelines. The letter should also describe how the relief funds will be spent and whether or not the congregation has received any Diocesan financial support within the past two years.
- A written statement in the cover letter as to what is planned with the assessment relief (e.g., expand outreach, perform deferred maintenance, increase visibility in neighborhood, etc.).
- A written statement in the cover letter of how the congregation has been offering worship during the pandemic. Also whether “attendance” (virtual or otherwise) and pledge income have increased or decreased during the pandemic.
- Parochial reports for 2020 and 2021.
- Parish Annual Reports for 2020 and 2021. (Note: The Parish Annual Report is what is presented by the Rector (or Vicar or Priest in Charge) and Wardens as descriptions of the state of the parish/mission presented typically at the Parish Annual Meeting. It is not the same as the Parochial Report.)
- Complete 2021 year-end financial statements, including statements of all fund/account balances.
- Approved 2022 budget and actuals to date as of August 31, 2022.
- Vestry-approved Application for Assessment Relief.
The deadline for completed applications for September 30, 2022. The Assessment Appeals Committee will not consider requests for deadline extensions.
Once materials from all appealing congregations have been received, the Assessment Appeals Committee may set a date to meet in-person or via teleconference with congregational representatives. The Committee will then make recommendations by late summer to the Executive Council, which has the authority to make decisions on assessment relief.
(NOTE: The assessment relief, if granted, will be in the form of a credit on the congregation’s assessment payment statement.)
Please contact the Assessment Relief Committee Chair Bruce Morrow at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions about the assessment appeals process or guidelines. If you want to apply for assessment relief, but don’t think your congregation meets the guidelines, the Assessment Appeals Committee encourages you to contact the Canon to the Ordinary, the Rev. Cn. Debra Low-Skinner at email@example.com, to assist you in determining if an application is appropriate. The process is open to all parishes and missions, regardless of size. The guidelines are firm and will be applied equally to all congregations.
This information, including Assessment Appeals Guidelines as approved by Executive Council and Application for Assessment Relief, can be found on the DioCal website, diocal.org, under “Resources” then “Finance and Operations” then “Assessment Appeals”. These are also found in the important links below. In addition, there is an important link for the applicable Diocesan Constitution & Canons sections which describe the Assessment Appeals process (Section 18.03) and the Assessment Appeals Committee required actions (Section 18.04).
- Assessment Appeals Guidelines as approved by Executive Council
- 2021 Application for Assessment Relief
- Appeal of Assessment and Committee on Appeals, Canon XVIII, Sections 18.03 and 18.04
The Rev. Michele Racusin
Chief Financial Officer
Diocese of California
The Rev. Cn. Debra Low-Skinner
Canon to the Ordinary
Diocese of California
Assessment Appeals Committee Chair