The Assessment Reduction Request Process
In each year's Financial Statement of Mission, the Diocesan Council sets aside a portion of diocesan funds to be returned to our faith communities as aid in the form of an assessment reduction. In deciding which faith communities will receive such aid, the Council attends not only to the question of need but also to the question of what efforts the faith community is making to engage the five marks of mission and practice fiscal responsibility. Because of this concern for the long-term sustainability of our faith communities, the Diocesan Council undertakes a careful process of consideration prior to granting assessment reduction requests:
- Each Fall, Diocesan Convention determines the percentage at which assessments will be calculated in the following year.
- Faith Communities report their annual income for the previous year in their annual Parochial Reports, due by March 1 each year
- In June, Diocesan Council approves a Proposed Financial Statement of Mission, which designates the amount available for assessment reductions.
- In mid-July, the assessments for the following year are calculated and made available to faith communities. By Diocesan Canon (7.2), the assessment for each faith community is calculated from the percentage set at Diocesan Convention and is "based upon the Average Support Income Base for the three years preceding the current year."
- By mid-August, faith communities wishing to request a reduction in their assessments submit an Application for Aid Through Assessment Reduction for consideration by the Diocesan Council, along with supporting documentation.
- At the next scheduled meeting of the Diocesan Council in late August or early September, the Rector or Priest-in-Charge of the faith community, the Senior Warden, and the Treasurer appear before the Council for an Assessment Reduction Hearing at which the Council seeks clarification regarding the state of the faith community and its finances.
- Immediately after the hearings have taken place, the Diocesan Council deliberates and votes on which applications to accept and whether to reduce those assessments for the full amount requested. Applicants are informed of the outcome shortly thereafter. After that vote has taken place, additional assessment reductions will be considered only if un-allocated funds remain from the amount originally set aside for assessment reductions.