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Economy

Churches Renting Steeple Space to Cell Towers

Some East Bay churches are securing what may be a long-term source of income by renting steeple space to cell phone companies.
           
California Watch reporter Kendall Taggert says companies have put cell phone antennas in church buildings in Oakland and across Contra Costa County.
 
“Churches have been popular because of their height, not all buildings have a large object sticking out of the top, and also their location in residential neighborhoods,” Taggert says. “So, they're usually in places where we need cell coverage.”
 
The deal can bring in $25,000 to $30,000 a year for a church. And it helps cell companies keep up with growing demand for wireless streaming.
 
Normally churches are tax exempt, but they are paying taxes on cell tower income based on how much square footage they rent.
 
 
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