Section 43C. The proceeds of the sales of lots and plots in a cemetery shall, except as hereinafter provided, be applied solely to the improvement and maintenance of the cemetery and the avenues, paths and structures situated therein, for the purchase of additional cemetery land, and for the accumulation of a permanent care and improvement fund. If any indebtedness of a fixed amount is incurred in the purchase of lands for such cemetery, or in making any improvement therein, a sum not exceeding fifty per cent of the gross receipts from the sale of burial lots and plots may be applied to the liquidation of such indebtedness. All moneys received from the sale of personal property and surplus real estate of a cemetery shall be applied first to the liquidation of any fixed indebtedness incurred by it on account of the purchase or improvement of the lands dedicated to cemetery purposes, and any residue remaining after the liquidation of such indebtedness shall be deposited in the permanent care and improvement fund of the cemetery. The provisions of this section shall not apply to any cemetery established prior to July first, nineteen hundred and thirty-six, or to any cemetery owned, maintained and operated by a church or religious society.