Where Your HOA Dues Go

February 11, 2016  Finance, News
Feb 112016
Each year we send homeowners a page full of numbers–the budgets and actual expenses for five years.  This year 62% of your dues will be used for operating expenses.  38% goes to the reserves, which will fund capital projects such as patching, seal coating, and repaving our roads over the next ten years.

To make the operating budget clearer, we have created this overview that shows how your monthly dues of $154 are used.  For clarity, we’ve chosen to group operating expenses slightly differently than on the budget report: common area expenses have been broken into three groups–landscaping, trash collection, and roads and other maintenance items.  The pie slice labelled “Reserves” is the contribution to reserves to fund current and future capital projects, not the amount spent on capital projects this year.

Click on the chart to see a larger image.

We monitor our operating expenses closely.  For example, while we cannot control utility rates, we have some control over utility use.  Closing the South pool in the winter saves utility costs for gas and electricity.  Irrigation repairs reduce water loss and the water bill.  Close examination of our bills has produced savings as when we discovered a billing error for trash collection and will receive a more than $3,800 refund. As you can see on the budget report you received, we also work hard to manage capital expenses. Of the Reserve Study components completed in 2015, being flexible in scheduling and selective in our choice of vendors allowed us to save more than $4,000 compared to the budgeted amount.

We’re more than happy to answer questions about the budget and our use of funds. Just click on the email link below and ask!

✉ by Guy Scharf, President, SMVE HOA