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Subject: How parties
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Author Messages
NormaB3
(Florida)

Posts:2


08/09/2019 5:15 AM  
Regarding Florida law, is there a legal way to include a budget line item to fund resident parties if residents “donate” a ticket price to reimburse the association.
SteveM9
(Massachusetts)

Posts:3296


08/09/2019 6:32 AM  
We have a public park near us that does shows. They cant charge but they do rope it off and have a suggested donation of $5. Some people pay more, some pay nothing. It all works out.
DouglasK1
(Florida)

Posts:1428


08/09/2019 6:40 AM  
I'm not sure that Florida HOA law addresses this. Your governing documents (CCRs, etc.) should outline what association funds can be used for. Some association docs specifically allow for social event spending, some don't. My old association CCRs are a bit vague:
2. PURPOSE OF ASSESSMENTS. The annual and special assessments
levied by the Association shall be used exclusively for the
purpose of promoting the recreation, health, safety and welfare of
the residents, and in particular for the improvement and
maintenance of common area and any easement in favor of the
Association, including, but not limited to, the cost of taxes,
insurance, labor, equipment, materials, management, maintenance
and supervision thereof, as well as for such other purposes as are
permissible activities of, and undertaken by, the Association.


Even though we never budgeted or spent association funds for social events, I think the board could have justified it using the "recreation" clause if they had wanted to.

Escaped former treasurer and director of a self managed association.
SheliaH
(Indiana)

Posts:2621


08/09/2019 6:45 AM  
If you want answers to legal questions, you really need an attorney because most of us aren't attorneys.

I also think you're REALLY overthinking this. While I prefer that HOA money be spent on things like maintenance and improvement to the common areas, there are some associations that have a line item budget to help pay for community-wide activities designed to bring everyone together and promote better relationships between neighbors.

If your community wants to sponsor something like a community picnic, you may want to start by seeing if there's enough interest in having one and go on from there. It doesn't have to pay for everything - for example, if you want a back to school picnic, residents could bring their own food, but the association might spring for a bounce house for the kids. Or just ask for people to donate whatever's needed and the association wouldn't pay anything. How hard is that?

Before adding anything to the budget, take a survey among the homeowners to see what they think - if the majority are ok with adding something like this to the budget, the board could decide what it will fund, how often community-wide events will be held, come up with an operating budget based on what they'd want to pay for and then put that line item in next year's budget. I woudn't do it now because 2019 is halfway over.

Many communities start planning next year's budgets now and since maintenance should take priority, why not ask the board to charter a special committee to look into all this and make recommendations? That should also include a poll among the homeowners to see if they're ok with having such a line item in the budget. If the overwhelming answer is no, that kills association funding, but not necessarily having the activity - you just have to come up with another way to pay for it.

NpS
(Pennsylvania)

Posts:3572


08/09/2019 7:02 AM  
We have a line item in our budget for "Discretionary Spending."

Some of those funds go toward an annual block party. When surveyed, around 2/3 of our owners comment positively about the block party.

For any other social activity, we only get around 1/3 approval. So the HOA doesn't contribute toward those events.

The "Discretionary Spending" category is for anything that the BOD believes will promote goodwill in the community. It's less than 1% of our overall budget.

Sikubali jukumu. Read all posts at your own risk.
SteveM9
(Massachusetts)

Posts:3296


08/09/2019 7:13 AM  
It's less than 1% of our overall budget.


Saying something is less than 1% is a bureaucrat way of trying to hide the actual dollar amount spent from the peasants. Simply say its $XX dollars.

In other words...... dont be a bureaucrat.
PatJ1
(North Carolina)

Posts:93


08/09/2019 7:44 AM  
We budget Meeting & Event Expense at $500.00/year. It's .1427% of our budget. It's used to cover the expenses of the Annual Meeting and to supplement any member events during the year. Since owners don't "see" what all goes into the operation of maintaining a community, it's great to update them and be available for questions at times other than at the Annual Meeting.

We also take full advantage of our city's Neighborhood Matching Grant program, we've been granted $40,000 since 2016, and they want to see community involvement and the events help fulfill that requirement.

Board members are volunteers. Many have no idea what they're doing. Educate them. Don't beat them up.
NpS
(Pennsylvania)

Posts:3572


08/09/2019 7:45 AM  
Posted By SteveM9 on 08/09/2019 7:13 AM
It's less than 1% of our overall budget.


Saying something is less than 1% is a bureaucrat way of trying to hide the actual dollar amount spent from the peasants. Simply say its $XX dollars.

In other words...... dont be a bureaucrat.


Nonsense Steve.
It just means that we set a % cap on how much we will spend in any given year on this category.
Budgeting 101.
Sure I could say how many dollars we spend. But I don't think that would be helpful to someone like the OP who probably has a different structure.
If you would like to compare percentages, your budget vs mine, I'd be happy to discuss who is and who isn't a bureaucrat.

Sikubali jukumu. Read all posts at your own risk.
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:8550


08/09/2019 8:12 AM  
Any line item can be added to a budget such as BOOZE FOR THE BOD.

As far as association social events go, I am all in favor of them but they should not be paid for by the association. They should self support thus no need for a Budget Line Item.

GenoS
(Florida)

Posts:3123


08/09/2019 3:43 PM  
Posted By DouglasK1 on 08/09/2019 6:40 AM
I'm not sure that Florida HOA law addresses this.

It does not.
NormaB3
(Florida)

Posts:2


08/09/2019 6:51 PM  
Thank you for your input
EdC5
(Florida)

Posts:93


08/10/2019 5:36 AM  
I will say, that when I was taking the CAM pre-license class in Florida this topic was addressed. It was stated that an association funding social activities would be out of bounds.

Edward J Cooke, CMCA, LCAM
SteveM9
(Massachusetts)

Posts:3296


08/10/2019 5:38 PM  
If you would like to compare percentages, your budget vs mine, I'd be happy to discuss who is and who isn't a bureaucrat.


Sure, I will compare. Our percentage of money spent on parties is 0 zero percent, $0.

We dont have a HOA where "entertainment" of members is a required or permissible function of HOA dollars paid for by membership.
NpS
(Pennsylvania)

Posts:3572


08/10/2019 7:07 PM  
Posted By SteveM9 on 08/10/2019 5:38 PM
If you would like to compare percentages, your budget vs mine, I'd be happy to discuss who is and who isn't a bureaucrat.


Sure, I will compare. Our percentage of money spent on parties is 0 zero percent, $0.

We dont have a HOA where "entertainment" of members is a required or permissible function of HOA dollars paid for by membership.



Haha. Nice try, but that wasn't my offer.

But let's move on.

A number of years ago, I started a thread here about buying a plaque for a homeowner who was stepping down from the BOD after 10 years of service. I got a good deal of heat from those who thought that you should never ever ever ever use HOA funds for the plaque. Some said that we shouldn't even spend $1 for such a purpose.

My response then as it is now is that we have a line item in the budget for "discretionary expenditures". It's fully disclosed. Nothing hidden. It's never been challenged by any homeowner, even though they could.

If I remember correctly, I also said that we've never reimbursed ourselves for mileage, and that the amount for the plaque was insignificant compared to the amount that we could have paid her for travel expenses over the years. Again I got heat. Some said that we should have reimbursed for travel but not for the plaque no matter what the dollars are.

I disagreed and left it at that. What works for us might not work for you.

Sikubali jukumu. Read all posts at your own risk.
JZ2
(Florida)

Posts:43


08/12/2019 10:30 AM  
Posted By EdC5 on 08/10/2019 5:36 AM
I will say, that when I was taking the CAM pre-license class in Florida this topic was addressed. It was stated that an association funding social activities would be out of bounds.




Hi Ed,

That is conservative -- and therefore sound -- advice, but many community associations include budget items for recreational spending.

The first thing you would have to look at is whether the governing docs permit such expenditures, but most are written broadly enough to allow it.

The second thing to be considered is the community's support (or lack thereof) for such expenditures. Each community has its own "personality," and the same expenditures may trigger completely different majority reactions among any assortment of communities. Generally speaking, those catering to families and having multiple common amenities will be far more inclined to support such expenditures

Having said all of the above, investing in the social fabric of a community is not at all unreasonable. Indeed, a community's property values are determined by many factors, including the perception of how welcoming a place it is to live, the social events available there, etc.
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