Our Fiscal Year runs from June 1 to May 31st. Assessments were recently mailed out and a couple of members asked about the 20% increase reflected in the mailed assessments.
Davis Stirling, the collection of CA laws governing our Association, prescribes the following:
Duty to Levy Assessments. The duty to manage the association’s budget falls to the board of directors. They are the ones most knowledgeable about the association’s financial condition since they pay the bills and review financial reports. By statute, boards are required to levy assessments sufficient to perform their duties. (Civ. Code §5600.) The legal duty falls on board members, not the membership. That explains why boards sometimes raise dues when they would rather not, and why they don’t seek membership approval unless the increase exceeds 20%.
20% Limitation. Notwithstanding more restrictive limitations placed on the board by the governing documents, the board of directors may increase regular assessments (dues) by up to 20% of the association’s preceding fiscal year without membership approval. Membership approval is defined as a majority of a quorum of members constituting a quorum, casting a majority of the votes–“quorum” means more than 50 percent of the owners of an association. (Civ. Code §5605.) The 20% increase is based on the association’s regular assessments for the prior year. This includes operations and reserves contributions as defined in the budget.
Special Assessments. The budget requirement described above does not apply to special assessments.
The increase was disclosed to members in our Annual Budget & Policy Disclosures mailed in April. You can access a copy of that mailing here.
If you didn’t receive a copy of the financial disclosure, it’s possible that we don’t have your current address for mailing. The burden is on members to advise the Association when they receive mail at an address other than the property address. You can use this page to advise us of an alternate mailing address.