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The Reston Association Board of Directors is considering a proposal to set the 2020 annual assessment rate at $728. The rate, based on the proposed draft of the 2020-2021 budget, would represent a 5 percent increase ($35) from the 2019 assessment and is approximately $130 below the cap permitted by the state.
Setting the member assessment rate at $728 would avoid the past practice of using the association’s reserve funds to pay down the fee. Last year the board reduced the 2019 assessment fee from $712 to $693 by using reserve cash. A similar practice of reducing the assessment rate was also used by the board in the two previous years. In total, the last three assessment rates were underwritten by approximately $1.7 million in supplements.
Rather than using supplemental cash to reduce assessment fees, the association’s CEO, Hank Lynch, is proposing the organization look for opportunities to bring in new sources of non-assessment revenue to help keep future assessment hikes well below what Virginia regulations allow for homeowners’ associations. Lynch does not believe that continuing to use surplus cash to pay down fees is sustainable.
At the Thursday, Sept. 26 board meeting, Lynch outlined his budget themes for 2020. Those themes include capital investments that are projected to bring significant revenue into the association.
Click here to download Draft 1 of the proposed budget.
Among the initiatives being proposed are new activities and services at Lake Anne Plaza and improvements to key rental facilities and amenities, which will help drive non-assessment revenue. The budget proposal also includes funding to support enhancements for RA Camps.
Since being hired in late 2018, Lynch, under the direction of the board, has been exploring ideas to increase non-assessment revenue and to improve services for members. The proposed budget reflects several months of work with staff and other stakeholders to address the needs of the RA membership.
Every two years, the RA board adopts a biennial budget to direct the organization’s spending. Before the budget is adopted in November, the board, committees and staff go through a process that includes public meetings, board work sessions, Fiscal Committee meetings and hearings on draft versions of the budget. Through those efforts, the board identifies revenues and expenses that should be added or eliminated in accordance with the association’s strategic goals.
The board passed a motion at the Sept. 26 meeting to hold a working session on the budget in October. (UPDATE: The meeting has been scheduled for Oct. 10 at 6:30 p.m.)
Watch the Sept. 26, 2019 board meeting on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dmtw_mf3q7w