|Re: Dues and User Fees||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: Lynn Nadeau (welcomeolympus.net)|
|Date: Tue, 3 Jul 2001 12:42:04 -0600 (MDT)|
At RoseWind we are in the process of reworking our previously flat-rate assessment process, and also the process by which we set the annual operating budget. Currently our budget comes to about $800 a year x 24 households. (No SNOW removal here in paradise.) How it was: Committees would work up wish lists, and then sometimes feel unappreciated when the community decided not to fund them. Things that we wanted "eventually" would get put off year after year, leaving their proponents disappointed. We have considerable diversity of financial resources, and not always what one might guess (for example, not always in correlation with house size). We sometimes cut the budget back to less than some were willing to pay, to not overburden others. What is emerging from our task force and discussion circles: A budget may be easier to agree upon if we first (duh) set criteria for what a "good" budget will accomplish, and (duh again) agree on goals for the things that require money. Thus, if we agree that a good budget will include insurance that covers us for certain things, then that's a budget item, at whatever price we can best find. Or that we want to have enough in a legal-expense fund to deal with something like X, which cost us $x. In terms of goals, if we all want 20-foot-high trees ten years from now, that means certain projects now. We want to allow people to pay on a sliding scale, allowing not only under-average payments, but over-average payments. We seem to be moving towards the idea of coming up with a "good" draft budget, determining the average and an acceptable scale -- like maybe 80%-120%. With the goal of funding the draft budget, we think that each household could anonymously offer an amount in that range, total the slips of paper, and come out ok or close. Perhaps a 2nd or 3rd round of offers would make it come up to the desired total. (This may sound nuts, but we have successfully funded several other projects this way.) If still short, see if there are any anonymous donors who would help fund the shortfall. If still short, trim the budget, keeping in mind our criteria of goals and priorities. If this works, committees will have a more realistic sense of the whole group's priorities and desires BEFORE they work up proposals. And we won't be held back by a financial lowest common denominator. And those with less money won't feel like they are a problem to the group. **** On another topic, sort of, the matter of whether "users" pay more than others. We have a suggested donation for private use of the common house, and for certain garden expenses relevant to privately-farmed plots in the community garden. But generally we have the idea that if a project serves an identified community value--- accessibility, support for children/elders, less environmental impact, growing organic food-- that it should be funded by the community. We're not perfect though: there is grumbling about who should pay for the piano tuning, and how often, on the lovely piano that was gifted to our common house. Lynn Nadeau, RoseWind Cohousing Port Townsend Washington (Victorian seaport, music, art, nature) http://www.olypen.com/sstowell/rosewind http://www.ptguide.com _______________________________________________ Cohousing-L mailing list Cohousing-L [at] cohousing.org Unsubscribe and other info: http://www.communityforum.net/mailman/listinfo/cohousing-l
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