Re: charging for common house events
From: Ann Maria Bell (
Date: Sat, 27 Aug 2011 07:48:53 -0700 (PDT)
At Arboretum Cohousing we don't charge for use of our common house or our
guest rooms, in part because our tax accountant advises against it.
"Unrelated business income," which our accountant believes this would be,
has a different tax status than monthly condo fees and is not only taxable
but also at a higher rate. We do get occasional small donations, and I'm not
exactly sure how the treasurer handles them. How do communities that collect
significant revenue from their common spaces handle that tax-wise?

Every event is sponsored by someone in the community who is expected to be
there and is responsible for making sure everything gets cleaned up. In
general we don't allow "commercial" events that charge for admission but we
have had a few, an English Country dance and a cello concert, where
donations were requested from attendees. Our common meals are run through a
different account entirely, and cost $3.50 per person per meal, children are

On a personal note, I think of our common space as part of my home. I've
always opposed piecemeal revenue collection that monetizes little bits of
the commons. I'd like to encourage people to make more use of the commons,
not less!

Ann Maria Bell
Arboretum Cohousing

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