WCA Board Approves 2024 Budget, Landing on a Final HOA Assessment of $364
President Shawn Yesner gave the floor to Board Member Dale Sells to present the treasurer’s report. Sells said that while actual income and expenses remain close to budgeted amounts, the WCA is at about a $23,000 overall deficit based upon the July 31 financial statements. He reported that insurance, utilities, and swim and tennis center payroll expenditures have all increased.
Sells said that the board met in late July to discuss the budget, and the Voting Members held their annual budget workshop at their August 8 meeting. He shared that the VMs raised two questions: the amount of payroll taxes for which the WCA is responsible, and the fact that a large chunk of assets was recently invested and how that change impacted the overall budget. Sells explained that Property Manager Debbie Sainz had factored those two considerations into the most recent draft of the budget, bringing the original proposed assessment for 2024, from $379 to $374.
Yesner then explained that Castleford VM Mary Banks had raised a suggestion at the workshop that the community’s capital contribution be increased. The current capital contribution is equal to the annual HOA assessment and is not prorated regardless of the month of purchase. He said that he called some real estate agents and title companies to ask whether such an increase would be construed as reasonable, and that most comparable communities have capital contributions that are one or two times their annual assessment.
Yesner said he would support an increase to $750, but preferred a capital contribution of $500. Board member Blakley Echeverry said she would support an increase, especially if it would benefit current residents by lowering their annual assessment.
Sells reminded the board that the current budget was based upon 15 closings per month, and cautioned that if the market slowed, the overall capital contributions wouldn’t be as great as the budgeted number. Sainz added that from January through June of 2023, Westchase had averaged only ten closings per month.
Holt said he thought the board should go back to the VMs before deciding on the amount of the new capital contribution, noting that it hadn’t been changed in 30 years. The other board members disagreed, saying there was no downside to current residents and the VMs had overwhelmingly expressed support of the change at the workshop.
Sells then moved to accept the third draft of the 2024 budget with a $750 capital contribution adjusted to 11 closings per month, which would result in a $365 annual assessment. Board Member Michele DelSordo seconded his motion. Sainz noted that the draft didn’t include adjustments to the USTA nonresident fees as requested.
The board agreed that rather than simply charging each nonresident member a $25 fee, which requires the WCA to cover the remaining team insurance costs, they would charge the entire USTA team a flat rate of $820 per season, or $1640 per year to cover their own costs. That change dropped the annual assessment to $364, said Sainz. The board then voted on Sells’ budget approval motion amended to include the change in USTA fees. Five members voted in favor of the motion; Holt abstained and Jack Maurer was absent.
Editor’s Note: Click here for a breakdown of WCA budget discussions and HOA assessments.