Pro­posed in­crease

The Weekly Vista - - News -

The POA Board of Direc­tors voted unan­i­mously to ap­prove Tom Jud­son’s (T.J.) plans to ask for an as­sess­ment in­crease, $10 per month on im­proved lots, and $2 per month on unim­proved lots. I don’t know what’s in the Kool-Aid T.J.’s serv­ing at the board meet­ings, but it should be sent out for anal­y­sis. Abra­ham Lin­coln is quoted, “You can fool some of the peo­ple all of the time, and all of the peo­ple some of the time, but you can­not fool all of the peo­ple all of the time.” Wake up Bella Vista. You’re be­ing played like a fid­dle.

I have two is­sues with the pro­posed in­crease. First, I’m op­posed to any in­crease to help pro­vide

the es­ti­mated 14 mil­lion dol­lars for the new Com­mu­nity Cen­ter, T.J.’s Taj Ma­hal 4.0. Since be­com­ing a POA mem­ber, I have voted for ev­ery pro­posed as­sess­ment in­crease. I be­lieve the POA has done a good job with the monies avail­able to main­tain the ameni­ties. How­ever, since T.J. blew into town, the board has given him a blank check to ful­fill his ev­ery whim. Un­for­tu­nately, he is still not sat­is­fied. He wants more and more. He’s now de­mand­ing each home­owner give him at least an ad­di­tional $120 per year to feed his in­sa­tiable ap­petite for more.

Se­condly, the pro­posed in­crease is un­fair as it dis­pro­por­tion­ally places the bur­den on im­proved lot own­ers. A $10 in­crease on $24 equates to a 41.6 per­cent rise, while a $2 in­crease on $16 equals a 12.5 per­cent rise. The Board claims the num­bers are based on the in­crease in So­cial Se­cu­rity ben­e­fits since 2001. Has the rate of in­creases of So­cial Se­cu­rity for the own­ers of im­proved lots been 30 per­cent higher than the in­creases of So­cial Se­cu­rity for the own­ers of unim­proved lots?

The as­sess­ment in­crease must be more eq­ui­table, i.e. raise each lot $6 per month. From $24 to $30, and $16 to $22, re­spec­tively. Ac­cord­ing to Tom Jud­son, there are 20,614 unim­proved lots and 13,688 im­proved lots el­i­gi­ble to vote, as of June 30. The in­crease as cur­rently struc­tured would raise $2,137,296, with more than 76 per­cent (76.8 per­cent) paid by im­proved lot own­ers. How­ever, if the in­crease were re­struc­tured to make it more eq­ui­table, sim­i­lar to that out­lined above, $2,469,744 could be raised, an ad­di­tional $332,448, and all lot own­ers would have the same in­crease. Unim­proved lot own­ers bought their lot(s) to have ac­cess to the ameni­ties, as I once did. They have the same ac­cess as im­proved lot own­ers, and they should shoul­der an equal bur­den.

In prin­ci­ple, I be­lieve an as­sess­ment in­crease is war­ranted. How­ever, I will not vote for any as­sess­ment in­crease to build Taj Ma­hal 4.0, nor one that is so un­fair to im­proved lot own­ers. If the plan for the new Com­mu­nity Cen­ter

is scrapped and re­placed with a more mod­est, less ex­pen­sive plan to re­model and ex­pand Rior­dan to in­clude the in­door pool, etc., and, if the in­crease is re­struc­tured to make it fair to all lot own­ers, I could be on board.

Bill King Bella Vista

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