Hang Your Hat: December 7, 2017

Where does your money come from? Where does it go? Everyone has a variety of money sources covering all of the miscellaneous bills everyone incurs. Some have more income than others and some spend more than others.

Whatever the situation, what comes in should cover what goes out.

Like you and I, Sun City has to answer the same questions on behalf of 5481 homes and its estimated population of 9,000. The proposed 2018 budget presented at last week’s Budget Forums by the Finance Committee and Management did that.

The anticipated cost to pay all of Sun City’s bills for the coming year is $8,341,351.

The Association has been paying its bills since Pulte, the developer, said, “You’re on your own.” The income has always covered the needs. The Association has never had to levy a special assessment.

When the community was launched in 1999, resident assessments were $99.00. The developer paid the difference of operating expenses until transition in 2007.

The current assessment of $134.00 is astonishing considering the extent of community facilities, staff, common grounds, recreational amenities and programs.

Attached homes pay an additional assessment to cover services they receive unlike detached homeowners who pay their own services.

The announcement that the monthly assessment will be reduced to $125.00 beginning in 2018 is not only astonishing, it is incredible. The phenomenon is a tribute to sound fiscal and management policies.

The 5481 households paying $125.00 per month should generate $6,642,972 annually. So how much and where does the difference come from to pay community bills?

Check out the budget. There is rental income from Centegra, Jameson Restaurant; Drendel ballroom catering; Whisper Creek Pro shop; investments; Lifestyle advertising; Web Site advertising ;fees generated after expenses from trips, events and on and on.

Sun City Huntley is in a unique position to be able to benefit from these income sources, which are not available to communities where home owners assessments are the only source of income. Hearing about assessments of $300 and $400 from most common interest or condominium properties is common.

The Successful Sun City business plan should be a model of ingenuity and sound fiscal practices to be studied in business schools.

Maybe the Association can charge a fee for the details of its fiscal operation.

Jim Darow

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