DRCA Association Fees – HOW LOW CAN THEY GO?
Over the past decade I’ve served as President of the Desert Ridge Community Association (DRCA), we’ve taken an extremely hard line on increasing the fees we charge. From the very beginning, we made a commitment NOT to increase our association fees and have shared that position at every opportunity.
We’ve followed through on that commitment: When times have been lean, we’ve successfully found areas to cut back; when our budget went further than forecasted, we’ve refunded the surplus back to members of our association or added to the reserves for our association. This strategy has been incredibly effective and working together with the entire DRCA Board, we’ve made it work, avoiding increases year after year.
In recent years, we’ve seen costs rise dramatically. Increases mandated by new minimum wage laws, the rising cost of fuel, medical insurance and other expenses have all negatively impacted our bottom line. Anyone who has filled up a gas tank recently understands these expenses are real and the increases are unavoidable.
Despite these challenges, we’ve maintained our community and raised our expectations every year. As Desert Ridge residents, we have high standards for our community. We want safe, highly desirable neighborhoods that are well maintained; lifestyle activities that build a spirit of community, and the enforcement of our governing documents to protect and increase our property values. Our Board focuses on these priorities and accomplishes all of it, with an annual fee of just $372.
From 1995 – 2004, our Association was under the control of the master developer and Association fees increased five times. Since 2004, our Association has been under homeowner control and fees have never increased since. The table below illustrates our fees if they had been raised each year for inflation.
As you can see, if adjusted only for inflation, DRCA fees would have risen to $506 per year. Fortunately, the DRCA Board and has worked hard to keep fees fixed, saving each of us $134 per year vs. inflation alone.
Not only have we been successful in keeping the lid on Association fees, we have also dramatically increased the services we provide including: Off-duty Officer Patrol, overnight parking enforcement, Farmer’s Markets, Holiday Lights, Lifestyles Magazine, website and monthly lifestyles events.
Thank you to everyone who serves as a board and committee member in Desert Ridge, the staff of the various management companies within our community, and to every community volunteer and member of our Association who has contributed to our success. You are appreciated! Desert Ridge is a terrific place to live and I hope to see you around the community!
Desert Ridge Community Association