Public Infrastructure Fee is not a tax (Florida)

Shoppers retail store

New, privately imposed public infrastructure fees benefit property owners of commercial community associations, such as shopping and entertainment centers By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities As the holiday shopping season swings into full gear, Florida shoppers should take note of extra fees tacked onto each purchase they make. Commercial developers in Florida’s Volusia and Duval …

Texans feel the strain of high property taxes plus condo HOA fees

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities As Texans debate how to rein in high property taxes, many homeowners struggle to keep up with rising condo and HOA fees as well. But several recent articles on the subject of property tax reform fail to acknowledge that the bulk of HOA and condo assessments. Association-governed community fees …

Owners with no HOA, public sewer, face $11,404 tax assessment

Sanitary sewer Sewage cap

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities Owners of twenty estate homes in the Greenbrook Manor subdivision, located in the Village of River Hills, recently learned they might have to pay a $11,404 special tax assessment to the city, to pay for a new sewer lift pump. No, Greenbrook Manor is not a planned community, and …

Could Prop 13 ‘split roll’ encourage new non-HOA development?

Bungalow home small tiny

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities CA voters may consider Prop 13 'split roll' tax increase in 2020 In 1978, California's voters passed Proposition 13, a ballot measure that has significantly limited property tax increases ever since. Under Prop 13, a property owner's tax assessment is limited to one percent of a property's taxable value …

City says no trash pick up unless owners create HOA

Garbage trash recycling cans bins

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities The purpose of the Urban Service District (USD) was to expand Metro Services,  that were available to residents of Nashville, but not outlying suburban neighborhoods. Those services include trash pick up, curbside recycling, street lights and the addition of liquor stores. In exchange for inclusion into the USD, homeowners would …

New Yorkers attempt to convert HOA to condo association to save money on property taxes

Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities Homeowners file lawsuit, claiming HOA to condo conversion attempt thwarted by AG An unusual battle over property taxes is brewing in the state of New York. According to two recent reports (see references below), New Yorks state law sets the assessed value of a condominium based upon it’s potential rental …

HOA, condo, & co-op corruption, fraud, & theft roundup (June 2018)

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities This month: several managers, former board members of association-governed communities either arrested or sentenced; mortgage fraud investigation continues in Florida; a developer and hotel owner is sued by owners of condo association for raising fees by 150%; environmental fraud in Massachusetts results in light sentence   Sentencing delayed for …

Louisiana State Senator blocks homeowner attempts to fix HOA roads

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities This news report left me shaking my head. Here’s a state senator that apparently doesn’t understand that a special tax district is a public entity, not a private entity such as a homeowners’ association. Senator Dan Claitor accuses Cypress Point HOA President, Grant Herrin, of trying to use taxpayer …

MO: County will take your private HOA roads off your hands — if they’re not too old and crumbly

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities   Jefferson County, Missouri, is joining the nationwide de-privatization trend. With regard to the utter failure of private homeowners’ associations to adequately maintain infrastructure, Jason Jonas, Public Works Director for the County, “gets it.” Today’s referenced article is a refreshingly frank discussion of reality. HOA boards are generally clueless …

PA press conference for HB595 exposes the bill’s true intent

An Opinion By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities House Rep. Rosemary Brown (R - 189th Legislative District) held a press conference on April 25th, urging Governor Tom Wolf to sign HB595, a bill that, according to Brown, will “assign additional powers to the Office of Attorney General’s Bureau of Consumer Protection in regard to how …