10 questions property owners should ask before voting on Special Districts

Who what where when why questions

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities Here on IAC, I’ve been following a growing trend. Subdivisions, and planned communities — many of them HOA-governed — are turning to Special Districts to pay for failing infrastructure and other neighborhood improvements. On this website, you can read about dozens of communities across the U.S., where homeowners look to their local governments to collect taxes or fees for various projects. When it’s not possible or practical for a Continue Reading10 questions property owners should ask before voting on Special Districts

How will local government deal with epidemic of crumbling private roads?

Car-drive-over-potholes

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities Local governments must work on solutions to repair crumbling private roads, because most homeowners don’t have the equipment, expertise, or money to maintain them. Private roads are a burden for many homeowners associations (HOAs). But the problem is even more acute for subdivisions where no HOA exists.   Ohio: homeowners can’t get in or out of their subdivision after road washed out in a flood Owners of 32 homes Continue ReadingHow will local government deal with epidemic of crumbling private roads?

What is the root cause of HOA dysfunction?

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities     To solve any problem, it helps to identify its cause or causes. So as we attempt to tackle social and economic problems plaguing many of our association-governed, common interest communities, let’s look beyond the increasingly obvious abuse and HOA horror stories, and recognize that we have built this model of community housing on a false foundation. What are the building blocks in that foundation? What is causing Continue ReadingWhat is the root cause of HOA dysfunction?

Good government leaders could end double taxation of HOA property owners

snow-plow-road-maintenance-winter

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities A few days ago, I explained, by example, the outrageous reason that local governments mandate homeowners’ associations for all new residential development: double taxation. For decades, most government leaders bought into the misguided notion that they could privatize public services by shifting responsibility to HOAs. Under the guise of saving money and keeping property taxes low, city and county governments created the ultimate bait and switch scheme. But in the Continue ReadingGood government leaders could end double taxation of HOA property owners