How government uses HOAs and special districts to create stealth tax

How many layers of government do we really need? By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities Have you ever stopped to think about all the costs associated with owning a home? Property taxes. Homeowners, condominium, or cooperative association maintenance fees and assessments. Insurance. Short and long term maintenance. Homeowners and home buyers may not fully understand that living in a planned common interest community comes with several additional layers of financial obligation. Today’s article illustrates that Continue ReadingHow government uses HOAs and special districts to create stealth tax

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MO HOA faces millions in special assessments to stop landslides

This is the third landslide in 20 years for Winter Valley subdivision, near Fenton By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities Making its rounds on the news and social media is the report of a landslide at Winter Valley subdivision near Fenton, Missouri. Homeowners report that the earth movement of May 4 is the third event in the hillside community. Landslides tend to occur with heavy rainfall, and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports 20 homes are Continue ReadingMO HOA faces millions in special assessments to stop landslides

Private communities often come with burdensome costs

HOAs, condo associations pay extra for private infrastructure, amenities By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities About 4 or 5 decades ago, many local governments began approving new development of planned communities and condominiums. Many of these housing developments include private infrastructure and recreational amenities. But most buyers and homeowners do not realize the primary incentive for creating private communities: Your local government is able to shift substantial construction and ongoing maintenance costs to owners in Continue ReadingPrivate communities often come with burdensome costs

West Virginia HOA seeks annexation to City

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities   The industry that builds, sells, and services association-governed common interest communities is fond of stating that these communities are an “institution” that is “here to stay.” And, in fact, the industry, and many local governments, have intentionally set the HOA trap for decades, with complicated statutes and land use policies. (More on this topic in future blogs.) But not everyone is buying into the industry’s unsupportable claims that Continue ReadingWest Virginia HOA seeks annexation to City