2020 SAMLARC Budget Workshop

The Board of Directors met on October 8, 2019 to conduct the annual Budget Workshop. The purpose of the Annual Fiscal Year Budget Workshop is to approve each year’s budget in light of both static and variable sources of expense and revenue. Budget preparation begins in May each year, and is developed under the careful review of the Budget and Cash Flow Committee (BCFC). The Budget includes considerations of current, historical, and anticipated data to ensure that the Association operates efficiently and effectively.

The Board reviewed the Budget through the lens of the Guiding Principles Related to the Budget, which affirm SAMLARC’s purpose in providing community services and facilities for the benefit and welfare of the Members, and the management and maintenance of SAMLARC’s property, value, desirability, and attractiveness. The Board approved the 2020 Reserve Study as part of SAMLARC’s continued investment in protecting and enhancing the Association’s assets. The Board then reviewed and discussed the 2020 Fiscal Year Operating Budget, prepared in partnership between Management and the Budget and Cash Flow Committee (BCFC). After careful consideration of necessary adjustments, the Board unanimously approved the 2020 Fiscal Year Operating Budget.

As approved by the Board of Directors after meticulous consideration, the 2020 Budget earmarks funding for standard Association operations. Additionally, the 2020 Budget allocates necessary funding for several unavoidable regulatory and industry changes which significantly impact the Association. Key drivers of these impacts include:

  • ​Extensive landscape modification mandated by the Orange County Fire Authority and its Defensible Space guidelines.

  • The rise in California minimum wage and associated wage compression in labor-intensive industries.

  • Increased vendor contract rates as industries struggle to combat minimum wage increases, wage compression, and the rising costs of business.

  • Increased water rates proposed by Santa Margarita Water District as the District faces heightened purchase and import costs.

  • The deteriorating health of the community landscape as it ages, requiring critical re-investment to restore the landscape’s health.

The cumulative effects of these impacts, when balanced against SAMLARC’s ability to absorb, defer, or defray these costs, has ultimately necessitated an assessment increase. Beginning in January 2020, monthly homeowner assessments will increase by $11.04, from $55.20 to $66.24. This marks the first assessment increase since 2009, and is required to enable SAMLARC to address these impacts in a manner that protects and enhances the community.