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Dues increase proposed for 2012

Further review of budget set for August

In keeping with its dues stabilization policy, the ADA Board of Trustees at its June meeting voted to recommend a $7 dues increase for 2012, which would set ADA dues at $512.

The dues proposal, if adopted in October by the House of Delegates, will bring operating revenue in 2012 to $120,181,124. Expenses next year are expected to reach $121,108,466. The dues increase would raise $747,950, leaving a shortfall of $179,392.

As the June meeting is only the first round of budget consideration, Association leadership anticipates that some further adjustments based on an ongoing assessment of ADA long-term financial commitments will help cover the $179,392 estimated deficit.

Under ADA Bylaws, the Board is required to give 90 days notice of a dues increase, which is why it votes in June on the preliminary budget proposal, so that the House of Delegates receives timely notification. A more formal vote, reflecting further refinements to budget figures, will come when the Board meets July 31-Aug. 2.

In 2011, the Board directed ADA staff to implement a zero-based budget process. In 2012, that included adding new budget management software, which changed the way projects are defined in the budget. This provides a more accurate measure of all the costs associated with a program or project.

The initial 2012 base operating budget had a deficit of $6.7 million. Cuts were made as well as identification of new sources of revenue, in addition to funding for new programs.

Under the ADA’s Long-Term Financial Strategy of Dues Stabilization policy adopted in 2008, the Board is directed “to develop annual budgets and manage the Association’s finances and reserves in accordance with the long-term financial strategy of dues stabilization. The dues stabilization strategy seeks to achieve long-term dues stability by keeping annual dues increases at or below the level of inflation, based upon the Chicago Consumer Price Index average for the prior three years. The strategy does not call for automatic inflationary dues increases.”

Historically, the budget proposal changes at the House of Delegates when additional programs may be added.

More details about the budget will be available after the July 31-Aug. 2 Board meeting, which will include consideration of a report based on Resolution 134H-2010. This resolution called for a study of ADA employees’ retirement plans with a report to the 2011 House. The resolution also directed the Board to review all ADA employee benefit packages.