On Nov. 17, the finance committee at Sun City Hilton Head submitted its 2011 budget to the board of directors for approval.
Most residents in attendance appeared pleased that a $1.6 million cash surplus in 2010 resulted in no increase for 2011 dues. The projected surplus for 2011 is substantially less, with approximately $18.2 million in revenue against $17.9 million in outlays.
Caution: The committee was extremely ambitious when projecting its 2011 golf budget. The $3.75 million in revenue is a whopping 30 percent increase ($859,000) over 2010. Even with the new nine-hole course due to open in May, the mother lode of the budget increase is expected to come from a new, convoluted pricing plan that begins with resident rates 35 percent above many of our neighboring courses. Nevertheless, the committee and board are somehow assuming that Sun City golfers will substantially reduce their desire to play outside courses and play more in Sun City. Don't count on it.
The board has been telling us for years that they didn't think non-golfers should have to subsidize the golf operations, although the founding fathers of Sun City intended just that and included such a provision in the governing documents. So what is the board doing? With above-market rates, they expect golfers to collectively fork over an additional $859,000 so the Sun City community can pay for its operations without a dues increase. In effect, they are having the golfers subsidize the non-golfers. Sun City's founding fathers must be turning over in their graves.
Joe MillerSun City Hilton Head