The OPA Board of Directors did what everyone knew they eventually would by authorizing spending elsewhere a pot of money earmarked to be used to shore-up structural deficits, now turning what they claimed at the time would be a short-term funding mechanism into a semi-permanent increase.
The Directors surmised the only way to pay the IRS, should they eventually lose their suit, would be to take the $4 per member per year assessment increase being collected for five years and use it to foot the tax bill.
While it is a relatively small amount per member and provides a better option than a special assessment, especially when the amount could top $1 million, once the IRS is paid off the board should at least revisit continuing the increase indefinitely.
When the Directors originally passed the increase they assured the membership, many of whom were skeptical at best about the Board’s ability to leave any lump sum untouched, that those revenues would be exclusively for the stated purpose.
They have now elected to use money they said they wouldn’t and extend the increase for as long as it takes to satisfy any taxes owed along with what is needed for structural deficits.
Without rules restricting they way the Board spends these funds there is no guarantee they will ever be limited to their intended use and within a few short minutes, as seen this week, can be used for whatever purpose the Board of Directors wishes.