News and notes from Reston (tm).

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Comrade, Can You Spare $8? Modest RA Assessment Hike May Spell Beginning of Creeping Socialism, Or Not

NewsweekcoverSo here's some good news: For just a few quarters more than a one-way ticket down the Toll Road to sample the wonders of Tysons, we can all afford to stay in our beloved earth-toned Nirvana for another year. Give us some good blockquote, BFFs at Reston Now:

Reston Association documents show the Board of Directors has proposed a 2015 assessment of $642, which is just 1.3 percent more than the 2014 amount of $634.

Thorough planning helped the RA keep the assessment cost down this year, the group said in a statement issued Tuesday afternoon.

“The budget process last year incorporated cost-saving measures as well as accounting for the additional units to be added to the RA membership early next year,” the statement said. “In addition, RA staff has been steadily increasing the amount of non-assessment revenue, including merchandise sales and facility rentals.”
Sounds great, right? But there is, as they say in the movies, a wrinkle. Our BFFs at Reston 2020 point out that the RA is considering changing the flat assessment rate to one that's tied to the value of each member's home, like common socialists most places levy property taxes. Apparently all the fervor around wealth redistribution and the 1 percent has finally reached our nirvana, where until now groovy lakefront homes rubbed shoulders with grotty condos. But no more! Well, maybe:
We know that most of you don't read RA News, RA's weekly e-mail newsletter. Indeed, even though we receive it, we rarely look beyond the headlines. And it took an alert Reston reader to bring to our attention this one-liner under the topic "Sustainability and Community Viability" on p.4 of the CEO's report in this week's newsletter identified as an RA Board goal :

"--Examine the Association’s flat rate assessment structure with an eye toward moving to one based on property values."
We don't know anymore than that, and it is likely the RA Board doesn't know much more than that. Moreover, we haven't assessed the implications of such a move on our own, so we don't have a perspective on the topic at this time. In general, of course, those Restonians with higher-valued properties--largely single-family homes--would pay higher annual dues than those with lower-valued homes. Moreover, we have no idea how this would affect rental properties, including affordable housing units in the community.

But you need to know and understand what your RA Board is considering.
This may wind up being another tempest in a teapot ginned up by consultants, much like the RA's recent ponderings about creating hand-picked slates of board members and whatnot, but who knows? Good on Reston 2020 for, you know, paying attention and stuff.

In the meantime, we want to make sure we're on the right side of things when the revolution comes variable assessments are phased in:
Reston 1 percenterReston 99 percenter
Lakefront houseLake in sunken basement
BMWFord Focus
Premium parking at Wiehle Metro   Premium Chicken Sandwich @ McTacoHut
Town Center CondoApartment without vowels
Bocce aficionadosDog park users

No truth to the rumor that this is the draft chart for deciding who pays what in our glorious socialist future, the end.


  1. One Per Reston CenterOctober 29, 2014 at 11:58 AM

    Oh RA, so you think my crib (broom closet) is worth $XM? Fine, gimme $XM-$7k for it and the assessment will be paid for the next decade...

    No?! Then bug off.

  2. Since my property is probably closer to the low end of value in Reston -- after all, my home is sandwiched between Winterthur and Shadowood -- I imagine that, at most, I'll continue to pay about the same as now. So, as far as I'm concerned, "Eat the Rich".

  3. All Restonanimals are equale, but some are more equal than others.


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