It's that time of year again: assessment bills go out in mail, foreclosure lots not included

Tuesday, March 18, 2014
Holiday Island volunteers stuffed envelopes with assessment bills on Thursday and Friday without the direction of long-time coordinator Lorene Whittington this year, who now lives close to her family in Texas. This year's volunteers are coordinated by Barb Kuhn. Volunteers shown are, from right, seated, Lois LaFargue, Nancy Crouse, Arline Confer, Barb Kuhn, Rita Potter and Joyce Crouse. Standing, from right, are Nola Banister, Kathy Bruha and Linda Griswold. Not shown are C.J. and Beverly Lough, Larry LaFargue and Rita Trickel. Kathryn Lucariello / Carroll County News

HOLIDAY ISLAND -- The annual assessment bill mailing went out Monday after volunteers spent two days last week stuffing envelopes for the district. Office staff member Regina Reynolds reported 3,572 assessment bills were generated.

While she could not give an exact figure of how many platted lots there are in Holiday Island ("It's always been said it's 5,000 lots on 4,500 acres,"), she said the number of lots in HISID's name stand at 1,627 properties, which includes foreclosures.

This year, HISID did not bill for 809 foreclosure lots, 730 of which belonged to developer Tom Dees of Holiday Island Development Corporation, and 79 other foreclosures, said Office Manager Marilyn Clave.

The total amount billed this year on assessments alone adds up to $1,665,161. Added to that is sewer debt billing, at $54.25 each for all lots except R3, which are billed at $69.44 each, and timeshares, totalling $208,971, for a grand total, assessments and sewer billing, of $1,874,132.

A breakdown of the billing shows the following by lot category:

R1 vacant paved -- 1,828 lots at $361.75: $661,279

R1 vacant gravel -- 92 lots at $309.75: $28,497

R1 improved paved -- 1,199 lots at $621.75: $745,478

R1 impoved gravel -- 12 lots at $361.75: $45,218.75

R2 vacant -- 125 lots at $361.75: $45,218.75

R2 improved -- 64 lots at $621.75: $39,792

R3 vacant -- 51 lots at $554: $28,282.56

R3 improved -- 49 lots at $814.56: $39,913.44

C1/C2 vacant -- 67 lots at $$413.75: $27,721.25

C1/C2 improved -- 57 lots at $673.75: $38,403.75

Timeshares -- 28 units at $133.50: $3,738

It should be noted that under the Table Rock Landing Time Shares Association v. HISID lawsuit settlement, the timeshares, while billed for only 28 units as opposed to 10 times that in the past per unit, are still billed the full sewer debt amount, at $540.25 per unit, subtracted from the C2 assessment amount of $673.75, which leaves their base assessment at $133.50 per unit.

In 2013, the district billed a grand total, including sewer debt, of $2,238,392, so the difference in billed income is a loss of $364,260, which Clave said is mostly the write-offs from foreclosures and the reduction in the timeshares income.

As of the end of December, HISID had collected a total of $1,898,982 in assessment income, which included $1,527,555 in assessment payments, $221,110 in sewer debt, $114,147 in delinquent assessments and $36,171 in penalties.

Assessment income is only about half the story, said Clave. The other half comes from mainly from amenity fees and utility billing. Last year's total income was $3.496 million. Operating expenses were $3.199 million, and capital expenditures were $74,000, leaving the district with a net income of $223,000, with the equipment reserve fund not budgeted, although the district did end up with less than it had budgeted, by $354,000.

She said last year the district billed for all lots, but received no income from HIDC lots, which it ended up foreclosing on this year. And this year, the timeshares were not billed at their 10 times assessment rate, following the settlement of the lawsuit.

"If you take those out, we end up with about the same income as we had in years past," Clave said. "We had to bill the developer lots last year because of the new Assessment of Benefits, but we never received income on them in the past anyway. We did lose the timeshare income, though."

Clave said the district only bills assessments for lots with a unit, block and lot number, as outlined in the 2011 AOB, but that document shows HIDC being assessed for four unlotted properties, three of them unzoned: one of 450.6 acres, another of part of 450.6 acres, another with no description except ownership by Tom and Kathy Dees; and a fourth, zoned C1, of 11.08 acres on Pleasant Ridge.

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