Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Where Do My Dues Dollars Go?

Where do my dues dollars go? And what am I getting for what I pay? These questions are most often asked by new members and representatives and often by members who have not participated in the association for several years - until, a dues increase occurs or your membership is up for renewal. Suddenly, the association is asked to prove itself. Once proven, the member usually discovers that the services provided, either directly or indirectly, are of higher value than the actual amount of the total dues. Let's take a look at the Home Builders Association of Greenville dues and what services are provided. The total dues that the HBA of Greenville currently invoices are $505 for Builder and Associate members and $90 for Affiliate members. It is important to know and remember that the amounts are split between three different associations (HBA of Greenville, HBA of South Carolina, and National Association of Home Builders) plus South Carolina Builders PAC.

Let's first take a look at the $150 that is sent to NAHB. The HBA of Greenville is affiliated with NAHB. When you join our local association, you also join NAHB. That membership entitles you to everything from discounts on car rentals, hotels and office supplies to mobile phones, shipping, computers and other services. Your NAHB dues also support the University of Housing, which provides training and certification programs through our local association. One of the most significant services your dues support at the national level is representation on behalf of members at our nation's Capitol. Promoting legislation that is favorable to Home Builders is something that must be done. No member can afford to do it alone at the national level, and the industry can not afford to be without that representation.

Next is the $90 that we forward to the Home Builders Association of South Carolina (HBASC) on your behalf. At the state level, your dues support representation in the legislature, as well as various offices within state government. From building codes, to land use, to environmental and energy standards, taxes, property rights and job site safety, HBASC is working on your behalf in Columbia representing you. You can not find anyone willing to monitor the hundreds of proposed regulatory and legislative changes that our occuring for $90 a year.

The funds you pay to the S.C. Builders PAC are discretionary. You can choose not to pay that portion of your dues without recourse against you or any loss of benefit of membership in the home builders association. However, when you do pay that amount, you are doing your fair share to help the association's government affairs program to elect people who will represent your industry's interests in Congress, the State House, and at Town Hall.

Finally, there is the amount that stays here in Greenville. Your dues fund all of the programs your Home Builders Association of Greenville implements to meet your professional needs from government affairs to education programs to networking meetings to keeping you informed about what is happening in your industry. A professional staff is retained to carry you that work and implement the policies of the association.

Together the three Associations (local, state and national) form one of the nation's largest and strongest trade organizations that benefit an industry of such fundamental importance. Our associations comprise the only organization working around the clock exclusively in the interest of the residential building industry.

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