Membership Dues Increases, 2015

In November of 2014, we voted to increase member dues by $12/year (one additional dollar per month) for all members. Low-income working dues increased from $10 to $12 for the year, taking effect on January 1st, 2015.Amounts are as follows:


2015 annual dues

Low-income Working




Household Working




HH Non-Working


Background Facts

  • Aside from rounding to multiples of 12 in 2013 (when Working dues actually went down by a dollar), dues have not changed since 2007. Might be longer- we coulldn't find a record of it going back further than that.

  • During that time, dues for NW and HH members have always been $10 more than Working dues (rounded to $12 in 2013). Raising dues by $12 across the board most closely duplicates that ratio.

  • Keeping to multiples of 12 makes prorating easier. If you pay $36 to join in January, it's $33 in Feb, then $30, $27, $24, $21 and so on. Less round numbers would complicate this.

    • Even with current signage and membership forms, members are still sometimes charged the wrong amount when they join.


How much would I need to spend each week (before discount) for my dues to pay off?

Why the increase?

Our overhead went up by about $6,000.00 per year, and will continue to increase.

  • Due to a change in the tax obligation of MHA, which owns our building, we now owe ~$4,000.00/ year in real-estate tax. MHA is negotiating with the city to get the amount reduced, but we're already paying it, and need to operate on the assumption that it won't change.

  • We're in the middle of a seven year lease, and our rent is scheduled to increase annually by 5% per year in 2015 - 2018, and 4% in 2019, when the lease will be up for renewal. While the MHA has always given us favorable terms and is committed to having us stay in the neighborhood, yearly increases are more or less inevitable.

Wait- didn't you always pay taxes? What's new here?

We charge (and pay) sales tax for taxable items that we sell, and still do, but this a real estate tax, from which we used to be exempt.

Wait- aren't you tax-exempt?

We are a not-for-profit cooperative corporation, but the new tax is not based on our own tax status, i.e. being a not for profit vs. non-profit. The real estate tax is assessed on the building, by the city. Even if we became a charity, we’d still owe the tax.

What if you became a 501c3?

Like, the Church of Kale? Nope. See above.

Does this have anything to do with that Article-11 thing I read about in The Villager?

Yes. See the article on their website:

The co-op is open to the public. How come the members are the only ones being asked to pay more?

Raising dues will only make up part of the increased overhead, so we're not shouldering this entirely on our own.

But if we tried to make up the entire difference through markups, then we'd all pay waay more than an additional dollar a month.

Topic revision: r4 - 24 Dec 2014 - 09:29:16 - ElissaJiji

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