By Rafael Aquino

Published August 23, 2023  


One crucial aspect that often sparks discussions and debates in community associations is the association budget. Whether due to rising costs, maintenance needs, or community improvements, proposing a budget increase is a decision that holds significant implications for every association member. While addressing this topic in a single meeting might be tempting, rushing through such a decision can lead to misunderstandings, conflicts, and unsatisfactory outcomes. In this article, we'll explore why passing a potential budget increase in just one meeting is ill-advised, and we'll provide three key recommendations for a more informed and effective decision-making process.


Fostering a sense of unity and shared responsibility is essential in any community association. Hosting a town hall meeting to discuss the proposed budget increase allows all members to voice their concerns, questions, and suggestions. This forum allows members to understand the rationale behind the increase, share their perspectives, and collaboratively brainstorm solutions. By involving everyone in the decision-making process, associations can avoid potential conflicts and ensure the decision resonates with the entire community.


One of the main reasons a budget increase might be necessary is due to external factors like rising costs of materials, unexpected insurance increases, or compliance with new legislation (SB-4D), etc. To address these complexities, it's essential to bring in experts who can provide comprehensive explanations and answer questions with authority. Inviting vendors, contractors, engineers, insurance agents, and the association's attorney to the meeting offers a deeper understanding of the underlying issues and the necessity of the increase. This approach builds trust within the community, as members can witness firsthand the professional insights driving the decision.


Effective communication is the backbone of any thriving community association. Rather than springing a budget increase proposal on members at a single meeting, associations should provide ongoing updates and transparent information. Regular communication about the budget's status, the reasons for the increase, and the potential benefits will create a sense of inclusivity and understanding. Members are more likely to support a budget increase when they have been consistently informed and involved throughout the decision-making process.


In community associations, passing a potential budget increase is a decision that should be taken with seriousness and time. The consequences of such a decision reverberate throughout the community, impacting each member's financial commitment and quality of life. By implementing the recommendations mentioned above—hosting a town hall meeting, inviting key partners to share insights, and maintaining consistent communication—associations can ensure a more informed, inclusive, and successful budget increase decision-making process. Ultimately, a well-considered decision leads to a stronger and more harmonious community.

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As the Co-Founder and CEO of Affinity Management Services, Rafael P. Aquino leads his team to redefine excellence. They serve community   associations   efficiently

and effectively with dedication and passion. Rafael’s energy and positive spirit is the foundation of Affinity Management Services’ company culture, which instills enthusiasm and excitement when providing expert advice to its board members and relieving the day-to-day burdens of running a community association.


Since 2007, Rafael has developed a work culture that values responsive and high-quality services. He has led his team by following a proactive vs reactive philosophy. The same approach Rafael instills in the day to day operations of each association. Today, Affinity Management Services maintains its success and benefits as a result of the foundation Rafael has built and continues to foster by providing educational seminars, continuing education classes for association managers and board members alike.

Rafael and his team help condominium and homeowners’ associations save money and improve their communities. His calm, personable, and service-oriented nature helps him to establish strong relationships with ease. Rafael is known as a sincere and honest leader who looks out for the best interests of his clients and communities, and he strongly advocates for their needs. His role requires coordination and communication, as such he takes logical and intelligent steps to approach challenges head-on.

As a graduate of Florida International University’s electrical engineering program and a licensed community association manager, Rafael’s education and skills equip him with unique insights to tackle complex problems through critical thinking. He understands how each component within a system works together in order to effectively arrive at solutions, techniques, and conclusions. Therefore, as he manages the multiple challenges of running a community association management company, he understands how each property is its own unique system and tailors’ specific services to assure that all their needs are met.

For more information about Rafael P. Aquino and Affinity Management Services please visit www.ManagedByAffinity.com or call 1-800-977-6279

Doral Office: 8200 NW 41st ST

Suite 200

Doral, FL 33166

Broward Office: 150 S Pine Island RD Suite 300

Plantation, FL 33324

O: 800-977-6279 ● F: 305-325-4053

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