There are several categories of costs, described below, followed by a list of frequently asked questions about those costs:
One-time Joining Fee:
A one-time Joining Fee is payable when becoming a Provisional Member. The joining fee amount for 2015 is $2,000 per adult; this fee is adjusted up or down each year relative to the price of Land we plan to purchase. Exploring Members may choose to pay the fee in installments.
Annual Dues and Fees:
Dues and fees are determined annually before the beginning of each fiscal year (October 1st).
Provisional and Full Members’ Annual Dues and Fees: $0 for 2015; $0 for 2014
Vehicle Fee: $300 per vehicle ($200 for small vehicles—ATVs, snow machines, etc.).
Annual Community Service Requirement:
Full Members: 1,500 community service hours over their first 10 years; 50 hours per year minimum. Some or all of this may be paid in cash.
Provisional Members: 48 hours per quarter.
Frequently Asked Questions
If I leave, do I get my Joining Fee back?
The Joining Fee is not refundable.
Does it cost less to live on Commmunity Land?
Living on the Land can be both less and more expensive than living in mainstream culture. While the up-front costs may be more, ongoing livings costs may be less.
Depending on climate, how much one already has, etc.
In addition to providing for water and waste treatment, site holders need to set up their own energy infrastructure (off‑grid electric power, propane gas, etc.). This usually entails one-time costs for photovoltaic panels, batteries, an inverter, professional services, etc., which can be expensive. State and federal income tax credits for renewable energy can offset expenses of solar electric systems, solar hot water systems, and passive solar construction.
Building a very small home without electric power is one way to save money. If you choose to go in with others to build a multi-family residence, it can cost less per household. Earthaven homes must meet building codes; county building inspectors have been supportive of our using natural building materials and methods as long as we demonstrate that the buildings meets requirements for strength and safety.
Once people live here, monthly expenses tend to be lower than elsewhere (but this doesn’t include the cost of commuting if they work off-site). A passive solar home will substantially reduce heating costs.
What fees are required for children?
A member’s child under 18 may live with the member without paying dues, or a joining fee. At age 18, the child is eligible to go through the membership process. Dues, fees and community service requirements begin to apply at age 18. The Joining Fee may be paid on behalf of underage children at any time, and their Provisional Membership period will begin at age 18 without interruption.
At what point do Provisional Members pay the Joining Fee?
Members pay the joining fee during the Council meeting at which they become a Provisional Member.
What are new members paying for when they join?
They get co‑stewardship and enjoyment of the whole property and the right to help determine its future; the right to develop and build on their own home or business site; their share of all physical labor and materials costs to develop roads, bridges, and community buildings; and their share of all the years of administrative and social/cultural work of creating an intentional community. Also see: Membership
About the Community Financial Structure:
What are the Community’s expenses?
- Annual Operating Expenses:
Property taxes;insurance; repair and maintenance of community buildings, roads, bridges,equipment; promotions; marketing (website, etc.); and services from independent contractors for administrative, bookkeeping, and legal, and accounting work.
- One-time Expenses (Capital Expenditures): Clearing land; building new buildings, roads, bridges, power systems; improving/remodeling old ones; buying new equipment.
What are the sources of income at the Community level?
Non-recurring income sources are new members’ Joining Fees, whether paid up front or over time. Recurring income from supporting members; all members’ annual dues and fees; and grants and donations of money and land.
If the community disbanded, would the property be sold and the profits divvied up equally between all members?
No. The Community Land is a land conservation trust liberating all life on the Land from the agricultural system. The Community is a construct of human social relationships, and its dissolution would not negate the non-human ecosystems that will outlive us all.
What kind of legal entity does the Community use to own its property and assets?
A land conservation trust managed by a 501(c)(3) non-profit.