AVMA dues hike averted — this year

AVMA dues hike averted — this year

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Jun 01, 2009

SCHAUMBURG, ILL. — AVMA members will not pay higher dues next year, the Executive Board decided.

Although an increase was discussed, it was determined that the association could make cuts in other areas rather than raise members' dues.

"These are tough economic times," says Dr. W. Ron DeHaven, executive director of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA.) "We are not going to institute a dues increase without very careful consideration. Given the economic situation, we didn't want to put forth a dues increase at the same time when our members were facing the economic hardships."

Although AVMA income was below expectations for last year, the Executive Board was able to produce a balanced budget without an increase by making cuts that "probably needed (to be) made anyway," DeHaven says.

Money-saving efforts included switching insurance carriers for a savings of several hundred thousand dollars, changing the quality of paper used for the AVMA journals, cutting back on travel and encouraging the AVMA's 30 councils and committees to consider holding at least one of their two meetings electronically. "The average member will not notice any difference in service," DeHaven says.

While a dues increase was averted this year, that's not to say one is not on the horizon.

The $250 annual membership dues comprise 60 percent of the AVMA's operating income.

In 2008, dues were projected to provide $16.6 million of the $29 million budget.

An increase has not been needed since 2004, adds AVMA Treasurer Bret Marsh.

Dues support AVMA educational programs, scientific activities, communications, publications and the staff in both Schaumburg and Washington.

"We can't rule out the possibility of a dues increase next year," DeHaven warns. "It's not so much because of the economic situation, but we haven't had a dues increase in a number of years."