House of Delegates to consider AVMA dues hike at January meeting

House of Delegates to consider AVMA dues hike at January meeting

Nov 24, 2009
By staff
Schaumberg, Ill. -- A hike in American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) membership dues in July was narrowly averted, but now has appeared back on the House of Delegates' table.

A resolution to increase annual dues for regular members in 2011 by $50 per year, bringing the annual dues cost to $300, is being co-sponsored by the AVMA Executive Board and the House Advisory Committee. Dues increases for retirees, educational members and recent graduates would be $25.

The dues hike would generate about $3.5 million in new revenue, says the AVMA, and would help offset a projected $1.8 million deficit for 2009. AVMA carried a $7 million deficit in 2008 and has not increased dues since 2004.

In 2001 and 2004, $25 increases were put in place, and membership dues now make up 60 percent of AVMA's nearly $29 million budget. Had the organization implemented a 3 percent annual cost-of-living adjustment to calculate the increase -- the first in seven years -- dues would have been raised to $307.50 annually, according to AVMA.

The higher-than-usual hike of $50 compared to the former $25 hikes is necessary to cover losses in other revenue areas, like a 10 percent hit to investments last fall and a projected 50 percent drop in advertising revenues for next year, and will "realign the AVMA budget with the costs of doing business," AVMA says.

Cost-cutting measures were enacted last year, dropping the AVMA budget from $29 million in 2008 to $28.4 million in 2009 and $28.6 million in 2010. But leaders say more cuts would compromise member services and cut reserve funds too low.

The House of Delegates is set to vote on the increase at its winter session on Jan. 9, 2010.