Stock slide batters AVMA

Stock slide batters AVMA

Investment losses, added payments lead to $6.8 million shortfall
Feb 01, 2009

Controlling costs: "The goal is to bring '09 in on budget," says Bret Marsh, AVMA treasurer.
Schaumburg, Ill. — The AVMA is looking at a $6.8 million shortfall.

The huge sinkhole is due in large part to a $4.8 million hit in its 2008 investment earnings. In addition, the AVMA experienced some unexpected payments to the IRS and had to pay back vacation time to employees.

While the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) has more than enough in reserves to cover the loss, it maintains enough to operate for one year in reserves, or $29 million.

Treasurer Bret Marsh told members at the Veterinary Leadership Conference and House of Delegates Winter Session last month that the AVMA doesn't plan to be in the same position next year, intimating that a dues increase may be necessary for 2010.

"The goal is to bring '09 in on budget," Marsh says.

Dues made up an estimated $16.6 million of the $29 million budget in 2008.

For its part, AVMA has been trimming costs wherever possible, he says, by not filling positions when employees leave, shopping around for health care and utility savings and being prudent with travel expenses.

A meeting will be held in March on the 2010 budget, which goes before the Executive Board in April.

The House of Delegates will vote on the budget at the annual convention in July.

The budget brought before the House of Delegates will be balanced, Marsh promises, adding the association will maintain its reserves and will need more revenue.