Bagnato: Knew no one was minding the store

Posted 6/2/21

The Independent brings forth further details on the tax snafu Sun City West and its Chartered Clubs have gotten themselves into (“Chartered clubs must monitor financials,” Sun City West Independent, May 19, 2021).

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Bagnato: Knew no one was minding the store

Posted

The Independent brings forth further details on the tax snafu Sun City West and its Chartered Clubs have gotten themselves into (“Chartered clubs must monitor financials,” Sun City West Independent, May 19, 2021).

More information on the situation was also disseminated in this week’s ENews, including a lengthy PowerPoint, complete with pretty pictures and elaborate charts impressing one and all. Great, now we know that there have been controls and policies in place to prevent this very sort of thing from happening, but evidently no one was minding the store — for years. Outstanding. That much we know.

Here’s at least some of what we don’t know. How did this come to be known to the rec centers officials? Community gossip says a resident had their personal return audited by the IRS, someone who had considerable unreported taxable income from selling “stuff” made as a club member.” True, or not? Who was responsible for making sure stated policies and procedures were followed to the letter? This is the IRS, you know, guilty until proven innocent. The general manager, the chief financial officer or both?

Don’t pin this on club treasurers and officers. No one could reasonably expect them to understand the nuances of the tax code, not unless every one of them is a certified public accountant. Now that the problem is known, how big a number are we talking about? Hundreds of dollars in back taxes and penalties, thousands or more? We don’t know, or at least we’re not being told. Who will pay for this? This must not be put on the residents — we had nothing to do with it.

Given some clubs have relied on this alternate source of income to support their activities, how will they manage now without it? I see only one way — raise dues at the clubs suffice to cover what is needed. This cost must also not be passed on to the overwhelming majority of residents who simply live here and  have nothing to do with any club in this community, myself included.

Board docs indicates there was a closed meeting on this situation May 6. No agenda was posted, nor any minutes — it’s another of those big secrets. We deserve to know what was discussed in that meeting, and we deserve the prompt answers to the questions posted above.

Frank Bagnato

Sun City West

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