Ohio requires that condominium and homeowner association boards adopt an annual budget to build sufficient reserves to repair and replace major capital items, in the normal course of operations, without the necessity of special assessments. While those laws generally apply to capital items, such as roofs, roads, and recreational facilities, often communities also face shortfalls on operating expenses. Operating expenses are the expenses that the Association incurs every year to maintain and administrate the property, such as landscaping, snowplowing, utilities, insurance premiums, and professional fees. As boards learn about unexpected increases in these costs, they are often forced to levy a special assessment to cover an operating shortfall.
HOAleader.com recently addressed this issue in the following article: http://www.hoaleader.com/public/Emergency-Assessments-Are-They-for-Real.cfm