I was confronted regarding dues to the Post as well as dues to our Canteen/Home Association. Before this goes off in an unwanted tangent... this is PA so there are Social/Associate Members to the Canteen, we do not need to beat that dead horse any more. Thank you.
Basically... dues are broken down so that National, Department and the Post obtain portions of it. Exactly how much is what I was trying to find. The reasoning behind that is our by-laws specifically state that "The dues of this Post shall never be less than the amount required to cover Department and National dues."... Ok, so that means the current $33 is a baseline if I understand it correctly. If we took away what the Post gets, we have the absolute minimum amount required for membership.
So lets say for a membership drive we lower the required dues to that minimum for the members first year. It saves them a few bucks... it also looks a bit more appealing that $33. Is that something a Post can do without any authorization or approval?
Now for the point of contention... Associate Member dues. Going with the same line of thinking as above and looking at our Department, Post and HA by-laws... there is nothing whatsoever that specifically states what the dues have to be. The HA by-laws state "Membership in ________________ Post #______ Canteen/Home Association, Incorporated, shall be in accordance with the provisions as set forth in the Department of Pennsylvania By-Laws of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States and these By-Laws"... ok, Department by-laws do not even address the member dues and we know National does not even recognize Social Members... hmmm, so we have puzzling dilemma here.
Let's look at the Post by-laws, which are cookie-cutter by-laws given to us by the Dept. - "The admission fee for all new members of this Post shall be $__________, payable in accordance with the National By-Laws." & "The dues of this Post shall never be less than the amount required to cover Department and National dues."... here is where everyone one assumes that the cost of dues is equal to an Active Member's dues. BUT... Associate Members are not members of the Post, they are members of the Canteen/Home Association and NONE of the money received from their dues goes to Department or National... it goes to the Canteen.
So the ultimate question here is ... if National 'tolerates' some states having Associate Members and the Department does not set an amount on their dues, is it not the Posts' responsibility to set that amount?
The only other governing body that interjects into the discussion is the IRS... they clearly advise any Private Club to stray away from making the membership dues so low that any transient person can come in and join even if for just that day.
Ok... I'm done. Thanks for any input you may be able to provide!