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$28.7 million budget earmarks historic resources for AVMA

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Washington - American Veterinary Medical Association officials approved a $28,681,810 budget for fiscal 2008, creating the largest spending plan in the group's history.

WASHINGTON — American Veterinary Medical Association officials approved a $28,681,810 budget for fiscal 2008, creating the largest spending plan in the group's history.

Dr. Bret Marsh

The resources, unveiled during last month's AVMA House of Delegates meeting in Washington, reflect record-high investment earnings of $2.3 million for fiscal 2006. The extra $1.2 million over the 2007 budget will buy advanced membership services, new personnel and communications initiatives, Treasurer Dr. Bret Marsh says.

"This budget will have an impact in the halls of Congress to classrooms and educational facilities the world over," Marsh says in his speech to delegates. Specific plans were not outlined at press time.

AVMA's robust financial status also translates to no dues increase next year. The association's 75,000-plus members pay $250 annually, a fee that has not changed since 2004. Last year, the group collected $16.2 million in dues, which represents 60 percent of AVMA's income, Marsh reports. In 2008, the group's projected income over expenses is expected to total $118,140.

Outflow

As for costs, AVMA's salaries and benefits for its 140 full-time positions represent the group's highest expense at $11,978,100, totaling 44 percent of the budget in 2007. Expenditures tied to AVMA's two publications came in next at $3.1 million, or 11 percent, and the annual convention cost $3,064,250, the treasurer's report says.

Although last year's convention in Hawaii represented an earnings loss for the association due to high business costs, Marsh expects revenue from this year's Washington meeting to close well into the black. Next year's meeting in New Orleans is anticipated to be a big DVM draw despite the city's extensive damage during the 2005 hurricane season.

Marsh, who visited the New Orleans site in March, carries the message to members that the city is "definitely open for business."

"The areas that will host our convention have been fully restored, and our participation is needed for the continued recovery of that city," he says.

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