Special Assessment Limitations
HOA boards are permitted to special assess their membership up to 5% of the current fiscal year's budgeted gross expenses without membership approval regardless of any limitations found in the association's governing documents.
For example, if an association's annual budget is $100,000, the maximum special assessment the board can approve without membership approval is $5,000. The $5,000 assessment is divided among all units according to the association’s CC&Rs. Once an assessment has been approved by the board, proper notice must be provided to the membership before it can be levied.
Except for emergency assessments, a special assessment over 5% requires membership approval by secret ballot. For purposes of approval, the law defines "quorum" to mean more than 50% of the owners of the association. Language in the association’s governing documents that allow for a reduced quorum does not apply to special assessments.
Coast Management of California