Special levies are Strata Property Act (SPA) mandated and regulated.
They are in effect 3/4 vote resolution based monies that are directed to a separate restricted account.
Therefore, special levies do not belong in reserve fund planning nor does their interest accrued.
Special levy monies are to be kept outside of the operating or reserve fund accounts and they are to be depleted in a single fiscal-year, with any money over a certain threshold to be returned to the owners.
Their relevance lies in their influence on the condition of components, and on their impact on the determination of their effective ages, which leads to re-booting the expected lifespans of these components to a degree.
The purpose of reserve fund planning is to work towards the elimination of relying on special levies.
A prevalent belief is that it will cost less over the long-term to have special levies, rather than well managed regular and special contributions to the reserve fund.
Our reserve fund planning work provides no evidence to support this belief, although we are aware that relying on special levies costs less for developers that sell strata lots, and for astute investors that only keep their strata lots for a few years.