The Associated Students Legislative Council discussed approaches to fight the tax increase on the services paid by student lock-in fees.
According to A.S. President J.P. Primeau, the administration has now followed through with the tax increase that was proposed on non-state funded entities earlier in the school year. Primeau said the tax has now quadrupled, putting A.S. in a rough predicament to come up with almost $80,000 in two weeks’ time.
“I came back this weekend to find a $96,000 non-state funded administrative tax that we have to come up with by Feb. 28,” Primeau. “We had only set aside $18,000 for the tax and now we have to come up with $78,000. Right now it’s a one-time tax, they’re hoping to take this tax and utilize it, make it worse next year. … This is our worst nightmare. The fact that it’s coming midyear and that we have two weeks to come up with the money is completely unfair to students. … Because taxes are coming at us midyear, it’s more of a double tax.”
Additionally, Representative-at-Large Faris Shalan said that instead of compromising with the administration, the only effective solution is filing a lawsuit questioning the legality of the tax.
“If this gets through we need to storm the chancellor’s office,” Shalan said. “We need to put our foot down and say we’re not going to pay this. I’d like to make a recommendation that we don’t ask for an extension or ask to pay only part of it, but say ‘No, we’re not going to pay this at all.'”
Primeau also said the tax increase is meant to generate revenue to compensate for the university’s budget cuts.
“This one percent tax we’ve been paying for the past twenty years was already illegal,” Primeau said. “Their argument is that we’ve been doing it for this long so it has to be legal.”
Off-Campus-Representative Off-campus Representative Joe Cole, meanwhile, said all the services that are being unfairly taxed should strike for one day not only for the administration to appreciate their worth, but also for students to understand the gravity of the situation.
“What if we have all the lock-in student-run organizations affected by the tax go on strike for one day, to just not operate?” Cole said. “That will send a message to the university, showing that we shouldn’t have to cut corners by taxing vital organizations and all the ones that do close should post up a short little brief on why they’re closed. The note will inform students on how they can be aware, involved and understand the situation.”
Moreover, Primeau said a strike is a wonderful idea because students already pay more than their “fair share.”
“A strike by the entities paid for by referenda would be a good thing,” Primeau said. “It would show the administration just how important these services really are.”
The meeting ended early as council members were unable to maintain quorum.