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Saturday, April 20, 2024

Editorial: Unfair burden on ASUCD

The ASUCD budget hearings are this weekend, and along with voting on the association’s $11.8 million budget, senators will have to grapple with a new tax to be assessed on ASUCD’s expenses.
Starting next year, ASUCD will work toward paying 1.52 percent of its expenses to the University of California Office of the President (UCOP). Before, each of the 10 UC campuses sent all its revenue to UCOP and UCOP would send money back to each campus while keeping a share for operating expenses. The new UCOP tax assessed on all UC campuses will change this system. All campuses will now keep revenue earned and instead pay 1.52 percent of expenses back to UCOP.
UCOP gave power to each of the chancellors to determine which sectors of campus will pay the tax and as of right now, ASUCD will be one of the organizations to pay. ASUCD will be eased into the payment with only 0.5 percent levied on the Association for 2012-13 before working its way up to a full 1.52 percent by 2014-15. However, because ASUCD’s $11.8 million budget is made up of many units and commissions, it will be these organizations that face the tax burden.
Therefore, the bigger the expenses, the larger the tax assessment. This means Unitrans and the ASUCD Coffee House (CoHo), ASUCD’s two biggest organizations, will have to adjust accordingly to cover the tax. The Aggie and its $200,000 expense budget will have to pay this tax as well. This could lead to cuts, price increases and loss of student jobs.
Every student on this campus benefits from the services ASUCD provides, whether it’s taking the bus to school, buying lunch at the CoHo or getting their bike fixed at the Bike Barn. And that is the job of a student government — to provide cheap services to its constituents. The goal of ASUCD is to minimize costs; not to make a profit. It is unreasonable to think that a 501(c) nonprofit like ASUCD could effectively face the burden of this tax.
Students give enough money to UCOP and administration as is. We shouldn’t have to suffer more through the services our student government provides. Beyond that, ASUCD will receive the same benefits as before, meaning this tax won’t add anything.

When the tax is fully assessed, ASUCD will pay over $160,000 to UCOP. The administration should exempt ASUCD from this additional expense and cover the total a different way.

In simpler terms, the UCOP tax is simply lost money for ASUCD. The Association will get nothing out of paying this tax and will simply struggle to continue providing affordable services to the students.

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