RI mayor wants to tax enrolled college students VOL. $150 per semester

6,032
10
Joined Jul 13, 2007
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090514/ap_on_re_us/us_taxing_college_students



PROVIDENCE, R.I. - The mayor of Providence wants to slap a $150-per-semester tax on the 25,000 full-time students at Brown Universityand three other private colleges in the city, saying they use resources and should help ease the burden on struggling taxpayers.

Mayor David Cicilline (sis-ah-LEEN-ee) said the fee would raise between $6 million and $8 million a year for the city, which is facing a $17 million deficit.

If enacted, it would apparently be the first time a U.S. city has directly taxed students just for being enrolled.

The proposal is still in its early stages. But it has riled some students, who say it would unfairly saddle them with the city's financial woes and overlook their volunteer work and other contributions, including money spent in restaurants, bars and stores.

"We want to support the city as best we can, but financially is not really what we can afford to give," said Heather Lee, president of the Brown Graduate Student Council. "We're more able to provide labor, we're more able to apply the things that we're learning in the classroom, than we are to write a $300 check."

Cities often look for revenue from universities to compensate for their tax-exempt status, and many schools already make voluntary payments to local governments. Providence's four private schools - Brown, Providence College, Johnson & Wales University and the Rhode Island School of Design - agreed in 2003 to pay the city nearly $50 million over 20 years.

The idea of a student head tax has been floated before in other cities, generally to start discussions about collecting money from universities in lieu of taxes.

But Tony Pals, spokesman for the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, said he knows of no city that charges students a direct fee.

"The bottom line is, a tax like this has never gone into effect," Pals said. "The timing is also unfortunate, given the significant amount of budget-cutting that institutions have had to go through because of the recession."

The four schools generate more than $1 billion a year in economic activity, said Daniel Egan, president of the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Rhode Island. They employ nearly 9,000 people in a city of roughly 172,000.

"We think the indirect and direct benefit of students within the community would outweigh any costs," Egan said.

Cicilline's office said there is no study showing how much students cost Providence for the use of police and fire protection and other services. The city points out that the private schools' property, valued at more than $1.7 billion, is tax-exempt.

Many college students are already involved in tutoring, arts education and mentoring for public school students. Providence College, for instance, offers student volunteers to staff after-school programs, and Brown is raising money for a $10 million endowment to help the city school system.

Even so, Cicilline said everyone should be expected to help the city through this economic crisis. He said he wants students to have a vested interest in their city instead of seeing themselves as visitors just passing through.

"It's really about a shared commitment to the well-being of your community that you're a part of," the mayor said. "Everyone should be doing their part and coming to the table."

Students at Rhode Island College, a state school in the city, and the Providence campus of the University of Rhode Island would be exempt.

A city head tax on students would need approval from both the City Council and state lawmakers. However, a similar measure failed in the state Legislature in 2005, and Rhode Island's colleges are likely to fight this proposal, too.

Josephine Nash, a Brown junior from New York City, said the idea seems reasonable, provided it doesn't overly burden students on financial aid. "I do spend the majority of my year here, and I do use the services of the city," she said.

But Susette Holman, a Johnson & Wales freshman also from New York, said her mother works seven days a week, sometimes 14 hours a day, to put her through school. "I have three sisters at home, so how's she going to be able to provide an extra tuition fee?" she asked.

University administrators also object, saying students and their families spend years saving for college and shouldn't have to bear more costs. Tuition at Brown costs nearly $40,000 a year, with about 40 percent of undergraduates receiving financial aid.

"Given at least the rhetoric of trying to retain students, be a place that's attractive to students and young people shortly after college, it just seemed counterintuitive to at least the students I talked to," said Richard Spies, Brown's executive vice president for planning.

Recession hitting everyone hard. Hope this doesn't go through and other areas follow suit.
 

mac a roni

Banned
3,420
10
Joined Feb 2, 2009
[color= rgb(102, 0, 153)]Private colleges? Yessssss[/color]
[color= rgb(102, 0, 153)]CCRI/URIstraight[/color]
 
4,979
9,770
Joined Jun 28, 2004
While 300 dollars a year being charged on those who can afford 30k per or more in tuition is nothing worth lamenting, the concept behind it is prettyatrocious in two ways.

One is that it aims to tax those with no political voice because a place like Rhode Island will have a lot of students who are from other States. The othervery bad aspect of this tax is that it is a head tax, it is based on the notion that simply existing within the borders of a kingdom is privilege for which onemust pay a annual sum. Taxing those with no political voice, for merely existing is one of the oldest forms of taxation and really is an ugly relic ofcenturies past. It is also one of the most shortsighted because if those head taxes get implemented and become especially large, it could actually reduce thenumber of students that would otherwise be in a community and spend their and their parent's money and be a part of the local economy.
Well, they are using the resources. Seems very logical to me.


The only logic in this is about shaking down people who cannot vote against it. Students who are not from the City or the State, have to pay sales taxes andother applicable taxes when they are in Rhode Island and the City of Providence. The city is already wetting its beak with existing taxes but local officialsknow that education is a somewhat inelastic good and that $300 is, in many cases, small part of the student's overall budget (I say some cases because manyother students do not have affluent parents and are going to school on a scholarship and have a very tight budget) so they want to take this revenue from thishead tax and have more funds to dish out to loyal supporters and constituencies, so they can buy more votes and stay in power.

That is how politics really works, it has little to do with helping the community as a whole.
 
2,801
11
Joined Sep 23, 2005
uri/ric/ccri FTW


retroisback2008 goes to JWU, so if you see him post, laugh at him for having to pay this tax.
 
146
10
Joined Jun 23, 2008
One is that it aims to tax those with no political voice because a place like Rhode Island will have a lot of students who are from other States.
They can establish residency in a year and vote against it.
 

mac a roni

Banned
3,420
10
Joined Feb 2, 2009
Originally Posted by ICUP

One is that it aims to tax those with no political voice because a place like Rhode Island will have a lot of students who are from other States.
They can establish residency in a year and vote against it.


[color= rgb(102, 0, 153)]those schools named have a small % of native RIers....brown is full of rich people so isay @%@@ it...as long as they dont bring it on me im good, plus if you're school is in prov you a lot of hookups and free @$@%, esp ripta[/color]
 

mac a roni

Banned
3,420
10
Joined Feb 2, 2009
Originally Posted by Dirtylicious

why not increase the taxes on the university based upon enrollment rates?
[color= rgb(102, 0, 153)]There's a lot of problems out here in RI...buddy cianci %%$$#! up alot and the mafiatoo...people milking it[/color]
 
69
10
Joined Aug 2, 2005
Rhode Island is %*+#@@ up right now, 3rd worst roads in the country and some of the highest unemployment and forclosure rates in the country, plus in hugedebt
 
420
17
Joined Jan 23, 2005
Living in RI and going to school out of state FTW!

On a serious note, this does not seem very fair to the students. I forsee the student governments at Brown, PC, and JWU coming together and making sure thiswon't happen. Students spend enough money already on eductaion. There is no way to gague exactly which students utilize what resources in RI.

If I were a student who only ate at the dining hall at my school, went to the library, shopped at the bookstore, and chilled in friends' dorms, I would behighly upset for having to pay this tax. Despite the amount, the fact that RI would implement such a tax might deter future prospective students from JWU andPC (maybe not Brown b/c it is prestigious) and RI schools in general. This would in turn lower the amount of money that the state generates from students moneyspent.
 
371
12
Joined Mar 20, 2005
^Cosign RI was in the process of reestablishing itself as a good state but with all the corruption and the recession, it will take a while.

Dirtylicious wrote:
[hr][/hr] why not increase the taxes on the university based upon enrollment rates?
It's easier to go after the Private colleges before the state colleges. Believe me if this doesn't work you will the state colleges addedto the list. This is not the first time tuition has been increased in the state. If I'm correct this is the third year in a row. Why Providence?? Because80% of the colleges in Rhode Island are located in Providence so it is easier for them to start with Providence. I'm currently at URI so my pockets feltthe tuition increase for the past couple of years while I was an Undergrad.
 
686
10
Joined Feb 22, 2007
Originally Posted by 40 5

Rhode Island is %*+#@@ up right now, 3rd worst roads in the country and some of the highest unemployment and forclosure rates in the country, plus in huge debt
And it will continue to be that way as long as the people of RI keep voting in people to represent them based on there last name as well as havinga partisan general assembly.
 
7,852
11
Joined Jun 29, 2008
Originally Posted by VARISOXFAN

Originally Posted by 40 5

Rhode Island is %*+#@@ up right now, 3rd worst roads in the country and some of the highest unemployment and forclosure rates in the country, plus in huge debt
And it will continue to be that way as long as the people of RI keep voting in people to represent them based on there last name as well as having a partisan general assembly.
Where you been at? You go to American?
 
259
10
Joined Jan 2, 2009
Good thing my girl is leaving JWU for good next Thursday, all I've been hearing for the past two years is how they constantly get jerked (mostly by theschool itself).
 
2,801
11
Joined Sep 23, 2005
3rd worst roads... i always joke about how we have the worst roads in the country. i had no idea i was right
 
5,695
579
Joined Jul 19, 2004
Rex pretty much summed it up for me: taxation without representation is terrible and it will deter people from going to Rhode Island.
 
30,810
5,549
Joined Aug 2, 2008
Against it. If it were a smaller school instead of a private college I'd be even more against it.


At some point taxes need to be raised on everyone, but now is not the time.. Someone should have their tax raised the $300 if they can't find reasonablecuts or more efficient ways of doing things but college students? Some people who have full time jobs have the means and these students may be affluent butthey will take on serious debt when they are out. Especially since college students hold little to no weight in the political game.. One thing anyone can agreewith or be happy about is this past election at least gave college students some sort of voice finally.


But I digress...
Man that mayor is garbage. Must know Bloomberg.
 
Top Bottom
  AdBlock Detected

Sure, ad-blocking software does a great job at blocking ads, but it also blocks some useful and important features of our website. For the best possible site experience please take a moment to disable your AdBlocker or head over to our upgrade page to donate for an ad-free experience Upgrade now