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A Tax of a Tax: ASUO Meeting Wrap-up

I’ve got a convenient bullet-point wrap-up of the Senate meeting after the jump, but first The Big News:

The Oregon University System is taxing the Incidental Fee. Yes, they’re taxing a tax – a tax of a tax on students. Apparently this is a regular practice (known as “assessment”), but it was brought up tonight in the Executive announcements because the OUS upped the tax from two to three percent … after EMU and PFC budgeting. This basically screws over student programs, as well as the EMU operating budget. Furthermore, there is no cap on how much the OUS can tax the I-fee.

The ASUO will lobby to set the I-fee off limits to the assessment tax. To be honest, I’m a little bit out of my depth on this; this is all what I gleaned from the Senate meeting. However, Michelle Haley, who is on the EMU Board, will be writing more about the issue.

Moving on …

  • LTD will be cutting routes and service. “There are significant problems coming for students who ride the bus,” said Executive Sam Dotters-Katz. The Breeze route, which passes through campus, will be eliminated. LTD received an $850,000 ASUO contract last year.
  • The vote drive on campus registered 6,923 people to vote. According to Dotters-Katz, the U of O led state universities in voter registration, both in percentage and total numbers.
  • Senate sent a resolution to the Rules Committee supporting the reinstatement of Oregon Wrestling. If you haven’t heard, the Athletic Department axed the wresting program last year in a total dick move. Unfortunately, ASUO resolutions tend to have as much weight as a Zimbabwe dollar.
  • Senate approved a $1,300 surplus request by the MCC for a new stipend position. Senator Miller complained that, due to a shrinking pool of work-study positions, “some students have to volunteer at the MCC.” Oh noes! Motion passed 14-0-4. (Voting “nay” is sooo last year. It’s all about abstentions now.)
  • Senate approved $940 to send two students from the Survival Center to the “North American Students of Cooperation” national conference. The students promised to come back with a wealth of information on how to live more cooperatively.
  • Finally, keep an eye out. Ralph “Malph” Nader, Madeleine Albright and the Clintons all might make appearances at the UO soon. Maybe.
  1. Timothy says:

    Looks that way, Vince. It’s lonely in mom’s basement, you see….

  2. Vincent says:

    Are you coming onto me or something? Christ.

  3. Sakaki says:

    Vincent,

    You just lost my buying of you 2 drinks as a result. Bad Artman, Bad bad Artman.

  4. Vincent says:

    Second, if you did do that, she would probably kick the shit out of you.

    I think this is as good an argument as any for why he should carry through with his little plan.

  5. Michelle Haley says:

    Shrimpy I hope this is an attempt at humor.

  6. CJ Ciaramella says:

    Uh, please don’t.

    Lidi holds a lot of the same viewpoints as Nate Gulley, but, In sharp contrast to His Doucheness, she is actually a decent human being. She doesn’t really go on tirades or act like an asshole during meetings.

    Second, if you did do that, she would probably kick the shit out of you.

  7. Sakaki says:

    Ahhh…so Lidiana Soto wants to continue Nate Gulley’s little tirades. I think I may have to interrupt her at the next meeting when she does that…by telling her to shut the hell up and going all “Walter” on her.

  8. Chris says:

    Which expense?

  9. Shrimpy says:

    Couldn’t we have used over-realized funds to pay for this expense, or at least part of it?

  10. Vincent says:

    God, every time I read what’s going on in the ASUO, I want to hang myself.

    Too bad seeing the Breeze go, though. I always thought it was a pretty convenient service once they worked the kinks out (remember those awful hybrid buses that broke down all the time that had the seats arranged so all the passengers had to face one another?)

  11. Betz says:

    Hopefully never, if this is indeed true.

    “…And the Tony award for ‘Best New Act’ act goes to …”

  12. Concerned Student says:

    Lidiana Soto presents, “NATE GULLY’S 3RD TERM”, A traveling freak show vaudville act in which Senator Lidiana Soto will attempt to continue with the legacy of “shit for brains gully” the awful biased reverse racist idiot. When is someone going to grievence her pathetic ass

  13. Michelle Haley says:

    The Assessment increase to 3% is across the board, not just the EMU and PFC budgets. Next year it is predicted to be a 4% assessment, the year after 5% and that increment of increase annually is expected to continue until we reach 7%; which leads everyone to believe that is where the assessment fee will stop growing, but there is no cap at this time.

    Here is a copy of the email I sent ASUO President Sam Dotters-Katz on the issue, and includes the information I distributed to Senate this evening:

    The EMU Board of Director’s is beginning to gather information prior to the establishment of budget goals for the EMU 2009-10 operating budget. The Board has learned that the university is instituting a new assessment model. That model is designed to disperse costs for essential university cost centers throughout the entire university.

    The EMU has been notified, that as an auxiliary, the will be assessed 3% of expenditures for this operating year. The assessment will go to 4% of expenditures for the 2009-10 operating year and increase by 1% per year until it reaches a cap of 7% of expenditures.

    The EMU is an auxiliary that is heavily I-Fee supported and capped by ASUO constitution to a seven percent increase in fee support in any year. The EMU budgeted 168K for university assessments for the fiscal operating year 2008-09. The 3% assessment, when imposed, will create a potential 80K+ expense that was not anticipated or budgeted for. The EMU will use its carry forward to pay this expense in this fiscal year when we receive the charge.

    This year the board must budget for a 4% of expenditure assessment for the 2009-10 budget. That would result in a total assessment charge approaching 280k. The ability to increase net earned income or increase the I-Fee support for the EMU to cover this mandated charge and other current service level expenses is extremely problematic. We are near the tipping point of earning more net revenue from existing services, we have a seven percent limit of fee growth and those two streams make up over 90% of our earned income.

    One possible solution is to ask that assessments charged to I -fee expenditures be “taken off the top” of the I-Fee account. I know that the EMU has made an attempt to not have the I-Fee charged assessments. That request failed, and from Dusty’s perspective the University had strong logic on its side when making that decision. The next solution would be to take this expense “off the top” of the I-Fee account.

    Have you had any conversation with the central administration about the issue of assessments and how they will impact the I-Fee and I-Fee supported entities. This is a time sensitive issue. If the assessment is to be taken off the top then the Clark Document needs to be changed. That must happen by November 1st of each year to be considered part of the next year’s budget process. If, by mutual agreement the November 1st deadline can not be met, both parties (ASUO Executive and Central Administration) can agree to extend that deadline.

    We’ll be meeting later this week and early next week to figure out a plan of action for Sam when he approaches General Council about this issue, and I’ll keep everyone updated. It’s possible I will be approaching Senate with a resolution to state their support for either exempting the I-Fee from the Assessment, or assessing the I-Fee BEFORE allocating said budgets from the account (so individual budgets aren’t harmed).

  14. Chris says:

    This is the web page at the BAO where it details what this assessment business is all about

    Note the rate increase table.

    For instance, the UO Rec Center is considered an Auxiliary to the U of O. In other words, it is not part of the U of O, but a ‘business’ (ok) that gets to pay the U of O money each year as a sort of “thanks” for being allowed to do business on campus.

    I can tell you, as I alluded to above, that there has been a lot of shock to the system as budgets take a hit in general and then money has to be found elsewhere to cover these increaseses….which can be significant when budgets are in the millions of dollars.

  15. Chris says:

    I don’t work at the EMU, but I did a quick search and you can see the sort of increases that EMU departments are having to plan for…and keep in mind these are mandated.

    You can scroll down halfway to “Assessments” HERE

  16. Chris says:

    Assessments are increasing far more across the board for other areas on campus. In some cases, the proposed increases are dramatically large. I know that there is some murkiness due to the fact that these assessments being increased are really challenging budgets across campus….I will get more info on this, but I wanted to chime in now. These things have been a pain in the ass on the horizon (?) for a while. That is, the increases, the assessments have always been there.

    But you’re right.

    In the end, it’s essentially a mafia-esque tax that is paid…so that you can do business for/in/with the university.

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