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And so it begins....

Providence mayor wants to tax 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 University and three other private colleges in the city, saying they use resources and should help ease the burden on struggling taxpayers...

I really hope this doesn't become a trend nationwide.
I hope this proposal's shot down since we have several members attending Brown now and in the near future.


( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 13th, 2009 11:45 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I can't even begin to express how pissed I am about that. If they do, I will make sure I do all of my grocery shopping and all of my eating out in Mass. Basically, all of the businesses around campus make their money through students...we bring a ton of money to the restaurants here, so it seems unfair that they want us to pay more. Heather is right: we do plenty for the university and the area already.
May. 14th, 2009 01:05 am (UTC)
I'm just afraid of other cities or states trying to shore up their budget deficits with added fees for students. These are the kinds of fees that grad funding packages typically don't include.
May. 14th, 2009 03:19 am (UTC)
The funny thing about this article is...that even with my measley stipend and salary, and considering that I live in the boonies with a pretty low local income tax, I paid more than twice that in local taxes this year. So, really I would be happy to pay $150 instead of what my local taxes really were--not that that's what they're talking about. It would almost make me happier if they were only looking at charging it to students who are not employed in the city.

On the one hand, I wonder how much adding that tax would affect students' decisions to (not) go to these schools, but on the other hand I also wonder how much of a difference $150 more would make when you're already paying tens of thousands for tuition...
May. 14th, 2009 08:41 am (UTC)
I think the thing is, though, that you're paying this in addition to the local taxes you may already be paying. If only it was like Monopoly, where you have the option of paying 10% of your assets' worth or $150.

Like the article mentions, most of the students receive student aid to attend those schools. Some may not have the out of pocket cash to spare.
May. 14th, 2009 06:11 pm (UTC)
Right, I realize that (I did say "not that that's what they're talking about"). And I saw that most of the students are receiving fin. aid, but being myself massively in debt, adding another $600 to the pile wouldn't really make that much of a difference. And technically, this would factor in to your income and all when you filled out the FAFSA and any other aid applications, so technically, it could possibly be paid from your loan money.

I'm not sure why I'm playing devil's advocate because this will by no means be a solution to Providence's money problems (or any other town's). I guess part of what I have a problem with is the idea that students do so much for their university communities by spending their money there. Lewisburg is pretty heavily dependent on Bucknell, to the extent that most of the shops in town are targeted at students (or their parents), and not the people who live there (the townies). Yes students patronize these businesses, but really how much of the money we spend goes to the borough or school? I don't know enough about tax structures and business models to try and figure that out. I guess my real problem is with the argument that what students "do for the town" is enough. I'm not even going to start talking about community service contributions because that will be a whole other rant (I worked in a service office for 3 yrs as an undergrad and boy was it an experience).
May. 14th, 2009 04:09 am (UTC)
My undergrad was two or three times larger than the town, but there was a constant war about what the students were doing to the town. They enacted miserable renting to student laws, shot down the idea of a town to campus bus, etc. It always drove me crazy, knowing that most businesses in town would shut down if not for student-related revenue but they still felt like they could treat students like crap.
May. 14th, 2009 08:43 am (UTC)
I'm all too aware of this pull between schools and cities. It was actually a factor in my choice for grad school.
May. 14th, 2009 02:58 pm (UTC)
It kind of makes me think of the medieval town & gown riots where students and townspeople really fought it out :) It's depressing that cities have been screwing students since the universities began... hundreds of years later, and they're still doing it :(
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )


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