ASMSU tax hike to fund new positions
The funding was made available to ASMSU officials after voters passed a $3 tax increase in last week's student government election, but now a new budget must be passed and finalized by ASMSU's Student Assembly before any extra funding goes into effect.
The extra money gives student government officials a cushioned budget of about $1.1 million to work with for the year.
The tax increase, which raises the current tax from $13.75 per semester to $16.75 per semester, will be effective during the summer and is necessary to "enhance the characteristics and qualities" of the organization, said Meg Wolocko, ASMSU's comptroller.
"(We want) to be able to give back to students," Wolocko said. "Not just an adequate amount, but expand what we give to students."
ASMSU provides free legal services, 4-cent copies and free blue books to students, among other things.
As a result of the tax increase passing, two new positions will be added to Academic Assembly's labor division.
The director of university budgets and the director of education policy will replace the existing director of university, governmental and budgetary affairs, or DUGBA.
The positions will go into effect following the approval of ASMSU's new budget.
"The justification was the current DUGBA has way too many duties," said Harry Wang, a finance sophomore and Eli Broad College of Business representative for ASMSU's Student Assembly. "The first (position) has the same responsibilities as the current DUGBA, and the second one has a responsibility to plan national lobbying."
According to the budget, these new positions would cost $8,100 a year.
ASMSU released a report this semester explaining how budget money is distributed throughout the different departments in the organization. At least 3.5 percent is allocated to Academic Assembly, 10 percent to the Funding Board and 20 percent to the Programming Board.
ASMSU officials also received an additional $23,000 in student tax dollars because of an increase in enrollment.
"(The tax increase) allows us as students to actually be able to be students while we're doing this and have more positions to handle the workload," said Andrew Bell, vice chairperson of external affairs for ASMSU's Student Assembly.
An assistant comptroller also would be added to the organization's central staff.
The comptroller is required to work 16 hours per week, whereas chairpersons from both assemblies post 20 hours per week. Other positions, such as the association director, work between 12 and 18 hours per week.