Friday, June 5, 2020

ASMSU elections are this week: What's on the ballot

Students can vote for student government representatives and tax questions

March 30, 2020
<p>ASMSU President Mario Kakos (left), Vice President for Student Allocations Dylan Catalano (center), and Vice President for Financial Operations Tayte Rider (right) at an ASMSU General Assembly meeting in the MSU International Center on Jan. 16, 2020.</p>

ASMSU President Mario Kakos (left), Vice President for Student Allocations Dylan Catalano (center), and Vice President for Financial Operations Tayte Rider (right) at an ASMSU General Assembly meeting in the MSU International Center on Jan. 16, 2020.

Photo by Matt Zubik | The State News

The Associated Students of Michigan State University’s undergraduate student elections take place this week — any MSU student can vote here

In addition to voting for college representatives in ASMSU's 57th General Assembly Session, this is also a tax voting year. 

Here is what you need to know about the student tax referendums on the ballot:

ASMSU Tax

ASMSU is proposing a 50 cent increase on the current $16.75 tax, raising it to $17.25. If this is passed, this would be the first formal increase of the general tax since 2006.

This tax must be renewed every three years, and this year they are hoping for the student body to vote for the increase as well.

“It's been about 14 years since our last tax increase, and throughout that period of time, we've seen rising levels of costs for providing the same levels of service," ASMSU Vice President of Finance and Operations Tayte Rider said. "With this tax rate specifically, we're of the mindset that it allows us to continue to provide the same level of service ... but to do so in a manner that continues to incentivize ASMSU to operate efficiently in our operations.”

On top of the portion of tax going to ASMSU's Safe Ride program and readership program, the budget of the general tax goes to different departments within ASMSU, primarily the Student Allocations Board, student legal services and staff payroll. 

This tax increase would generate ASMSU an estimated $47,000 in additional tax revenue, using total enrollment from the Summer 2019 through Spring 2020 semesters.

James Madison College Tax

Students in James Madison College can also vote on an increase in the school's tax.

This proposal is asking for the $2 per semester tax to be increased to $3.

"We're looking to do this because we want to increase the role the (JMC Student Senate) plays in student life to students at James Madison College," Tony Nwagwu, international relations junior, said.

ASMSU passed bills in support of the tax increase in the Feb. 27 General Assembly meeting.

At this meeting Nwagwu said these funds are used to hold more events to help freshmen and transfer students in James Madison.

University Apartments Council of Residents

There will also be a tax referendum by the University Apartments Council of Residents for students living in university apartments, according to an email sent to students March 18.

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