SDSU Third B tax money relatively untouched

Andrew Wieting

Andrew Wieting

In the summer of 2005, a Third B tax – an extra one percent tax on “bread, board and booze” – was instituted by the city of Brookings.

The tax was developed for the benefit of the greater Brookings area, specifically for promotion and entertainment purposes. The “bread” part of the tax is applied to pre-prepared food that students buy through Aramark and at restaurants, “board” applies to places boarding houses and hotels and the “booze” part implies alcohol and entertainments.

Conceptually speaking, one could view this as a luxury tax. People all have the choice to purchase any of the “Third B” goods or services. With this freedom of choice, people are in a sense bestowed the option of contributing to the prescribed city fund. If people feel this tax is unfair, they can avoid it by lessening or even eliminating their spending on the three B’s.

Students who live on campus might view this tax in an entirely different light than most of the city. Students who have lived on campus are aware that resident students are required to purchase a meal plan. With this meal plan, they are essentially forced to pay this tax.

Jared Hudelson, a senior computer science major, said he had never heard of this tax and had no idea how it affected him as a student.

Due to this unavoidable fact, an earmark of $35,000 per fiscal year was applied to the tax code and is now set aside for promotional use at SDSU.

Ryan Brunner, City Council member, SDSU graduate student and 2005-2006 Students’ Association president, said, “The money didn’t actually have to be transferred over to the university, but we wanted something to be used for promotion of the university because the students don’t have the choice to pay the Third B tax.”

For these funds, three SDSU students sit on a committee to determine how the money should be spent. This committee presents ideas, listens to proposed plans and debates which expenditures are best suited for enhancing the Brookings community.

Chris Daugaard, president of the Students’ Association, is one of the three SDSU board members. He feels the committee’s goal is to always look out for the best interest of the Brookings community, in particular the many college students who make this area their home.

As of March 31, $68,000 is still available. SDSU student organizations and other interested parties are encouraged to apply for the promotion and entertainment funding.

Direct any questions regarding the Third B tax or the application process for funding to the Students’ Association Office at (605)-688-5181.