Dormitory Council Will Not Levy Tax This Term Because of Budget Surplus

To spend down its large budget surplus, the Dormitory Council will not tax the dorms this semester.

Members voted on Oct. 2 to temporarily rescind the $5-a-head tax at the advice of outgoing treasurer Anthony D. Rindone ’10, who said that the council had more than enough money left over from last year.

“We’re planning to spend all the money, minus a surplus for emergencies,” Rindone said.

Rindone said that the leftover funds are substantial enough that DormCon will increase spending to about $24,000 this semester, up from an average of $18,000–$20,000 in the past.

The expanded budget includes more money for dorm events.

A big chunk of DormCon’s budget goes toward sponsoring events like the McCormick Fall Formal or the Next House Barbeque. Every semester, DormCon allocates around $12,000 for event funding. This semester it will offer about $18,000.

“I’m encouraging dorms to spend that money,” Rindone said. Depending on how much money remains unspent, Dormcon might also lift the house tax for the spring semester, Rindone said.

According to Rindone, much of the surplus comes from a change in how dorms fund their residence exploration events. Recently, dorms have chosen to use more of their own money for REX, instead of asking for money from DormCon. The dorms are funded through their $65-per-resident dorm tax.

DormCon president James Torres ’10 said that if DormCon continues to run surpluses, the $5-per-resident DormCon tax might be scaled back. “It’s a numbers game,” he said. “If we can sustain our revenue by just taxing once every two semesters, and people wanted to do that, then it’s up to the treasurer to try it out.”

But Torres added that the current tax break was just a response to an unexpected financial boon, and that one way or another, the taxing will continue. “We don’t have unlimited savings,” he said.