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Friday, April 19, 2024 — Houston, TX

Blanket Tax Committee bears too heavy a load

11/18/15 9:01am

The presence of unaccounted rollover in Rice Television’s budget (see p.1) is indicative of a broader issue with the procedures and responsibilities of the Blanket Tax Committee.  A failure to provide proper oversight of and clear communication with blanket tax organizations has resulted in the same issues with rollover that were apparent in the previous blanket tax system. As the BTC reflects on its past year and determines what constitutional amendments to implement, it should consider restructuring to lighten its load to focus simply on blanket tax organizations.

While the Thresher agrees that RTV should have reported the existence of an unreported surplus from its previous year, the onus ultimately lies upon the BTC to verify organizations’ budgets and ensure proper allocation of student funds. The BTC’s failure to follow up on how over $14,500 of student funds were spent is concerning, especially considering the BTC specifically implemented oversight of C-funds and D-funds to be able to easily check on blanket tax organizations’ budgets. There is no reason to require clubs to allow the BTC access to its funds without ever utilizing this capability. Moreover, this change created a false sense of oversight.

The confusion over the entire process indicates that the BTC should meet with each of the blanket tax organizations to explain the new procedure specific to their budget, regardless of whether they presented anything concerning in their budgets. This is the best way to ensure a smooth transition to the new blanket tax system and allows for accountability if a club makes a mistake. Otherwise, blanket tax organizations will simply continue budgeting as they have for the past several years. This is exemplified by RTV, which is in the same position it would have been last year, under the old blanket tax system, with both rollover and newly allocated funds.

With its current list of responsibilities, the BTC cannot perform its due diligence in ensuring proper allocation and expenditure of student funds. However, the committee is undestandably bogged down by Student Association initiative reque sts and evaluating the creation of new blanket tax organizations. The committee would be better served by separating into separate entities, with communication between the committees facilitated by the SA treasurer, who has an overall sense of the total student funds available. This would allow a committee entirely devoted to current blanket tax organizations to checking up with organizations throughout the year and fully utilizing all resources for oversight. 

No entity can do its job properly if given too many responsibilities. To ensure proper expenditure of student funds, the blanket tax committee must prioritize clarity in communication and dedicated oversight.

Unsigned editorials represent the majority opinion of the Thresher editorial staff. All other opinion pieces represent solely the opinion of the

piece’s author.

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