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University Lobbies to Avoid Imposition of Tax on Meals

Harvard students may have to pay a five per cent tax on board contracts next fall unless University efforts in the state legislature succeed.

Michael Brewer, assistant to the vice president for government and community affairs, said yesterday that Harvard, is lobbying for legislation exempting students' meals from the tax.

Under Massachusetts State Law, meals costing a dollar or more, except for limited exemption, carry a five per cent meals tax. Colleges or universities are not exempt from the tax and Harvard meals--which all cost over one dollar--could be taxed.

Daniel Steiner '54, general counsel to the University, said yesterday that the tax issue is "dead" for the present, but that it will be "reviewed by the Massachusetts State Legislature as part of a general review."

Last March the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Massachusetts proposed a bill to exempt "meals furnished to students in any non-profit educational institution under a contract for meals"

The bill "was dropped," but there is "no doubt that there will be action this year aimed at getting exemption up until general tax reform," Brewer said yesterday.

Brewer said the administration realized last year that board contracts were "liable" to the state tax.

NIcholas Mextaxus, Massachusetts state tax commissioner, first announced the college meals tax last March.

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