Extension of Massachusetts Meal Tax May Raise Board Charges $50 in '74

Frank J. Weissbecker, associate director of Harvard Food Services, yesterday criticized the proposed extension of the Massachusetts meal tax to colleges because he believes it could cause up to a $50 increase in board charges next year.

"As a department we hope that the state will choose to recognize the high cost of education, and will not impose another burden on parents and students," Weissbecker said.

Michael F. Brewer, assistant to the vice president for government and community affairs, said that Harvard is working through the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Massachusetts (AICUM) to fight imposition of the tax.

Board charges for next year are presently $1000; the 5 per cent meal tax imposition could raise this amount by as much as $50.

Frank A. Tredinnick, executive vice president of AICUM said yesterday that State Tax Commissioner Nicholas L. Metaxas '50 is expected to decide within ten days whether colleges will be required to pay the tax.

Tredinnick said if Metaxas decides to impose the tax, AICUM will "late file" a bill in the state legislature seeking exemption from the meal tax for colleges.

Though late-filed bills are often unsuccessful, "I think our chances are pretty good in view of the inequities involved," Tredinnick said. "We've gone over 30 years without these taxes, and...many catalogues have been issued with board charges for next year."

Metaxas could not be reached for comment yesterday.