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Because the state meals tax will drop from 8 to 6 per cent on January 1, Dean Fox is considering providing hot breakfasts in the eight Houses that now serve only cold breakfasts.
The change in the tax rate will give Food Services funds that were not available last spring, when the limited breakfast plan was announced, Fox said Tuesday.
Because financial officers assumed an 8 per cent tax rate when they calculated this year's board bill, the University has unintentionally included an extra $3 on each student's fall term bill, and $12.50 on spring bills, R. Jerrold Gibson '51, director of the Office of Fiscal Services, said Tuesday.
The fall sum is smaller than the amount on the spring bill because the tax reductions will only affect one month of the fall semester.
The excess money the University would collect because of the overcharge would be sufficient to fund one semester of hot breakfasts at the eight cold breakfast Houses without a board rise, Fox said.
Fox said that before making his decision he will consult with students and parents to learn whether they would prefer to use the surplus funds to lower the board rate or to pay for the return of hot breakfasts.
He said he would also have to determine whether state law obliges the University to return the funds to students of permits the University to use the money as it chose.
But he said if state law requires the university to refund the money, Harvard could still obtain the funds by raising board fees for the second semester by an amount equal to the refund, without changing students' bill.
Gibson said his office had assumes an 8 per cent rate in calculating the board bill because when the legislature lowered the tax, financial officers did not know when the reduction would go into effect, and because the legislature was then considering further changes in the tax rate.
The governor signed the tax reduction into law on July 6. The University sent term bill worksheets to parents during mid-July, Gibson said.
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