Budget may bring 30% fee increase
Canan Tasci, Staff Writer
Created: 05/22/2011 08:47:54 PM PDT

It’s one thing to talk about a worst- case scenario, it’s another to see it in writing.

California State University officials said that for the first time they’re seeing – in black and white – what an all-cuts budget would look like if Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposal for temporary tax extensions is rejected.

“The California and California State University systems have already each been cut by $500 million,” reads the governor’s May Revise that was released last Monday.

“An `all cuts’ budget would require another $500 million for each university systems. The systems have reported that fee increases likely exceeding 30 percent would be necessary if additional cuts of this size were made.”

If a final budget is not adopted by the Legislature by the end of the fiscal year and CSU faces a proposed $1 billion cut, the system’s board could be asked to take action at its July meeting to authorize a contingent tuition fee increase of up to an additional 32 percent – on top of the 10 percent increase approved for the fall, according to a CSU news release.

The revised budget plan Brown presented showed the state with $6.6 billion in unexpected revenue through June 2012, and, thus, shrinking the state’s budget deficit from $15.4 billion to $10.8 billion.

By the start of the new fiscal year, July 1, all of the temporary increases to sales, personal income and vehicle taxes will have expired.

Brown has been asking for a revised version of the tax-extension plan since January.

The lack of an extension could result in a 36 percent year-over-year reduction in state funding for the country’s largest public university system. More than 412,000 students attend CSU schools.

CSU Chancellor Charles Reed called the budget “a scorched earth” and that it would inflict lasting damages on the university.

“There will undoubtedly be severe and painful choices that we would have to make to address such a massive funding reduction,” Reed said.

Under a worst-case scenario budget, CSU officials estimates the system could turn away 20,000 qualified applicants who would otherwise enroll for the winter and spring terms 2012, according to a CSU news release.

Cal Poly Pomona officials are continuing to assess the impact of an all-cuts budget and are concurrently looking at ways to save money, university spokesman Tim Lynch said.

“Whether that involves scrutinizing every possible hire, finding more efficiencies in operations, and scaling back and critically assessing all discretionary spending,” Lynch said.

“As President (Michael) Ortiz has said, an all-cuts budget would significantly affect the university. The specific effects, beyond the general belt-tightening we’ve been doing for the past several years, are still being worked out.”

The final amount of any increase would depend on the final outcome of the state budget.

For full-time undergraduates, this would mean an increase of as much as $1,566, or a total of $6,450, in tuition fees per year.

In addition, campuses charge various fees that average $950 per year, according to a CSU news release.

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