Passage of the initiative to remove sales tax from food would cost Snow College $600,000 in lost funding in a worst-case scenario, according to Snow President Gerald Day.
That loss would come at a time when Snow's enrollment has grown to nearly 1,900 students. The college reached an all-time high enrollment of 1,872 students this fall.The college already has 258 more students than it receives state funding to support. "If Initiative A passes, and the college loses future money, both students and some employees at Snow College may have to look elsewhere," Day said. "A reduction of $600,000 could mean the loss of 18 jobs on campus and funding for up to 350 students."
If Utah's economy doesn't grow next year, Initiative A could cut $31 million from the state's higher education. A report by the Utah State Board of Regents reported that a cut in funding of that magnitude would affect between 3,900 to 13,200 students.
"Not only would that mean Snow College might not be able to continue helping present students, but future students might not receive the same level of service as in the past," Day said. "Class size and the counseling load would have to increase if funding is cut."
The Utah Board of Regents predicts Utah's colleges and universities will grown by 20,000 new students over the next nine years. Over the past three years alone, Snow College's enrollment has increased by more than 36 percent.
"Some people think state government will fix the damage from Initiative A by raising other taxes in January. No one knows if that will happen, but the governor has made it clear to the Board of Regents and others that he will cut programs rather than raise taxes," said Day.