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Tax-free Textbooks Celebrated at Student-led Press Conference

Mar. 10, 2008 — Student representatives from Utah colleges and universities will convene on Capitol Hill Wednesday, Mar. 12 at noon for a press conference celebrating recent approval of a state-wide tax-exemption on textbooks for institutions of higher education. The press conference will focus on the accomplishments of the Coalition of Higher Education for Affordable Textbooks.

The state of Utah, following a wave of student support, has offered a reinterpretation of state tax codes. Under current tax codes, the University of Utah is classified as a charitable organization and recognized by the Internal Revenue Service as such; therefore, the University of Utah can receive tax exemptions for items that are part of its mission statement and regular functions. Textbooks are central to the University’s mission; they are the cornerstone for the academic courses being taught.

The exemption will go into effect April 1 at the University of Utah. All state schools that qualify as a charitable organization will receive the benefit of tax exemptions of textbooks. The Associated Students of the University of Utah will be working diligently with these schools and their bookstores to achieve this exemption for all students, which could save them as much as $4.7 million annually, with each student saving about $60 each semester.