UMass president says tuition and fees could be frozen if Governor Deval Patrick’s tax plan is OK’d

University of Massachusetts President Robert L. Caret today asserted that tuition and fees could be frozen for students in the UMass system if Governor Deval Patrick’s tax plan is approved by lawmakers and signed into law.

In a letter sent to the chair of the UMass board of trustees, Caret said his office studied the impact of Patrick’s proposal and concluded that it would generate enough funding for the university to once again provide 50 percent of the funding of its academic programs.

The state funding had slipped in recent years to about 43 percent, with students and their families paying the balance, Caret wrote in the letter, a copy of which was obtained by the Globe.

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“I want to take this moment to reiterate that if the Legislature advances the funding for the University proposed by the Governor and it is signed into law, we would be prepared to maintain student tuition and fees at current levels for the 2013-1014 academic year,’’ Caret told trustee chairman Henry M. Thomas III in a letter dated Feb. 26.

Patrick has proposed a complex tax restructuring that would provide about $1.9 billion in new revenue for the state that he wants to use for transportation and education programs, including higher education. The plan includes raising the state income tax to 6.25 percent from 5.2 percent and lowering the sales tax from 6.25 percent to 4.5 percent.

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