BOSTON — University of Massachusetts President Marty Meehan and the chancellors of the five UMass campuses today issued a statement opposing provisions of the federal “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act” that they say will have a negative impact on UMass students and college students across the country.
The statement followed a letter sent by the six UMass leaders to the Massachusetts congressional delegation asking that they “oppose any and all policies that adversely impact public higher education.”
UMass leadership statement on tax reform legislation:
“On behalf of the five-campus, 75,000-student University of Massachusetts system, we oppose the tax reform package before Congress, which specifically and unfairly targets college students and particularly graduate students.
“Approximately 5,000 UMass students seeking advanced degrees in their fields now face the specter of being taxed for income they don’t even receive, as the House version of the bill repeals tax exemptions for graduate student tuition waivers. The legislation would also eliminate the Student Loan Interest Deduction, making financing college more difficult for the majority of UMass students and young alumni. These are just two of many provisions that directly or indirectly affect college students.
“As public higher education leaders, we call on Congress to avoid policies that make college less affordable. In addition to restricting access to higher education for low-income students, these tax reforms will have long-term negative consequences for workforce development, the research ecosystem and the country’s competitive position in the global economy.
“We endorse the recommendation of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences Lincoln Project that ‘policy-makers should broaden their understanding of infrastructure to include our intellectual infrastructure, which is no less important to the nation’s future than our roads and bridges.’”
UMass President Marty Meehan
UMass Amherst Chancellor Kumble Subbaswamy
UMass Boston Interim Chancellor Barry Mills
UMass Dartmouth Chancellor Robert Johnson
UMass Lowell Chancellor Jacquie Moloney
UMass Medical School Chancellor Michael Collins