50+ Massachusetts Businesses Endorse Question 1 to Improve Transportation and Public Education

Aug 23, 2022

Small Business Owners Join Growing Coalition Supporting Fair Share Amendment Tax on Million-Dollar Earners on November Ballot

BOSTON – The campaign working to pass the Fair Share Amendment, the proposed state tax on incomes above $1 million which would raise billions of dollars to invest in transportation and public education, today announced the endorsement of more than 50 businesses from across the state. The Fair Share Amendment is Question 1 on the November statewide ballot.

“It’s been a tough couple of years for small businesses, but Question 1 gives me hope. Small businesses like mine wouldn’t pay a penny more, and we’ll benefit from better schools, colleges, roads, bridges, and public transportation,” said Valery Joseph, owner of La Perle Restaurant in Everett. “Transportation is one of the biggest challenges my employees face, and better roads and transit will make a big difference as I work to hire and retain workers in the future.”

The businesses include restaurants, bookstores, farms, barber shops, breweries, and retailers from across Massachusetts, in communities such as Adams, Amherst, Boston, Brookline, Cambridge, Everett, Fairhaven, Fall River, Grafton, Malden, New Bedford, North Adams, Northampton, Pittsfield, Shelburne, Somerville, and Worcester.

“Successful businesses know that investing in your workforce is a key to future success, and the same is true for Massachusetts,” said Jen Benson, President of the Alliance for Business Leadership. “Investing in our schools and colleges to prepare a well-educated workforce, and building a more reliable transportation system to get employees to work and goods to market, is the best way to strengthen and grow Massachusetts’ economy. That’s why the Alliance for Business Leadership, representing business leaders, entrepreneurs, investors, and professionals from across the state, is supporting Question 1 in November.”

“I work hard running my business, and I pay my fair share in taxes. It’s frustrating that the super-rich pay less of their income in taxes than the rest of us,” said Matthew Glidden, owner of KrafTea Kombucha in Worcester. “Question 1 will fix our unfair tax system and make sure the super rich – those who earn more than $1 million in a single year – pay their fair share to help grow our economy and make it work for everyone. That’s good for my business, and for everyone in Massachusetts.”

Opponents of Question 1 are trying to scare business owners and mislead voters by claiming that it is a tax on businesses, but that’s not true. The Fair Share Amendment adds a tax only on personal income over $1 million – business taxes would not increase. It doesn’t matter how much revenue or profit a business has: only business owners or shareholders who earn more than $1 million in personal income in a single year will pay more, regardless of their business’ revenues or profits. Less than 3 percent of all business owners in Massachusetts have taxable personal income over $1 million that would be subject to the Fair Share Amendment.

“It is completely disingenuous to say that Question 1 would hurt small and family-owned businesses — our business is both small and family owned, and if we made a million dollars a year from it we would be happy to pay an extra tax bill on the excess,” said David Sandberg, owner of Porter Square Books in Cambridge. “Business owners who make more than a million dollars in a single year are not ‘small,’ they are wealthy, and usually the reason their businesses can be so successful is that they live in a state where they can have an educated, competitive workforce. Having a small extra tax on such large incomes will enable Massachusetts to continue to grow and attract the type of people that can make all of our businesses more successful.”

The endorsing businesses join more than 300 organizations and thousands of activists across the state who are working together to pass Question 1 on the ballot. The campaign previously announced support from 63 community organizing groups, 26 housing and community development organizations, 28 social service providers, 15 faith-based groups, 7 public health organizations, 7 environmental and climate organizations, 10 transportation advocacy organizations, and 18 education and youth advocacy organizations. After years of grassroots advocacy, the state Legislature voted in June 2021 to place the Fair Share Amendment on the November 2022 statewide ballot, where it is now set to be decided on by the voters as Question 1.

“I’ve spent the last few weeks reaching out to businesses across the state to talk about Question 1. When business owners learn that only people who earn more than $1 million in annual personal income would pay more, and that all the funds would be constitutionally dedicated to our local schools, roads, colleges, and transit, they’re excited to vote YES,” said Gerly Adrien, Small Business Director for Fair Share for Massachusetts and the owner of Tipping Cow Ice Cream in Somerville. “As more business owners learn about how Question 1 would help improve our schools and roads with a fairer tax system, we expect this list to grow even more.”

The full list of endorsing businesses is below and can be found at https://www.fairsharema.com/local-businesses.

40 South St. Vintage, Boston

Acorn Business Advisor, Grafton

All She Wrote Books, Somerville

Amherst Books, Amherst

Apex Noire, Boston

Asamass Trading, Worcester

Bedlam Book Cafe, Worcester

Belltower Records, North Adams

Boston Black News, Boston

Brewer Banner, New Bedford

Brothers Kafe Kreyol, Everett

Cambridge Local First, Cambridge

Cambridge Naturals, Cambridge

Caravan Kitchen, Northampton

Chill Out First Class Limo Service Inc, Everett

Chuck Talley Illustrations, New Bedford

Coffee Liberation Front, Adams

Democracy Brewing, Boston

dNB Craft Kitchen, New Bedford

Fairhaven Yacht, Fairhaven

Flint Fruit and Variety, Fall River

Foxtrot Farm LLC, Shelburne

Hartley's Original Pork Pies, Fall River

Henna Inspired, Malden

House of Art and Craft, Boston

KrafTea Kombucha, Worcester

La Perle Restaurant, Everett

Leise Jones Photography, Boston

Micky's Hair Design, Everett

N.P. Hayes LLC, New Bedford

Neighborhood Produce, Somerville

New Bedford Noodle Bowl, New Bedford

Panda's Playcare Family Childcare, Boston

Peace Train Tees, Pittsfield

Porter Square Books, Cambridge

Punk Rock Aerobics, Boston

Purveyor of the Unnecessary & the Irresistible, Boston

Radio Concorde, Boston

Red Sun Press, Boston

Rosaline's Skin Care & Spa, Brookline

Rosetta Languages, Malden

Sanctum Folklorica, New Bedford

Simple Gifts Farm, Amherst

Talk of the Town Barber, Fall River

Teletronics Broadway, Everett

The Island, Malden

Tibari Travel, Everett

Tipping Cow Ice Cream, Somerville

TL6 The Gallery, New Bedford

Tony's Barber Shop, Malden

Wah Lum Kung Fu & Tai Chi Academy, Malden

Background on Question 1: the Fair Share Amendment

The Fair Share Amendment – Question 1 on the November ballot – will allow Massachusetts to improve our transportation and public education systems by making the very rich pay their fair share. Question 1 would create a 4 percent tax on the portion of a person’s annual income above $1 million and constitutionally dedicate the funds to be spent on transportation and public education. Only people who earn more than $1 million annually will be impacted; 99% of us won’t pay a penny more. And we’ll all benefit from better schools, roads, bridges, and public transportation. Learn more and get involved at FairShareMA.com

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The Fair Share for Massachusetts campaign is led by Raise Up Massachusetts, a coalition of community organizations, faith-based groups, and labor unions committed to building an economy that invests in families, gives everyone the opportunity to succeed, and creates broadly shared prosperity. Since our coalition came together in 2013, we have nearly doubled wages for hundreds of thousands of working people by winning two increases in the state’s minimum wage, won best-in-the-nation earned sick time and paid family and medical leave benefits for workers and their families, and started to build an economy that works for all of us, not just those at the top.