At least 13 municipal boards now back millionaires tax

Meg McIntyre | Boston Business Journal

Jul 14, 2022

Voters are set to consider the surtax on the statewide ballot in November after state legislators opted to put the question to residents during a Constitutional Convention last summer.

The Amesbury City Council has become the latest municipal body to have endorsed the Fair Share Amendment, a proposed constitutional amendment that would levy a 4 percentage point surtax on household income above $1 million per year.

Voters are set to consider the surtax on the statewide ballot in November after state legislators opted to put the question to residents during a Constitutional Convention last summer. Amesbury councilors unanimously approved a resolution supporting the proposed surtax late last month, the Newburyport News reported.

City Councilor Adrienne Lennon called the amendment an "obvious opportunity" for wealthy investors to support other residents at a time when local budgets are strained.

"They do not live on their income, they live on the dividends of their income and it harms them in no way, whatsoever, to be contributing to the opportunities of the rest of the people of the commonwealth," Lennon said at the panel's June 28 meeting.

By the News Service's count, at least 13 municipal bodies have publicly supported the amendment so far, including in Amesbury, Amherst, Cambridge, Dalton, Lee, Lynn, Medford, New Bedford, Newburyport, North Adams, Pittsfield, Springfield and Worcester.

The proposal has also been backed by 26 housing and community development groups that declared their support for the measure last week.

It has drawn opposition from groups such as the Massachusetts High Technology Council, Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance, the Massachusetts chapter of the National Federation of Independent Business, the Pioneer Institute and the Retailers Association of Massachusetts.