More community groups join coalition backing millionaires tax

Benjamin Kail | Boston Business Journal

Jun 28, 2022

Over 60 progressive groups have now endorsed the 4% surtax on income surpassing $1 million

More than 60 progressive groups have now endorsed the 4% surtax on income surpassing $1 million, a proposed constitutional amendment that supporters say will level Massachusetts’ tax burden, even as critics argue it could undercut the middle class and hurt small businesses.

The Fair Share for Massachusetts campaign announced the new backing for the so-called “millionaires tax” on Monday, a day before Sen. Elizabeth Warren plans to kick off a canvassing effort on the measure in Malden and a week after Massachusetts’ high court cleared the proposal to appear as proposed on November ballots. Fair Share said the 63 regional and statewide community organizers — which included groups like the Black Economic Justice Institute, Cambridge Residents Alliance, and Western Massachusetts Network to End Homelessness — are focused on economic opportunity, immigrant rights and racial justice. Group leaders said the potential $1.3 billion–plus that reportedly would be generated by the surtax would lead to significant investments in education and transportation.

“The Fair Share Amendment will help improve our schools, colleges, roads, bridges and transit, and only the very rich will pay more,” said Lily Huang, co-director of Mass. Jobs with Justice. “Massachusetts communities desperately need a steady investment in this vital infrastructure so that families can live and work — not just surviving day by day, but flourishing as we invest in ourselves.”

Dax Crocker, a program coordinator for the Coalition for Social Justice, said the state’s economy is “working great for those at the top, but in the South Coast, working people are really struggling.” The tax, he said, should lead to “ fewer potholes on our roads, more resources for our public schools, better bus service in our communities, and lower tuitions at our public colleges.”