Should millionaires be taxed at a higher rate? Massachusetts voters to decide this fall

Elizabeth Hopkins | Boston 25 News

Jul 18, 2022

Many Massachusetts taxpayers might be in line for a tax cut as legislators think about how to handle a large revenue surplus.

One group of taxpayers might still be on the hook for hike, however.

This fall, voters will determine whether people who make more than a million dollars should be taxed at a higher rate.

It’s a proposed tax hike that elicits two very different perspectives.

“We’re an incredibly wealthy commonwealth, but that wealth is concentrated in the hands of a few,” said Jaron Mariani, campaign manager for Fair Share for Massachusetts, the group sponsoring the amendment

“Folks are having a difficult time, they don’t need to be taxed more right now,” rebutted Dan Cence, spokesperson for Coalition to Stop the Tax Hike Amendment.

Voters will be asked to vote on a constitutional amendment this fall that would continue to tax income up to one million dollars at 5% while adding a levy of 4% on anything more than that.

The funds generated, possibly up to $2 billion, would be earmarked for education and transportation.

Mariani said, “It’s 99.6% of us that don’t take home a million dollars in income. It’s only .4% of the commonwealth that takes home over a million dollars in income.”

He dismisses the idea businesses will flee the state if the so-called “Millionaire’s Tax” passes in November.

“For businesses, what’s attractive is a highly educated workforce and a reliable transit system that gets people to and from your business, and your employees home from your business.”

Cence countered “that what happened was you get unintended consequences when things are crafted a certain way, and we have that here.”

He says a home seller reaping a large windfall, or a small business owner, could get caught paying the sur-tax.

He believes this amendment also reinforces the negative impression that we live in “Taxachusetts.”

“We feel that many people move to New Hampshire, redomicile, and move to other locations and stop the economic impact and economic growth here in Massachusetts. Without question that will happen every single year.”

Powerful groups are already lining up on both sides of this issue. For example, the Massachusetts Teachers Association is backing the amendment while the Massachusetts High Technology Council is opposing it.