Both sides readying for next stage of ‘millionaire tax’ fight

Printed from: http://newbostonpost.com/2016/05/19/both-sides-readying-for-next-stage-of-millionaire-tax-fight/

Supporters of a proposed constitutional amendment adding a surtax on incomes over $1 million are looking ahead to a year of planning and outreach after lawmakers on Wednesday advanced the amendment to the next legislative session.

During a Constitutional Convention, legislators voted 135-57 in favor of a petition that would assess a new 4 percent surtax on household income above $1 million, with the extra revenue intended to fund education and transportation. Another vote with at least one quarter of the legislature in favor would be needed during the 2017 to 2018 session for the measure to land on the November 2018 ballot.

Massachusetts Teachers Association president Barbara Madeloni, a supporter of the surtax campaign, said proponents will use the next year to “begin to imagine the kind of commonwealth that we want.”

“We’re going to be out there,” Madeloni told the News Service. “We have another ConCon to move this along, but I think that it will be really important to be having conversation with the people in the commonwealth about what we want our public schools to look like, what do we want for higher education — how we can begin to imagine together the possibilities of using this funding to improve public education.”

Opponents also pledged to continue their efforts. A statement released by Citizens for Limited Taxation said the group “will be prepared to fight this latest noxious proposal all the way to the 2018 ballot – as we last did successfully in 1994.”

The Massachusetts Republican Party, the Massachusetts High Technology Council, the Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance and others also voiced disappointment and opposition to the vote on Wednesday.

— Written by Katie Lannan

Copyright State House News Service