Charlie Baker Maintains Omerta on Millionaires’ Tax

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By Matt Murphy
State House News Service

The wealth tax on income over $1 million received just one vote from a Republican lawmaker last week in favor of advancing the amendment to a full debate in June, but Governor Charlie Baker, the leader of the party, is not eager to get involved.

“It’s a long time before we’re going to start talking about that,” Baker said Monday when asked by State House News Service whether he had a position on the revived “millionaires tax.”

Baker did not take a position the last time around either. The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court eventually knocked the proposal, which had polled well with voters, off the ballot before the governor could be forced to state his preference.

“I’m a lot more worried at this point about the budget that people are working on that we’re going to have to implement over the next 12 months,” Baker said Monday, May 13.

The Massachusetts House of Representatives and Senate voted 156-37 last week to advance a proposed amendment to the state constitution sponsored by state Representative Jim O’Day (R-West Boylston) that would impose a 4 percent surtax on income over $1 million, and dedicate the estimated $2 billion in revenue to transportation and education.

State Senator Patrick O’Connor, a Weymouth Republican, was the only GOP lawmaker to support advancing the proposal last week. A full debate is planned for June 12 when amendments will be allowed, leaders have said.

“States that have done this have regretted it,” the Massachusetts Republican Party Tweeted after the vote.