Maura Healey Supporting Millionaires’ Tax In Massachusetts

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Democratic nominee for governor Maura Healey expressed support for a ballot question seeking to increase the state tax rate on incomes of more than $1 million a year on Thursday.

The ballot measure, Question 1, is formally called the Fair Share Amendment, and is also known as the Millionaires’ Tax. It would increase the state income tax on incomes more than $1 million from 5 percent to 9 percent.

“I’ve been supportive of the Fair Share,” Healey said when answering a question about it after a speech at a breakfast meeting of the Blackstone Valley Chamber of Commerce in Millbury on Thursday, September 29, according to State House News Service.

Healey, the state’s current attorney general, also told reporters afterward that she plans to vote Yes on Question 1, according to State House News Service.

“… As you’ve heard me say this morning, I believe in having revenue there to invest in transportation, infrastructure, education – these things are good and important,” Healey said while answering the question from someone in the audience.

She added qualifiers. She noted that the state’s fiscal position “is different from where we were a few years ago when that was first proposed.” She also briefly addressed what some observers are calling “one-time millionaires,” who make a big score because of a one-time sale.

“I am sensitive to not wanting to see those harmed who this wasn’t really directed at. So if you’re a small business owner and you sell or you’re selling the family homestead, I am sensitive to the concerns about that,” Healey said, according to State House News Service.

She also noted her support for sending rebate checks to taxpayers under a state law approved by voters in 1984 that limits how much the state can take in tax revenue if salaries don’t keep pace.

Question 1 divides Healey and the Republican nominee, Geoff Diehl, a former state representative from Whitman, who opposes the Millionaires’ Tax.

Supporters of the Millionaires’ Tax say it will provide needed revenue (a projected $1.3 billion) for improvements to transportation and public education, while hitting people who can well afford to pay more.

Opponents say the tax is unfair and would hurt the state’s economy by decreasing investments and giving rich people incentive to become residents of other states. They also predict that revenue projections for the tax would not be met, and that state legislators would use the money for purposes other than transportation and education.

Opponents highlight the sharp percentage increase the ballot question proposes – a jump from 5 percent to 9 percent is an 80 percent increase.

“The proposed ballot question to raise the income tax by 80% on some taxpayers and small businesses is being put forward by State House legislative leaders. It should come as no surprise that the Attorney General would be supportive of the Speaker and Senate President’s desire to raise taxes,” said Paul Diego Craney, spokesman for the right-of-center Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance, in a written statement Thursday.

He predicted that taxes on all people will eventually increase if the Millionaires’ Tax passes.

“If this deceptive ballot question goes through, the legislature will be handed a ‘blank check’ to spend this new tax money however they want. When the revenues from this tax hike begin to decline — and studies show they will — it’s easy to envision these same politicians happily going back to the trough to raise the income tax again on even more taxpayers in lower income brackets. Once they get this 80% income tax hike, they’ll never be satisfied,” Craney said.

A poll released earlier in September found that Massachusetts voters favor the Millionaires’ Tax ballot question, 56 to 35 percent.


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