Massachusetts Voters Don’t Want More Tax and Fee Hikes, Poll Shows

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A poll released by the Fiscal Alliance Foundation this week found that Bay State residents don’t want to pay more in taxes and fees.

Jim Eltringham of Advantage Inc. conducted a poll of 750 likely Massachusetts voters for the Fiscal Alliance Foundation, including ideas floated by Massachusetts Transportation Secretary Monica Tibbits-Nutt in a speech last month.

Some of those ideas included:  putting tolls at the state border, increasing fees for package deliveries, increasing fees on transportation network company rides, increasing the motor vehicle excise tax, and increasing payroll tax.

The poll found that 60.8 percent of voters oppose every one of those proposals, while 25.3 percent support one or two, 9.9 percent supported three or four, and just 4 percent supported all of them.

“Unsurprisingly, I think, the tolls at the state border was the number one response, it got the most support. Because the running theme through … a lot of the questions, both on housing policy and transportation policy, is that people are tapped a little bit and they don’t want to pay more,” Eltringham told State House News Service on Tuesday, May 21. “So tolls at the state border kind of shifts some of that [to] people coming in, and that makes sense. But everything else, you see everything in kind of the low — like one out of every six — range of people supporting it.”

Paul Diego Craney, spokesman for the Fiscal Alliance Foundation, expressed a similar sentiment.

“What is clear in this poll is that raising taxes and fees is not a popular proposition,” Craney said in a press release from the organization. “Voters do not want to pay more. They have deep concerns for how the migrant situation is negatively impacting the housing and rental markets. They do not support the Governor’s ideas around raising the real estate transfer fee tax, or the Governor’s Secretary of Transportation. Governor Healey and Secretary Tibbits Nutt may be hanging out on a limb with these unpopular tax hike proposals, but that doesn’t mean State House lawmakers should feel compelled to go along. The voters don’t endorse it.”

“There seems to be a disconnect with what voters think, what our Governor is proposing, and what the Secretary of Transportation is spearheading,” Craney added. “Voters that are considering leaving the state say it’s due to taxes and the cost of living being too high at 47%. Governor Healey’s real estate transfer fee would have the potential to raise taxes on some property sales, while her Secretary of Transportation would make the cost of living higher if her wish list was fulfilled. There’s certainly a disconnect between voters and our State House leaders.”

A 2 percent real estate transfer fee on the portion of home sales exceeding $1 million was also unpopular, according to the poll; 28.1 percent said they supported the idea, while 55.2 percent said no. 

The poll found that about the same number of voters think the state is moving in the wrong direction (43 percent) as they do in the right direction (40 percent).

Additionally, the poll found that Democratic politicians like Governor Maura Healey (50.5 percent approve, 36 percent disapprove), U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Cambridge) (51.1 percent approve, 40.9 percent disapprove), and President Joe Biden (52.7 percent approve, 42.3 percent disapprove) have solid approval ratings in Massachusetts, while former President Donald Trump (33.6 percent approve, 61.2 percent disapprove) remains under water.


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