MA General Court Votes to Allow 4% Surcharge on Incomes More than $1 Million

Last week, State Senator Nick Collins joined his colleagues in the Massachusetts General Court for a special Constitutional Convention, in which the House and Senate voted together to advance a proposal that would raise new revenues specifically for transportation and education investments. The proposal, commonly known as the “Fair Share Amendment”, would amend the constitution to allow for a 4% surcharge on incomes in excess of $1 million.

The State Department of Revenue estimates that this change would generate an additional $2.2 billion in revenue annually, making funds available for significant investments in public transportation, roads, bridges, and schools. This vote marks the first step in giving voters the opportunity to weigh in on the proposal in a referendum in 2022.

“This is a bold step forward to addressing the serious transportation and education crises in our Commonwealth,” said State Senator Nick Collins. “With the MBTA’s state-of-good-repair backlog approaching $10 billion, we need to raise significant new revenues to make game-changing investments that will drastically improve service, increase ridership, and enhance customer satisfaction. While our economic growth has benefited some, many have been left behind. Most taxes in this state are regressive, costing low and middle-income earners much more by percentage of income. This proposal would ask those at the very top to pay their ‘fair-share’ to help continue our economic growth, improve our regional transportation network, and ensure that everyone has access to an excellent education.”

The proposal was approved by a vote of 147-48, with more than 75% of legislators voting in favor. The proposal must now be approved again by a legislative vote in 2021, and approved by voters in a statewide referendum in order to modify the state constitution.