BOSTON — Massachusetts voters have approved an amendment to the state constitution that will increase taxes on those earning more than $1 million a year to benefit transpiration and education.
The “millionaire tax” amendment imposes a 4% surtax on the portion of an individual’s annual income that exceeds $1 million. Those making up to $1 million, but not exceeding that amount, won’t pay new taxes.
Question 1’s supporters — including a coalition of labor unions, community organizations and religious groups — argued the new tax would generate about $2 billion in annual revenue that could be used for education and transportation.
Opponents, including business groups, warned the measure will end up costing jobs while driving away some of the state’s wealthiest citizens.
The state’s constitution currently requires all income be taxed at uniform rates. The $1 million threshold will be adjusted each year to reflect cost-of-living increases.
The question had been challenged by businesses, some lawmakers, and other voters who said the attorney general-approved summary of the question was “completely misleading” because it could lead voters to believe the money could only be spent on education and transportation.
The Supreme Judicial Court ruled the question summary and one-sentence statement describing the effects of a “yes” vote complied with the state constitution.
A similar effort to raise taxes was knocked off the 2018 ballot after a legal challenge by several business-backed organizations.
The court threw out that version of the tax, ruling it violated restrictions placed on citizen initiatives by combining taxes and multiple spending proposals in a single ballot question.
This year’s proposal — though identically worded — was initiated by legislators rather than voter petitions, allowing it to bypass those restrictions.
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