Proposed constitutional amendment would fund transportation and education investments
BOSTON (06/09/2021) – At a Joint Session of the Massachusetts Legislature, Senator Cindy F. Friedman (D-Arlington) joined members of the House and Senate in a Constitutional Convention to advance an amendment to the state Constitution to provide greater investments in education and transportation funding.
The Amendment, which now goes before the people of the Commonwealth for a vote in 2022, establishes a four percent tax on annual taxable income in excess of $1 million. The revenue generated, estimated by the Department of Revenue to be as much as $2.2 billion annually, would fund repair and maintenance projects for roads, bridges or public transportation as well as funding for public education, including support for early education and childcare and public higher education.
“Once again, I was proud to work with my colleagues to move this important amendment to the next stage of the process,” said Senator Friedman, Vice Chair of the Senate Committee on Ways and Means. “The revenue raised by the Fair Share Amendment is an effective and fair way to increase investments in public transportation and public education, needed now more than ever as we recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Should voters approve the ballot measure, the income level would be adjusted annually to reflect increases in the cost of living by the same method used to determine federal income tax brackets. This would ensure that, over time, the additional four percent tax would continue to apply only to the highest earning individuals in the Commonwealth. The tax would apply to all tax years beginning on or after January 1, 2023.
The legislature must approve a constitutional amendment in two consecutive joint sessions before the question appears on the ballot for voter approval. The Fair Share Act was approved for a first time on June 12, 2019, in a 147-48 vote. This week’s June 9, 2021 vote of 159-41 ensures the proposal will appear on the November 2022 statewide ballot.