Advocates for higher taxes on the top 1% of income earners are launching a campaign to get voter approval of the “Fair Share” Amendment, a tax on annual incomes of more than a million dollars that will be on the ballot in 2022.
If passed, it would be a 4% tax on a person’s second, third, fourth million dollars earned, and so forth, but would not affect people who make less than a million a year.
Andrew Farnitano, spokesperson for Raise Up Massachusetts, the group leading the campaign, noted the funds generated would go toward education and transportation, two areas he said have been underfunded in recent decades.
“We’re not providing the resources that are needed to make sure that kids in every city and town get a good education, are able to go on to college and find a career,” Farnitano argued.
He pointed out students used to be able to work and have enough to pay for college, but inflation in college tuition and fees has made it impossible, and many graduates leave school with crushing debt that holds them back from experiences, ranging from starting a business to starting a family or purchasing a home.
Farnitano added even with potential federal money coming in for education and infrastructure, the Commonwealth needs a long-term sustainable solution.
He contended funding is needed to fix crumbling transportation infrastructure such as roads and bridges, limited public transportation in many localities, and traffic congestion.
“Our traffic congestion has been an enormous problem that’s holding back our economy,” Farnitano remarked. “And as we come out of the pandemic, I think most people expected that the traffic congestion will return or be even worse.”
The group has held rallies across Massachusetts, including in Pittsfield, New Bedford, Brockton and Worcester, and more events are planned. Sponsors of the bill to place the amendment on the ballot say it would raise 2-billion dollars in yearly revenue.