Fair Share Amendment: What would the money be spent on?
Question 1 on The Fair Share Amendment would add an additional 4% tax on that portion of your income that is above a million. Only 1% of MA citizens are fortunate enough to be in this category.
Some voters have reasonably asked though, do we really need this increased revenue. Indeed the ARPA funds are extremely helpful but they are short term. The Fair Share Amendment would provide a consistent stream of revenue constitutionally mandated for investments in transportation and education.
MA transportation infrastructure needs are well documented. While we will benefit from the recent federal Infrastructure bill, there will also be a competitive pool of grants for major projects, but we need to leverage state funds to get federal dollars.
In terms of education needs, MA ranks 4th place in cost of early education. Besides the significant impact on child development, quality child care and education are workforce issues.
The MA legislature recently passed the Student Opportunity Act, updating the 25-year-old funding formula for elementary and secondary schools, yet they did not identify a regular stream of funding to pay for it. A lot of legislators assumed that the Fair Share Act would be passed.
In higher education, since 2001 there has been a 20% decline in our investment, causing a corresponding increase in tuition and fees and increased admittance of out of state students, who pay full tuition. If you are a student from out of state with a lower GPA and SAT scores you could stand a better chance of getting into UMass than a MA student with a high GPA. Your tax dollars are supporting MA universities, your kids should be able to attend. We shouldn’t need to rely on so many out of state students to support the system. This is also a workforce issue since an overwhelming majority of MA students stay in MA.
Vote yes on Question 1. Right now, in MA the top 1% of income earners pays less of a percentage of their income in taxes than the other 99%. Let’s just bring them up closer to the rest of us. When everyone chips in an equitable share of their income to make this a more livable Commonwealth, it’s good for all residents and the MA economy.