Massachusetts millionaire income tax proposal

22News spoke with an economist about the potential Massachusetts "millionaire's tax"

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NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – You may soon be asked to sign a petition to impose a higher income tax on people who earn more than one million dollars.

Right now everyone in Massachusetts pays a 5.15% income tax. “Raise Up Massachusetts,” a coalition of organized labor and community groups has petitioned the Massachusetts Attorney General’s office to impose an additional 4% on people that earn more than $1 million.

The earliest the question could go before voters would be in 2018, because the new tax bracket would require an amendment to the states constitution, a document that prohibits tiered income taxes.

The extra revenue that would come from the 9% income tax on millionaires would go towards public education, infrastructure and transit.

UMass Economics Professor Gerald Friedman says that other states and the federal government have made progress in creating a tax code that is tiered. “This time the proposal is targeted only at the very very richest people and it includes a tax reduction for the other 99.6% so maybe it will pass. It’s been 20 years since we’ve tried this in Massachusetts so maybe it will happen.”

Massachusetts lawmakers would have to vote to advance the petition in two consecutive constitutional conventions.

Petitioners would need to collect over 67,000 signatures by November to send the question to lawmakers if approved by Attorney General Maura Healey.

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