“Millionaire tax” might cause some high earners to leave state

A report says a proposed 4 percent surtax combined with federal tax changes may double the annual state income tax paid by Massachusetts' highest earners.

BOSTON (AP) – A new report suggests passage by voters of a “millionaire tax” would drive many wealthy residents out of Massachusetts to lower-taxed states.

The study released Tuesday by the conservative-leaning Pioneer Institute says the proposed 4 percent surtax combined with a recent federal tax change would effectively double the annual state income tax paid by Massachusetts’ highest earners to $318,000. The new federal tax law caps deductions for state and local taxes at $10,000.

Supporters of the ballot question that seeks to boost revenue for transportation and education dismiss the notion that wealthy residents might flee the state. A recent study by Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center found the wealthiest 1 percent of taxpayers would pay on average $84,000 less in federal taxes next year because of the new U.S. law.