Monday, June 18, 2018

Statement on SJC Fair Share ruling

Statement from candidate for State Senate Chelsea Kline (D - Northampton) on the Supreme Judicial Court’s decision keeping the Fair Share Amendment off the ballot:

“Once again, the wealthy and powerful have interfered with our efforts to invest in our schools, invest in our roads, and begin to reverse the rising levels of inequality in the Commonwealth. The effect of this decision is to rob students, families, and workers of approximately $2 billion annually for early education, public education, and public higher education, and for much-needed investments in our roads, bridges, and regional transit authorities.

“Massachusetts is one of the only states with a regressive income tax. I call on Speaker DeLeo and the House of Representatives to initiate legislation that raises taxes on the uber-wealthy by raising the income tax and increasing tax benefits to middle and lower-class residents. This proposal would effectively create a progressive income tax, investing in our schools and our roads while holding harmless the vast majority of Massachusetts residents. If elected, I will push for these much-needed changes in the Legislature, which are long overdue and badly needed.”


BACKGROUND: The Fair Share Amendment was a proposed amendment to the Massachusetts Constitution that would have raised approximately $2 billion annually for public education, public higher education, transportation, and infrastructure. Since 2015, a coalition of community organizations have advocated for the Amendment by pushing it through the Legislature in two consecutive sessions and then by gathering tens of thousands of signatures to place the question on the ballot. The Amendment would have instituted a 4% surtax on incomes over $1 million. A recent poll found the Amendment had widespread public support, but it faced a legal challenge from corporate special interest groups.

In 2013, Governor Deval Patrick proposed progressive changes to the state’s tax system that would have increased taxes on higher-income households while effectively lowering them for middle and lower-class households. Tax bills need to originate in the House of Representatives before they can be considered by the Senate.

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