Massachusetts lawmakers face 1st vote on 'millionaire' tax amendment
BOSTON >> A plan for taxing the wealthiest Massachusetts residents could get its first nudge forward in the coming week when the Legislature, meeting in a joint constitutional convention, is expected to take up what has become known as the "millionaire tax."
The proposed constitutional amendment needs the backing of only 50 of the combined 200 lawmakers in the House and Senate to advance Wednesday. Senate President Stan Rosenberg, who supports the tax, told reporters this past week he expects to "comfortably" exceed that threshold.
The measure would impose a surtax of 4 percent on any portion of annual income that exceeds $1 million. The additional revenue generated by the tax would be earmarked for education and transportation purposes only. The tax would be on top of the current 5.1 percent tax paid by all wage-earners in Massachusetts.
A constitutional amendment is needed because the state's constitution stipulates a uniform or "flat" tax rate for all residents. The federal government and all but eight of the 41 U.S. states that tax wages have graduated rates, meaning that higher earners pay a greater percentage of their income in taxes.