BOSTON (CBS/AP) — A proposed “millionaire tax” constitutional amendment will advance to the 2018 ballot.
On Wednesday, House and Senate lawmakers voted 134-55 to send the proposal to Massachusetts voters next year.
Under the plan, individuals with annual incomes above $1 million would be subject to a 4 percent surtax. The surtax would only apply to portions of income over $1 million. The current income tax rate is 5.1 percent.
Supporters said it would raise an extra $1.9 billion for education and transportation.
“The reality is that the Commonwealth is billions of dollars away from what is truly needed to improve and provide a state-of-the-art, 21st-century transportation system that connects employees to jobs, students to institutions of higher education, and elders and others to medical appointments. Today’s vote to advance an alternative solution to raising revenue for transportation and education is a step in the right direction,” said Senator Tom McGee (D-Lynn).
Critics argued it would hurt the state’s business climate and drive away jobs.
Eileen McInenney, the head of the Mass. Taxpayers Foundation did not want the proposal to go forward.
According to McInenney, the bill would allow voters to authorize where taxpayer money goes, a power that usually belongs to the legislature.
She was also worried about the economy.
“It could do some real damage,” she explained. “We don’t have a way to appeal or amend it short of going through the four-year process that we are engaged in now to amend the Constitution in the first place.”
Last year, lawmakers voted 135-57 to advance the measure.
(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)