Vice President for State Fiscal Policy
A coalition of Massachusetts groups has announced a campaign to raise income taxes on people with incomes over $1 million, with the additional revenue funding greater investments in the state’s education and transportation systems. That’s a good idea, for a number of reasons:
Opponents will undoubtedly haul out the usual argument that raising taxes for the highest income earners will cause them to flee the state, harming the state economy, but that claim doesn’t hold water. State after state has found that any revenue lost if some rich people move out is negligible compared with the revenue generated for schools and other services. After California raised income taxes for millionaires in 2005, for instance, the rate at which millionaires moved away actually fell.
The proposal faces a long process to enactment, including a public referendum. That process has begun, though, and it’s a step in the right direction toward a stronger future for Massachusetts.