With hard work and more than 30,000 signatures gathered by volunteers over the past 3 years, the Fair Share Amendment has moved to a have a constitutional convention!
“I think it’s important to many of the legislators and to residents of the commonwealth to put this on the ballot,” said Senate President Karen Spilka, who backs the amendment.
The Fair Share Tax campaign addresses the shortfall of state revenue that has resulted in cuts to essential services. Looking back 17 years, we have seen significant cuts in many critical areas of state spending and we have failed to make needed investments in education and transportation.
The root of Massachusetts’ chronic budget crisis is $3 billion in cuts to the state income tax since 2001. We need to implement new revenues in a fair way, by making sure our highest income households pay their fair share of taxes. Today our highest earners pays 6.5% of their income in state and local taxes while the rest of us pay 10%. If the top 1% paid their fair share, we would have an additional $2 billion a year to invest in our communities.
The Fair Share Tax Amendment does just that, by increasing taxes by 4% on incomes over $1 million. The new revenue would be spent on quality public education, affordable public colleges and universities, and the repair and maintenance of roads, bridges, and public transportation.
The original Fair Share Amendment garnered over 150,000 signatures from MA voters and passed through two constitutional conventions. CSJ contributed 19,700 signatures to those numbers. But the Amendment was challenged by a corporate-backed lawsuit and removed from the ballot by the state’s Supreme Judicial Court.
However, the basis for that disqualification was narrow, and does not apply to a legislative version of the amendment. A measure identical to the 2015 amendment can be placed on the 2022 ballot by this method, and legislation introduced by Sen. Lewis, Rep. O’Day, and supported by Raise Up Massachusetts, has started this process.