By Alex Solari, Staff Writer
In Massachusetts, there is a flat income tax, but should millionaires be paying more of a percent on taxes than the average Massachusetts citizen? Lawmakers are attempting to include a proposal on the 2018 state ballot that would put a surtax on those making 1 million or more a year, where millionaires would be paying the standard 5.1 percent flat income tax, along with an additional 4 percent surtax, according to Southcoast Today.
This means that if a person makes 2 million dollars a year, then they will be taxed 5.1 percent on the first million, and 9.1 percent on the second million. This issue affects locals, since there are 52 millionaires in Dartmouth and 22 millionaires in Westport. Altogether in 2014, there were 15,422 millionaires living in Massachusetts.
This millionaire tax would give Massachusetts a large amount of revenue, 1.9 billion in the first year to be exact.
This increase in revenue would be used on public education and transportation, which would directly help children and create jobs. Who could possibly be against that? Well, Republicans apparently.
There are actually quite a few logical arguments against this tax, with one being that millionaires could hide their money in order to avoid the surtax.
According to Bloomberg, millionaires do this by moving their assets to a different country, hiding their funds within a company, using a trust, or hiring an accounting expert.
Although Massachusetts may not get as much revenue from this proposal as planned, this millionaire tax will still greatly benefit the state, and those millionaires are likely to get caught at one point or another.
Another argument made against this proposal is that it is only the start of extra surtaxes in Massachusetts. Chip Faulkner, director of communications for Citizens for Limited Taxation opposes this millionaire tax, and said, “We know this is only the first step,” he said. “If this gets in, the next income group will be people making half a million, then $100,000, and on down the line.”
Though this could potentially pose an issue for middle class folks, it is very unlikely for this to happen, and if it did happen it would not be any time in the near future. If a millionaire tax is being proposed in Massachusetts in 2017, it would take many more years for a new proposal to be made targeting those who make say, half a million or $100,000 a year.
The final argument I found against this tax is that the rich should not be punished for being rich. As Faulkner said, “Why should the rich be penalized for being successful?”
First and foremost, the rich often inherit their wealth rather than earn it. Many wealthy families are wealthy simply from generations of money.
It’s like winning the lottery when you are born into a millionaire home.
By classifying the rich as “successful” and the middle class and poor as “unsuccessful,” it suggests that those who are rich are hardworking and superior to the average citizen.
And doesn’t it seem a bit greedy for wealthy people to want to keep the millions they have rather than pay taxes in order to help their state? It’s all about utilitarianism, the greatest good for the greatest amount of people.
There are 10 states that have taken on this millionaire tax, including New York and California.
These two states being as successful as they are, proves this tax can and will help Massachusetts thrive.
A millionaire tax in Massachusetts would be beneficial to average citizens and to the state government. Although it is a bit of an inconvenience to the millionaires this would affect, this tax would benefit the state as a whole and the majority of citizens.