Millionaire tax allows politicians to divide us

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Massachusetts has a long history of politicians who believe the answer to every government failure is to raise taxes. But Massachusetts has prospered despite the greed of the political class because our state’s constitution has very strong protection for taxpayers: a constitutional requirement for a flat rate tax.

The flat tax means politicians cannot divide Massachusetts taxpayers into different income groups and attack them one at a time.

Today, Massachusetts’ single tax rate is 5%.

Some states allow progressive or progressive income tax. The average tax rate in graduated tax rate states is 4.9%. Flat tax rate states have an average state income tax of 3.9%. Everybody wins. California rates range from 1% to 13%. Connecticut from 3% to 6.99%. New York from 4% to 10.9%

But in Massachusetts and other flat rate states, politicians all have to look us in the eye when they claim to have a “great idea.” With a flat tax they have to admit – “you’re all going to pay for this.” It would be better if it was a very good idea to get the support of the majority of all taxpayers.

Nine states have flat rate taxes. North Carolina, Kentucky, Utah, Colorado, Michigan, Indiana, Massachusetts… and Illinois?

Illinois? Isn’t that a very liberal deep blue democratic state controlled by a political machine in Chicago? How do they have a flat income tax of 4.95%?

Well, the Illinois constitution makers had the same idea as the Massachusetts constitution makers: if everyone faces the same tax rate, it limits politicians’ ability to divide and rule – and to tax and spend.

In 2020, the Liberal Democrats who control the House, Senate and Governor of Illinois voted on a constitutional amendment to allow for a graduated or graduated income tax. Super-rich Democratic Gov. Governor JB Pritzker invested $ 50 million of his own money to fund the campaign to raise taxes by breaking flat tax protection and imposing an income tax structure gradual or progressive.

Illinois has the same debate we had five times before when voters in Massachusetts voted against the change to a progressive income tax in 1962, 1968, 1972, 1976 and 1994.

It was pointed out that taxpayers were already leaving Illinois to move to lower states. This is also true of Massachusetts. The Commonwealth recently experienced a five-year spike in emigration as former taxpayers fled to friendlier, low-tax states like New Hampshire and Florida.

Among the factors that contribute to this loss of population, there is a hostile fiscal climate. A recent Beacon Hill Institute study determined that more than 4,000 families would leave Bay State and take with them almost 9,000 jobs, if this constitutional amendment was approved by voters next year, workers would lose by $ 1 billion in disposable income, and the study predicts that GDP would decline by $ 431 million.

In Illinois, it was pointed out that once the flat tax was abolished, politicians would be free to raise everyone’s taxes. This is true in Bay State.

Illinois has realized that an income tax targeting the rich hits small businesses just as hard. Many pay their business taxes through income tax. If approved, a progressive Massachusetts tax could apply to the more than 13,000 small businesses that make up over 55% of the Commonwealth’s workforce. A massive new tax will have disastrous effects on these businesses, discouraging new investment and job creation.

And the Massachusetts Amendment has a unique problem. One of the worst aspects of this proposition is that the inscription of tax policy in the state constitution makes it difficult to correct. If the tax ends up hurting the economy and driving jobs, individuals, families and employers out of state, lawmakers and voters can only right the damage by amending the constitution again. It will take many years to repair.

The middle class and working families will be the main constituency that ultimately rejects this proposal because they have the most to lose from this tax hike. While lawmakers want the public to think this is a tax hike only for the rich, the wealthiest in the state will quickly run away because they have the option to leave. The middle class and working-class families will have to foot the bill. As more middle-class and working-class families realize that this is the next attempt to tax them, it will eventually fail for the sixth time and be a victory that all taxpayers can. enjoy.


Paul Diego Craney is the spokesperson for the Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance and Grover Norquist is president of the Americans for Tax Reform.


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