Massachusetts Now Has More Than 15,000 Millionaires

A whole lot of people would be paying for that 'millionaires' tax.'
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We know that Massachusetts is home to some of the world’s wealthiest people: Bob Kraft, Jim Davis, John Henry, Jim Koch, et cetera. But more and more Massachusetts residents are taking home paychecks with a lot of zeroes in them these days, and the total number of millionaires (and billionaires) in the state is now more than 15,000.

In 2014, there were 15,273 people who reported making more than $1 million in the Commonwealth, according to the Boston Business Journal, which crunched the most recent available data. That’s an increase of 22 percent over the prior year, and is the highest number seen since the recession. The average income at the top was $3.6 million.

Where are all these people?  Boston, unsurprisingly, had the state’s greatest number of millionaires. The city’s luxury condos and pricey brownstones boasted 2,031 of them in 2014. Newton had 1,284 millionaires, Wellesley had 853, Weston had 555, and Cambridge had 471.

Combined, the millionaires made $54.7 billion in 2014, according to their tax records. That’s 28 percent more than was recorded in 2013.

All of this means there are more people then ever with the kinds of seven-figure salaries that would be subject to the so-called “millionaires’ tax” proposal, which seeks to collect more from the incomes of the state’s top earners. Right now, income is taxed in the state, no matter what you make, at a rate of 5.15 percent. But there has been a growing movement to take more from those at the top—an extra 4 percent—via constitutional amendment. Proponents say the tax could bring in somewhere between $1.5 billion and $2 billion in new revenue for education and transportation. A vote on whether to do so appears headed for the ballot in 2018. Want to get the jump on what will become a major conversation here sooner than you think? We’ve got you covered.