Poll: Massachusetts Wants the Millionaire’s Tax

Support also remains high for reducing the sales tax.

Photo via iStock.com/capricornis

Looks like Massachusetts really wants millionaires to pay more in taxes.

A new poll out from WBUR and the MassINC Polling Group today finds that support remains strong for the proposal—a 4 percent surtax on income over $1 million—which may appear as a question on the ballot this November. Of those surveyed, 77 percent said they were in favor of the so-called “millionaire’s tax,” and 57 percent said they “strongly” supported the idea.

It’s estimated such a tax, which would require a constitutional amendment to take effect, could raise $2 billion from the state’s 16,000 or so millionaires, which would be earmarked for education and transportation.

The poll also found that support for cutting the sales tax is also strong: 67 percent said they support reducing the tax rate from 6.5 percent to 5 percent, which would remove an estimated $1.25 billion from the state’s coffers.

Would a millionaire’s tax mean more of the state’s wealthiest people paying their fair share, or is it a big mistake? That’ll be up to you to decide later this year. That is, unless state legislators tackle the issue first. Gov. Charlie Baker has said he hopes a “grand bargain” on the taxes can be reached at the State House instead of putting the issues before voters.

The ballot question faces another obstacle as well: Millionaires. A coalition of business groups has challenged the proposal, arguing that it’s unconstitutional because it sets aside tax revenue for specific purposes, which they argue a ballot initiative cannot do. The Supreme Judicial Court is currently weighing arguments from both sides.