Because the Fair Share surtax would apply a 4 percent surtax only to the portion of a household’s taxable income above $1 million, the total tax rate of the vast majority of Fair Share-affected filers would be much lower than the top rate of 9 percent.
Will small business owners be subject to the proposed Fair Share tax if and when they sell their businesses? Very unlikely.
The $2.9 billion estimate of 62F “excess tax collections” recently certified by the State Auditor overstates these net Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 collections by $1.4 billion. The problem is not that the Auditor miscalculated but that the calculation as stipulated in the 62F statute fails to account for situations where taxes are received by the Commonwealth in one fiscal year, but corresponding, offsetting tax credits are not applied until the following fiscal year. This is one of the many fundamental flaws in the 1986 tax cap law (referred to as “62F”).
An extensive body of research shows that Fair Share would improve tax fairness, support economic and racial justice, and strengthen our state economy. The research contradicts inaccurate and/or misleading claims made by opponents. Very clearly, Fair Share would have a meaningful, positive impact on millions of people and every community throughout the Commonwealth.
MassBudget estimates that the Fair Share tax on incomes over $1 million is likely to generate at least $2 billion a year in new revenue …
According to the most current federal Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data for Massachusetts (2021), average income for every occupation listed falls far below the $1 million threshold proposed in the Fair Share Amendment.
As the Legislature considers elements of a possible tax package, it is worth focusing on a number of interrelated corporate tax issues that are now – or may become – part of the mix. At the heart of these interrelated issues is a problematic, state-level corporate tax break referred to as FAS 109.
Sometimes a “surplus” is not really a surplus at all, and the term “tax surplus” can be particularly misleading. A tax surplus occurs when tax collections come in higher than the amount expected when the state created its budget at the beginning of the fiscal year. When that initial estimate turns out to be too low, there is a “surplus.” It does not mean that the state budget has already met the needs of the moment or that there is extra unneeded revenue.
The Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center was asked to outline options for changes to the estate tax that would preserve revenue, maintain progressivity, and also cut taxes on or exempt estates with a taxable value up to around $1.2 million. Since households subject to the estate tax are among the state’s wealthiest taxpayers, any reductions to revenue from the estate tax represent a transfer of wealth from the Commonwealth to its wealthiest families. Even so, some options are better than others.
Currently, the Massachusetts tax system is upside down: the highest income households pay a significantly smaller share of their income toward state and local taxes than the rest of us do. A “millionaire tax” would help turn our tax system right-side up.