How can we take advantage of the furor over income inequality and increase state revenues by taxing the 1%? David informs me (see first comment) that the Massachusetts constitution calls for a single income tax rate for everyone!
Raising taxes on dividend and interest and raising estate taxes are excellent ideas. However, I wonder if this creates an incentive for the ultra rich in Massachusetts to change their state of residency. To address this challenge, I wonder if we could amend Proposition 21/2 to allow higher rates on properties worth more than two million dollars, with exclusions for people who submit federal tax returns that show an inability to pay. Combined with this would need to be a provision requiring the locality to turn over the extra revenues to the state or some other fund.
Historically, resistance to changes to prop 21/2 has been high, but their is now a growing movement to tax the wealthiest Americans.
What if we organized a ballot initiative to raise taxes on capital gains and estate taxes of amounts over a certain threshold or to amend prop 2 1/2?
Now suppose that 50% of the revenue is earmarked for the following purposes
- Reduce tuition at state colleges and universities
- Cover student loan payments for people engaged in qualifying internships.
A coalition of students, occupy enthusiasts and others would then be organized to get the proposal on the ballot.
I realize that there is a bill already out there which is called “Invest in Our Communities” which is focused on our clear need to use the state’s superior ability to tax to help communities which have been starving for tax revenues for years. I support this effort 100%. My idea of earmarking some money for education was partly in hopes of enlisting students and recent grads in the effort of collecting signatures and getting out the word. I also think if ALL of the tax increases fall on the very wealthiest, than the measure would be much more likely to pass.
I’ve never been involved in organizing a ballot initiative in the past. Let me know what you think and who I should connect up with.