The Fair Share Amendment

The Legislature meets in a Formal Joint Session this afternoon, scheduled for 1:00 PM, to consider a vote on the Fair Share Amendment.

In the last few days, an organization opposing the Amendment has sent out a scurrilously misleading and inflammatory mailing, district-wide, in the districts of several Legislators who have publicly supported the Amendment; my representative, Jay Kaufman, House Co-Chair of the Joint Revenue Committee, is one of them. I hope Rep.Kaufman and his colleagues who have been targeted have heard that their constituents want them to support the Amendment!

If the measure passes, this is what the Amendment will do*:

The proposed constitutional amendment would establish an additional 4% state income tax on that portion of annual taxable income in excess of $1 million. This income level would be adjusted annually to reflect increases in the cost of living by the same method used for federal income-tax brackets. Revenues from this tax would be used, subject to appropriation by the state Legislature, only for public education, public colleges and universities, the repair and maintenance of roads, bridges, and public transportation. The proposed amendment would apply to tax years beginning on or after January 1, 2019.

Since this is an amendment to the state constitution, the Legislature needs to approve the measure in two successive constitutional conventions ("ConCon") before it can appear on the ballot for final approval in November 2018. We actually only need 25% support in the Legislature on each occasion, but I hope we do far better than that.

*The language of the proposed constitutional amendment, approved by the Attorney General's Office last fall.