Explainer: Ballot question 1 would establish additional tax on income over $1M

Do you approve of the adoption of an amendment to the constitution summarized below, which was approved by the General Court in joint sessions of the two houses on June 12, 2019 (yeas 147 – nays 48); and again on June 9, 2021 (yeas 159 – nays 41)?


This 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, by the same method used for federal income-tax brackets, to reflect increases in the cost of living. Revenues from this tax would be used, subject to appropriation by the state Legislature, for public education, public colleges and universities; and for the repair and maintenance of roads, bridges, and public transportation. The proposed amendment would apply to tax years beginning on or after January 1, 2023.


A YES VOTE would amend the state Constitution to impose an additional 4% tax on that portion of incomes over one million dollars to be used, subject to appropriation by the state Legislature, on education and transportation.

A NO VOTE would make no change in the state Constitution relative to income tax.

See full text of proposed amendment


As required by law, statements of fiscal consequences are written by the Executive Office of Administration and Finance.

The proposal increases the marginal tax rate on certain individual taxpayers by 80%. This change may increase annual state revenues by $1.2 billion in the near term, which is approximately 2.4% of the current annual state budget. However, annual revenue generated by the surtax will vary significantly and unpredictably from year to year. Additionally, numerous unpredictable factors could significantly alter the impact this proposal may have on state and municipal finances. For instance, taxpayers may decide to relocate their home or business to another state or adjust their filing status or timing of income realization to minimize their tax burden.


As provided by law, the 150-word arguments are written by proponents and opponents of each question, and reflect their opinions. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts does not endorse these arguments, and does not certify the truth or accuracy of any statement made in these arguments. The names of the individuals and organizations who wrote each argument, and any written comments by others about each argument, are on file in the Office of the Secretary of the Commonwealth.

IN FAVOR: By voting Yes on Question 1, you will make sure that the very richest in Massachusetts – those who make over $1 million a year – pay their fair share. Current tax rules allow multimillionaires to pay a smaller share in taxes than the rest of us. Question 1, the “Millionaires’ Tax,” will make the extremely wealthy pay an additional 4 percent on the portion of their yearly income above $1 million.

The additional money is constitutionally guaranteed to go toward transportation and public education. Question 1 means every child can go to a great school. We can fix our roads, expand access to vocational training, and make public colleges more affordable. Excellent roads and schools help our small businesses grow, create new jobs, and build strong communities. Question 1 means creating opportunity for everyone.

Vote Yes on Question 1. Only the very rich will pay — not the rest of us.

Cynthia Roy Fair Share Massachusetts PO Box 15 Readville, MA 02137(508) 319-9642 FairShareMA.com


  • Question 1 nearly doubles the state income tax rate on tens of thousands of small-business owners, large employers, and retirees.
  • Question 1 treats one-time earnings—the sale of homes, investments, businesses, pensions, and inheritances—as income. This would suddenly force many residents into the new, very high tax bracket, depleting the nest eggs of small-business owners and longtime homeowners whose retirement depends on their investments.
  • Record inflation, supply chain difficulties, and continuing COVID-19 issues make now the worst possible time for massive tax increases—especially when Massachusetts already has a giant budget surplus!
  • There is absolutely NO GUARANTEE revenue from this huge tax hike would actually increase spending on education and transportation. Politicians are giving themselves a blank check, with no accountability.

Organizations representing over 20,000 small businesses and family farmers urge: Vote NO on Question 1.

Paul D’Amore, Small Business Representative Coalition To Stop The Tax Hike Amendment198 Tremont Street, Office 135 Boston, MA 02116 www.NoQuestion1.com

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