As Chairman of the Revenue Committee, I am deeply involved in working to make our tax code and budget more simple, efficient, and fair for all Massachusetts residents. In addition to the many bills I have filed to achieve these goals, I served on the state’s Tax Expenditure Commission, which was tasked with studying the over $26 billion of tax breaks and exemptions in our laws and ensuring their utility, fairness, and effectiveness for taxpayers. Revenue reform continues to be one of my top priorities.

Revenue Committee hearing, March 2013

H.3933 Amendment Text & Important Dates 

An Initiative Petition for An Amendment to the Constitution of the Commonwealth to Provide Resources for Education and Transportation through an additional tax on Incomes in excess of One Million Dollars

Amendment Article XLIV of the Massachusetts Constitution is hereby amended by adding the following paragraph at the end thereof:

To provide the resources for quality public education and affordable public colleges and universities, and for the repair and maintenance of roads, bridges and public transportation, all revenues received in accordance with this paragraph shall be expended, subject to appropriation, only for these purposes.  In addition to the taxes on income otherwise authorized under this Article, there shall be an additional tax of 4 percent on that portion of annual taxable income in excess of $1,000,000 (one million dollars) reported on any return related to those taxes. To ensure that this additional tax continues to apply only to the commonwealth’s highest income residents, this $1,000,000 (one million dollar) income level shall be adjusted annually to reflect any increases in the cost of living by the same method used for federal income tax brackets. This paragraph shall apply to all tax years beginning on or after January 1, 2019.

The signature requirement for initiative petitions to amend the state constitution (“the amendment”) is equal to 3% of votes cast for governor in the most recent gubernatorial election. In 2015, the signature requirement was 64,750.  This amendment received 92,617 signatures.

November 18, 2015

Signatures must be gathered and filed with local election officials

 December 2, 2015

Signatures must be filed with the Secretary of State

On January 6, 2016, the Secretary of State certified that the “fair share” amendment was signed by 92,617 qualified voters and sent it to the legislature.

 April 27, 2016

Deadline for committee to report on proposed amendment

The committee must hear and issue a report on the amendment by the last Wednesday in April. To advance to a constitutional convention, a majority of the committee must approve the amendment. The committee’s report must include majority and minority opinions to the General Court.

 June 8, 2016

Deadline for constitutional convention to hear proposed amendments

One-quarter of the legislature must approve the amendment in a joint session.

June 14, 2017

Deadline for constitutional convention to hear proposed amendments

One-quarter of the legislature must approve the amendment in a joint session.

Read my remarks here

November 6, 2018

Election Day

The amendment must receive a simple majority of votes cast. Moreover, in the case of an initiative petition, at least 30% of all ballots cast (including blanks) must be in favor of the measure.

 

An Act relative to broadened eligibility for relief from disproportionate property tax burdens

The circuit breaker program, passed as part of the FY01 budget, provides a refundable state tax credit to qualified senior citizens whose property taxes exceed 10% of their income. The circuit breaker is designed to moderate the most regressive elements of the property tax. The new bill would expand the property tax circuit breaker to all citizens regardless of age. 

An Act to promote sales tax fairness for Main Street retailers

This is an effort to level the playing field between local retailers and online sellers by ensuring state sales tax is collected for all purchases.  The bill would lay the groundwork for the Commonwealth to collect sales tax from internet sales when the necessary changes are made at the federal level or through the courts. 

An Act relative to tax return filing deadlines

This bill would adjust Massachusetts tax filing deadlines to match changes made recently in the federal tax code.