BOSTON – State Representative Jennifer Benson (D-Lunenburg) and lawmakers in both the House of Representatives and the Senate voted during a joint Constitutional Convention on Wednesday to amend the Massachusetts Constitution to add a four percent surtax on household income above $1 million to fund public education and infrastructure programs.
“This is an important first step toward creating a new revenue stream that will fund critical infrastructure and further support public education,” said House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo (D-Winthrop). “I appreciate the work of Chair Cusack and Representative O’Day on this issue and look forward to advancing this measure further next session.”
The $1 million income level would be adjusted annually to reflect inflation, ensuring that the four percent surtax would continue to apply only to the highest earning households in the Commonwealth. The Department of Revenue estimates that the amendment, commonly referred to as the Fair Share Amendment, would generate $2.2 billion annually.
“I was proud to vote for the Fair Share Amendment at the Constitutional Convention,” said Representative Benson. “This new revenue will be used to finance critical reforms to public education funding, as well as improvements to our transportation infrastructure that will benefit communities in the 37th Middlesex District and across the Commonwealth.”
The amendment must pass in Constitutional Conventions in two consecutive legislative sessions. Wednesday marked the first passage, and the Legislature must approve it again in the 2021-2022 session in order for it to appear on the November 2022 statewide ballot for voter approval.