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Letter: Where Do Local Officials Stand on Fair Share?

To the editor:

Voters in Massachusetts will have the opportunity in November to vote yes on the Fair Share Amendment ballot question that asks our wealthiest taxpayers to pay their fair share of taxes — a 4 percent surtax on the portion of their income over $1 million. 

The estimated $2 billion a year raised would be allocated for the maintenance of roads and bridges, improvements in public transportation, and the funding of education, all of which are desperately needed by residents of Middlesex County and other communities across the state. Although the state now enjoys a budget surplus and billions in federal aid, passing the FSA will create sustainable, long-term revenue that is not dependent on windfalls and that counteracts the need for low- and middle-income taxpayers to pay more than they do now. As a permanent feature of the state constitution, the FSA would provide the additional revenue for the benefit of this and future generations.

The current state income tax burdens lower-income taxpayers more heavily than it does the wealthy. Here is an opportunity to reduce the inequities of our system when thousands of working families in our state have lost jobs and housing and otherwise have had their lives upended as a result of the pandemic, while the wealthy have seen their incomes soar. Polls show that the amendment has overwhelming popular support. The public understands that well-funded schools and well-maintained roads and bridges improve the quality of life for all of us — families as well as businesses. 

It’s time that ALL our local media outlets ask the elected Tewksbury Select Board and School Committee members where they stand on the Fair Share Amendment. Then we will know if route 38 and our children are really the priority in our town. 

Unfortunately, opponents of the measure, such as the Fiscal Alliance Foundation and other big business groups, are misleading the public about which taxpayers would beaffected. The fact is that 99 percent of taxpayers will not see their taxes go up under the FSA.

George Ferdinand


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