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TV ad supporting ‘millionaires tax’ hits airwaves

Titled ‘Win-Win,’ the ad began appearing during local broadcasts Tuesday night.

Demonstrators held a jazz fest for Fair Share Massachusetts at the State House in 2019 in hopes of getting 'question 1' on the ballot. Three years later, voters are set to decide on the proposal in November.David L. Ryan/Globe Staff

Raise Up Massachusetts, the coalition behind the “Fair Share Amendment” that would raise taxes on the portion of a person’s annual income above $1 million, rolled out the first television advertisement in a multimillion-dollar campaign encouraging residents to support the proposed tax change.

The amendment, nicknamed the “millionaires tax,” could raise approximately $2 billion in additional tax revenue each year, according to the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center. That number has been contested in previous reports, with estimates from the Center for State Policy Analysis at Tufts University sitting around $1.3 billion.

The advertisement, titled ‘Win-Win,’ began running locally across broadcast and cable channels on Tuesday night, and doubles down on the $2 billion estimate.


“In Massachusetts, working people pay a higher share of taxes than the wealthiest 1 percent – it’s true, they pay less, and we pay more,” the ad states. “And Question 1 raises $2 billion a year that the Constitution dedicates to public schools, colleges, and roads and bridges.”

Critics of the tax change have questioned whether the money will actually be used for the stated purposes of education and transportation. Those concerns may fuel opposing marketing campaigns pushing voters to say ‘no’ come November.

If the proposal is passed, the state’s 5 percent income tax would bump up to 9 percent for all income made over $1 million. Thus, someone earning $1.2 million would pay the flat 5 percent rate on the first $1 million, and 9 percent on the remaining $200,000.

A poll taken in July of 569 registered voters showed that 56 percent support the surcharge, while 36 percent are opposed, and another 8 percent remain undecided. (The poll has a 4 percentage point margin of error.)

With the vote taking place in November, advertising campaigns both in support and opposition of the proposed surcharge are expected to ramp up in the coming weeks.


Collin Robisheaux can be reached at collin.robisheaux@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @ColRobisheaux.