Massachusetts voters wrote Question 1 into law on Tuesday when they voted ‘yes’ on the hotly contested ballot measure — which will set a new, higher tax on all income over $1 million, with the proceeds designated to education and transportation. The measure won with 52 percent of the vote, a margin of just over 90,000 votes.
But the voting varied widely among Massachusetts’ 351 cities and towns.
Some communities, like Boston, were solidly for the amendment, with 64.7 percent of votes cast in favor (Somerville and Cambridge voted “yes” by even bigger margins, with more than 70 percent of voters backing the measure). Western Massachusetts also overwhelmingly voted in support, with a whopping 82 percent voting “yes” in the progressive Northampton. The below graph shows how strongly each town voted either for or against the measure.
It was the Boston suburbs (communities such as like Stoneham, Wakefield, and Woburn), as well as the South Shore and the southeastern and central parts of Massachusetts that voted more toward the opposition, which would have retained the state’s current 5 percent flat income tax rate.
Household income was often, though not always, a strong predictor of how a Massachusetts town voted on Question 1. For example, in Dover, the state’s wealthiest town, with a median household income of more than $250,000, 70 percent of residents voted to strike down the amendment. In Wendell, a small town in the western part of the state, more than 80 percent of votes cast were in the affirmative.
The below graph shows the share of each town’s votes that opposed Question 1, as well as each town’s median household income. Green dots represent a town where the majority of votes were in favor of the tax, and red dots represent a town where the majority of votes were against the tax.
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