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Ongoing debate over Mass. tax relief

A reflection of doors opening to the Senate chamber at the State House in Boston.Carlin Stiehl for The Boston Globe

Cries to keep the state competitive overlook data on just who’s leaving

It’s frustrating that the Globe echoes the mantra that Massachusetts needs to keep people from leaving the state by reducing taxes and that it focuses on the alleged loss of high-income people in making its argument (“Reading the tax-relief tea leaves,” Editorial, May 19).

Census microdata, reported in The New York Times, show that the Boston area is unique among large metropolitan areas. The others are losing college graduates. Here, net in-migration of college graduates is rising rapidly while we are losing those without degrees.

Census data, reported by the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, show that Massachusetts has a lower out-migration of high-income people than 40 other states, including New Hampshire and other states with no income tax at all.


A study reported by Boston Business Journal shows that the number of millionaires in Boston has risen 50 percent in the last decade.

Our housing crisis is largely because we have gained so much population. Competition for housing has driven up housing prices. That’s one of the main reasons cited for the loss of low-income essential workers, as multiple Globe articles have reported.

Senator Pat Jehlen


The writer, a Democrat, represents the Second Middlesex District.

Estate tax is pushing people away

I’m a fiscal conservative, and it is very rare that I agree with a Globe position, but I strongly agree with the May 19 editorial on tax relief. Residents are fleeing the state, and the Senate takes its sweet time doing nothing because it can do that in an essentially one-party state.

Estate taxes make the state noncompetitive with 38 other states that do not have this tax, and they should be eliminated or at least the exemption should be raised to a much higher level. The Legislature needs to take action now to try to stem the population loss.


Harry Johnston