To the editor:
I am deeply concerned about the portions of Gov. Maura Healey’s budget that propose to reduce taxes on the very wealthy. This proposal, which was quickly approved by the House in a vote of 170-3, undermines the Fair Share Amendment passed by voters in November 2022.
If Healey’s budget is passed, most notably the estate tax and short-term capital gains tax, it will deprive us of an essential opportunity to affirm the Commonwealth as a state committed to fairness and equity for all. It will deprive us of the opportunity to invest in education, public transportation, affordable housing, and social services. It will deprive us of an opportunity to fundamentally address the issue of economic inequality. This issue is a direct contributor to the out-migration from Massachusetts of working people, unable to afford our ever-increasing cost of housing.
The Fair Share ballot question, which was approved by a majority of voters, was a crucial step towards addressing the inequality and lack of investment in public services that have contributed to the out-migration of working families from the state. The ballot question sought to increase taxes on the wealthiest individuals and corporations in the state to fund critical investments in education, transportation, and other essential services. However, the proposed tax cuts for the wealthy directly contradict the will of the people.
I have been fortunate to live in Marblehead for 39 years and raise my daughters here. Currently, Marblehead, one of the wealthier towns in the Commonwealth, is struggling with a $2.5 million override in order to fund its schools and other town services. I can only imagine the loss of fundamental services that will occur in towns where real scarcity is a daily fact of life. We need to acknowledge a greater good for all.
In conclusion, as the budget moves to the state Senate, I call upon our senators to reject Healey’s proposed tax cuts for the wealthy and instead to prioritize investment in critical services that benefit all of our residents. Let us work together to build a more equitable and thriving Massachusetts for all.
Cathy Marie Michael