Support the Millionaire Tax: No Ifs, Ands, or Bakers
Dear Governor Baker,
I am writing you this letter to urge you to support the “Millionaire Tax” that was recently passed by the state legislature. By supporting this tax, you would show the people of Massachusetts that you are committed to ending income inequality in our state, and that you believe that the wealthiest among us should pay their fair share. I believe this tax should be enacted for two main reasons: one, to lessen income inequality, and two, to secure more money for education and transportation.
When Mayor Setti Warren of Newton declared his run for governor, he said economic inequality is "the defining issue of our generation." I am inclined to believe him. According to Reuters, over the last 20 years, Massachusetts has had the second largest increase in income inequality in America. Massachusetts has also ranked consistently in the top eight of states with the highest income inequality. This disparity is unacceptable. I know you are against raising taxes on “the hard-working people” of Massachusetts, but let’s be honest: The people that need protection are not the millionaires, but those who struggle to put food on the table or get a good education. You could be a driving force in creating an example for other states across the country. This tax would help the disenfranchised, and begin to level the playing field in a system that’s currently rigged against the working class.
Those proposing this tax have made a promise that the revenue will go toward transportation and education, and thus supporting the tax also means supporting these two critical pieces of our infrastructure and society. It is estimated that the tax will bring in 1.2-2 billion dollars for Massachusetts, which could go toward significant improvements in both areas. I know you are devoted to fixing public transportation, and that you are also aware of the money shortages public transit is facing. This tax would help alleviate the enormous operating costs of public transit, and also create a way forward for innovative projects that would improve the public transportation system.
You have also always shown an interest in education. With this added revenue, we could potentially make public Massachusetts universities and colleges free for all residents, something which would further diminish income inequality. We need more education opportunities for those who can’t afford college, and the millionaire tax is a good place to start. This is particularly important to me as a student who will soon be applying to college. When talking with my friends, the number one concern is not if they will get into college but if they will be able to pay for it without accruing lots of debt. When people in my generation look to the future, all we see is debt. Imagine the potential that could be harnessed if all those who cannot afford higher education were able to take part.
Governor Baker, 70% of Massachusetts residents favor this tax, so I hope you will keep this in mind as you consider your stance, and as the 2018 gubernatorial election approaches. I am confident that the benefits to this tax will soon become clear to you. It is time to make a deep commitment to education and transportation across the state. I look forward to your response and support.
This piece was written as part of JWA’s Rising Voices Fellowship.
How to cite this page
Ronkin, Katy. "Support the Millionaire Tax: No Ifs, Ands, or Bakers." 28 June 2017. Jewish Women's Archive. (Viewed on May 19, 2019) <https://jwa.org/blog/risingvoices/support-millionaire-tax-no-ifs-ands-or-bakers>.