Massachusetts voters support a 4 percent income surtax on household income above $1 million, an idea that could be on the 2022 ballot, but oppose increases in the state income, sales or gas taxes, according to new poll results.
The income surtax, a constitutional amendment that requires a second favorable vote from the Legislature this session to reach the ballot, was favored in the MassINC poll of registered voters by 72 percent of respondents and opposed by 20 percent, with 7 percent unsure.
Raising the 5 percent income tax was opposed by 71 percent of respondents. Seventy-two percent of the poll's more than 1,500 respondents opposed the idea of increasing the 6.25 percent sales tax. Raising the gas tax was opposed by 66 percent, with 28 percent in favor.
The poll shows voters are more divided over the idea of giving cities and regions of the state more power to raise their own taxes, a measure that House and Senate Democrats last week dropped from a transportation bill. Thirty percent of respondents support the idea with 53 percent opposed and 17 percent unsure.
Cutting business tax credits and incentives also drew a more mixed response: 46 percent favored the idea, with 40 percent against. While 55 percent of respondents said they believed state and local taxes in Massachusetts are higher than in most other states, a solid majority agreed with the importance of seven major spending areas listed in the poll, and 58 percent supported making public buses free to all riders by eliminating fares.
The survey results arrive ahead of budget season on Beacon Hill, a time when the appetite for spending always exceeds the interest in coming up with the revenues requisite to support myriad investment possibilities.
The poll was conducted between Dec. 8 and Dec. 20, and sponsored by The Boston Foundation, The Hyams Foundation, King Boston, Amplify Latinx, BECMA, the Mass Budget and Policy Center, The Bridgewater State University Foundation, the Massachusetts Municipal Association, and individual contributors.