To the editor: This November, we will have the opportunity to vote on the Fair Share Amendment.
If passed, this constitutional amendment will provide a new and much needed source of funding for education and infrastructure in Massachusetts. This revenue will come from a new tax of 4 percent on earned income over $1 million. While this levy will affect only the top 1 percent of our residents, it will positively impact all of us by generating $2 billion yearly to strengthen the entire education system and provide funds for needed infrastructure projects.
Education in Massachusetts is currently a study in contrasts. Some districts can provide incredible opportunities for their students while others struggle to fund even basic services. The funds the FSA would secure can begin to address these inequities. Massachusetts educators and families can revitalize and reimagine their schools to better prepare all students for the future. In public higher education, this extra revenue can begin to address years of underfunding the system. For the first time in a generation, students of all income levels could attend college debt-free. Throughout the whole of the educational system, staffing issues can be addressed so that all learners have access to teachers, support staff, student services personnel and ancillary providers to meet their diverse needs. Our future workforce depends upon everyone receiving a quality education.
The FSA will also provide funds for building and maintaining the infrastructure, including public transportation. Massachusetts roads and bridges have been neglected for far too long. Projects are backlogged, and communities endure delays to obtain funding. Imagine what it would be like to see a bridge repaired within a year rather than several years. Transit authorities struggle to procure and service buses and trains that will provide environmentally sustainable transportation. The additional money that the FSA will provide can mitigate some of these issues as well.
The FSA will deliver needed funds for pre-K through higher education. It will also allow our commonwealth to tend to long neglected infrastructure problems. Its provision will not raise taxes at all for most of us. Yes, it will require those with income above $1 million to pay an additional four cents for each dollar above that lofty level. Those pennies will change lives in Massachusetts; please join us in voting for the Fair Share Amendment.
Liz Recko-Morrison and Brian P. Morrison, Pittsfield