To the Editor:
As a homeowner and longtime Massachusetts resident, I’ve chosen to make this state my home. I’ve planned my life, finances, and retirement around my home as a key asset. If passed, Question 1 would severely affect the prospects of homeowners like me. I am urging my neighbors to research the facts and vote NO on Question 1 this fall.
People like myself and my friends and family who may want to sell their homes—especially those who may have bought their property many years ago and seen them appreciate significantly in value—will see their nest eggs severely affected by this tax hike. These one-time sales will be treated as if the individuals selling their homes are long-term millionaires, when in actuality, it would be the largest financial decision they will make in their lives. This tax will affect so much more than just our state’s highest earners. This amendment would threaten the financial future of many Massachusetts residents who have looked forward to retiring and continuing their life in the state.
Massachusetts is the only state in the country pursuing a tax increase this year, while politicians enjoy a current $10 billion+ budget surplus. I am sure the passage of Question 1 will detrimentally impact thousands of longtime residents and small-business owners in Massachusetts for years to come, given the permanent nature of a constitutional amendment which would require another ballot initiative to overturn.
Question 1 is about changing from a “flat tax” to graduated income tax brackets just like our federal taxes. If passed the Massachusetts House and Senate by simple majority vote can change the tax brackets without voter approval. This is not about taxing people who make $1 million annually, it’s really about a massive structural change to our income tax rate. That is why it took two Constitutional Conventions to get this question on the ballot.
Homeowners and Massachusetts residents around the state should educate themselves on the facts of this issue—I hope you’ll join me in voting No on Question 1.
Dennis Di Schino
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