A Ref­er­en­dum: A Maine ini­tia­tive to tax the rich is one of sev­eral pro­posed across the coun­try

§15697 Fund to Ad­vance Pub­lic Kinder­garten to Grade 12 Ed­u­ca­tion

Bloomberg Businessweek (North America) - - Contents - By James Nash

The essen­tials

1. In Novem­ber vot­ers in Maine will say yes or no to a bal­lot propo­si­tion that im­poses a state tax of 3 per­cent on in­come in ex­cess of $200,000 to be used to pay for staff and ser­vices in pub­lic K-12 schools. The mea­sure, pro­posed by the head of a pub­lic pol­icy think tank, is among sev­eral around the U.S. that would raise taxes on the wealthy. Back­ers say their goal is to fill bud­get holes that have re­sulted from the slug­gish econ­omy and cut­backs in aid from Washington.

2. Colorado ac­tivists are gath­er­ing sig­na­tures to put a 0.5 per­cent­age point tax hike on in­comes greater than $405,000 be­fore vot­ers. The Los An­ge­les County Board of Su­per­vi­sors has asked the state leg­is­la­ture for per­mis­sion to hold a ref­er­en­dum on adding a levy of 0.5 per­cent on in­come in ex­cess of $1 mil­lion to pay for ser­vices for the home­less. Mas­sachusetts ac­tivists will try to qual­ify a pro­posal to raise state taxes on in­come above $1 mil­lion by 4 per­cent­age points, to 9 per­cent.

3. An­ti­tax groups ar­gue that such mea­sures would drive away the wealthy, but a 2014 Stan­ford study found that higher taxes rarely cause peo­ple to move. Mor­ris Pearl, the for­mer Black­rock man­ag­ing di­rec­tor who now chairs the pro- tax group Pa­tri­otic Mil­lion­aires, says it’s no sur­prise states are tak­ing steps to hike taxes in re­sponse to pop­u­lar angst about in­come in­equal­ity: “Peo­ple are re­al­iz­ing that the wealthy are tak­ing ad­van­tage of the sys­tem.”

Vi­tal sta­tis­tics

Pro­po­nent Gar­rett Martin Ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor, Maine Cen­ter for Eco­nomic Pol­icy

Sec­tion 1. 20-A MRSA §15697 pp. 1-2

1. Fund es­tab­lished

2. Rev­enue; 30-day re­view be­fore chang­ing use of fund

3. Use of fund to sup­ple­ment and not sup­plant Gen­eral Fund ap­pro­pri­a­tions; di­rect sup­port for stu­dent learn­ing

4. Re­port 5. Rule of con­struc­tion

Sec­tion 2. 36 MRSA §5111, sub-§6 pp. 2-3

6. In­come tax sur­charge to ad­vance pub­lic kinder­garten to grade 12 ed­u­ca­tion In­cludes li­brar­i­ans, spe­cial ed teach­ers, and health staff

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