Massachusetts passed a 4% tax on people who make more than $1 million per year.
Revenue from the new income tax is being used to give kids in the state free lunch and breakfast at school.
Massachusetts is the eighth state to start free lunches since a pandemic-era federal program expired.
Massachusetts voters passed a constitutional amendment that went into effect at the beginning of 2023 to put an additional 4% state income tax on people who make more than $1 million per year.
Appropriation of the proceeds from the tax is subject to the state legislature, but lawmakers are expected to use it for public education and infrastructure repairs, according to local Boston television station WCVB.
State House News Service, an independently owned news wire, reported that $1 billion of the state’s record $56.2 billion fiscal budget for 2024 came from the state’s new 4% tax on millionaires. Massachusetts Gov. Maura Healey signed the budget on Wednesday, making Massachusetts the eighth state to adopt a free school lunch plan since federal free school lunches which started during the COVID-19 pandemic ended.
The outlet reported that a portion of the $1 billion gathered from the new income tax will be used to provide all public school students in Massachusetts with free breakfast and lunch. Some of the money will also be allocated to help undocumented immigrants who went to high school in Massachusetts qualify for lower in-state tuition rates, according to SHNS.
According to WCVB, state lawmakers agreed to put $523 million of revenue from the new tax toward education and put $477 million aside for transportation.
In February, President Joe Biden urged lawmakers to pass his billionaires’ tax proposal, which would impose a minimum 20% tax on households with a net worth of more than $100 million.
Jared Bernstein, a member of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, said the proposal would target “big corporations and the wealthiest Americans,” while protecting people who make less than $400,000 per year from increased taxes, according to CNBC.
Biden also signed the Inflation Reduction Act into law in February, which includes a 15% minimum tax on corporations earning more than $1 billion.
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