Why Investing in Transportation and Public Education Matters
The best way to help working families and build a stronger economy for us all is to make sure that we have quality public schools for our children, affordable public higher education, and a transportation system that allows people get to school or work, lets customers get to businesses, and helps everyone fulfill their daily tasks. Without investment in these common goals, working families fall behind and our communities suffer. New revenue is necessary to rebuild crumbling roads, bridges, and paths, improve our public schools, invest in fast and reliable public transportation, make public higher education affordable, expand opportunities for healthy walking and bicycling, and give every child access to high-quality early childhood education and preschool programs.
If Massachusetts is serious about helping working families and building a stronger economy, we must invest in quality public schools, affordable higher education, and a reliable transportation system.
What the Fair Share Amendment Would Do
The Fair Share Amendment would amend the Massachusetts Constitution to create an additional tax of four percentage points on annual income above one million dollars, so only those with the highest incomes would pay a little more. The new revenue generated by this tax could only be spent on quality public education, affordable public colleges and universities, and for repair and maintenance of roads, bridges, and public transportation.
To ensure that the tax continues to apply only to the highest income residents, who have the ability to pay more, the one million dollar threshold would be adjusted each year to reflect cost-of-living increases.
What the Fair Share Amendment Means for
Massachusetts Quality Public Schools: Students need a well-rounded education, founded on a rich and varied curriculum that includes science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), music, art, and athletics. We need to re-invest in these programs now to give all of our students access to a complete education.
Affordable Public College: Our tuitions and fees are among the highest in the country, and students are forced to take on enormous debt to receive a degree. Compared to other states, Massachusetts ranks 45th in state spending on higher education as a share of our economy. We need to reinvest in public higher education, to make it affordable for middle and working class students in our state.
Improved Transportation Infrastructure: Right now, our transportation network is stuck in the last century. For Massachusetts to compete against other regions around the nation and the globe, we need to invest in modern, reliable transportation: safer roads and bridges, public transportation that riders can count on, and safe ways to walk and bike around town. We have a large backlog of neglected bridges, tunnels, roads, paths, and public transportation infrastructure in need of repair. 446 bridges in Massachusetts are structurally deficient, meaning they have major deterioration, cracks, or other flaws that reduce [the] ability to support vehicles, and an estimated $14.4 billion of bridge repairs are needed. If we don’t provide the funding soon to deal with these problems they will only get more dangerous and more expensive to solve in the future.
Early Education and Preschool: Our children need high-quality early childhood education and preschool programs to develop early literacy and math skills, build a foundation for STEM learning, and develop social-emotional skills that help them succeed in school and in life. Investing in high-quality early childhood education and preschool programs is critical to creating greater educational attainment for our children and supporting the future economic growth of Massachusetts.
Our Plan to Win
In 2015, we collected more than 157,000 signatures from Massachusetts voters to qualify the Fair Share Amendment for the 2018 ballot. In 2016 and 2017, we won two votes by the full state Legislature needed to place the Fair Share Amendment on the November 2018 ballot. To win at the ballot next year, the campaign is building a broad coalition that brings together leading transportation and education organizations with business leaders and community, labor and faith organizations, along with local leaders and activists who understand the need to invest in our schools and transportation infrastructure.
Click below to join the campaign to pass the Fair Share Amendment, or share your story to help us persuade the public to support the Fair Share Amendment.
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