Politics

How did each Mass. town vote on the ‘millionaires tax’ ballot question?

Massachusetts voters narrowly approved an additional tax on high earners. Explore the town-by-town data here.

Proponents of Question 1 secured a narrow victory this week. John Tlumacki/Boston Globe

Massachusetts voters narrowly approved Question 1 on Tuesday’s ballot, paving the way for the state to enact the “millionaire’s tax” at the heart of a heated campaign. 

Now, the state’s constitution will be amended to add 4 percentage points to the state’s income tax for annual earnings over $1 million. Revenue from the tax will be used to fund public education and for the upkeep of roads, bridges, and public transportation. 

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The race was called Wednesday afternoon by the Associated Press. About 1.2 million people, or 52% of those that voted favored the measure. About 1.1 million people voted against the tax, amounting to 48% of those that cast a vote. 

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Opponents of the amendment argued that the tax would negatively impact the nest eggs of retirees, homeowners, and small businesses. In turn, they argued, the state would become less economically competitive. 

Proponents of the tax, fueled in large part by the fundraising of teachers unions, said that the state’s current tax system lets very wealthy people pay a smaller portion of their income in taxes compared to low and middle-income residents.  

Although the vote was close overall, certain geographic areas slanted significantly one way or the other. A look at town-by-town data gives insight into which Massachusetts communities generally favor increasing taxes on higher earners. 

Boston and towns inside Route 128 voted, in large part, in favor of the tax. The outer Cape and large swaths of Western Massachusetts, to the north and west of Springfield, were other general areas that supported the amendment. 

Most of southeastern Massachusetts, from Bridgewater down through Plymouth and the lower Cape tended to vote against the tax. Much of central Massachusetts and the northeastern part of the state voted “no” as well. 

Residents of major cities supported the measure. In Boston, 65% of those that went to the polls cast a “yes” vote. Worcester and Springfield also saw large portions of support for the tax, with “yes” votes accounting for 59% and 60% of the total votes cast in each city, respectively. 

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While much of MetroWest went in favor of the tax, some affluent suburbs near Boston swung the other way. Weston and Wellesley both had more than 60% of votes cast come down on the “no” side. This trend extended statewide, as wealthier communities generally favored striking down the measure compared to their neighbors with lower median household incomes. 

Explore this data further in the interactive map below.

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