Changes would alter law passed by statewide referendum
BOSTON – A strong majority of registered Massachusetts voters oppose a plan recently announced by state legislative leaders that would change the way tax rebates are distributed in Massachusetts under a state law approved by voters in 1986, according to a new poll sponsored by Pioneer Institute and the Massachusetts High Technology Council.
State law requires the Commonwealth to issue rebates for taxes collected in excess of a defined limit. Currently, if tax receipts exceed the limit, each taxpayer receives a refund proportional to the taxes they paid. The new plan would give all taxpayers an equal refund. The law has been triggered twice, most recently in 2022, when state taxpayers received refunds totaling around $3 billion.
“This change would undermine the purpose of the law, which was to cap all taxpayers’ liability,” said Pioneer Senior Fellow for Economic Opportunity Eileen McAnneny. “And the proposed change would be most disadvantageous to the most mobile Massachusetts taxpayers, many of whom are already leaving the state.”
The poll finds that 62 percent support maintaining the current law, 26 percent support the new plan, and 12 percent are undecided. Every demographic subgroup except Democrats opposes the plan. Seventy percent of unenrolled voters support maintaining the current law. Among Democrats, 35 percent support maintaining the current law, while 45 percent support the changes proposed by State House leaders; 20 percent are undecided.
If the measure becomes law, just over half (50.3 percent) of respondents support a repeal referendum, while 38 percent either support the proposed changes or oppose a referendum. Twelve percent are undecided. The poll of 405 registered Massachusetts voters was conducted by Opinion Diagnostics on September 27.
Respondents were contacted via outbound SMS messages containing a link to an online survey. The survey’s margin of error is +/- 4.7 percent with a 95 percent confidence interval. Topline results and cross-tabulations can be found here.