BOSTON (AP) — Two of the most closely watched contests for voters to decide in Massachusetts are electoral issues — one that would create a tax for millionaires and another that would repeal a law allowing those in the country allowed to illegally obtain a state driver’s license.
Election question #1 would add an amendment to the state constitution mandating a 4% surtax on that portion of an individual’s annual income that exceeds $1 million.
Those earning up to $1 million but not exceeding that amount would not pay new taxes.
Proponents – including labor unions, community organizations and religious groups – have argued that the new tax would generate about $2 billion in annual revenue that could be used for education and transportation.
Opponents, including business associations, warned against it The measure could end up costing jobs and expel some of the state’s wealthiest citizens.
The state’s constitution currently requires that all income be taxed uniformly. The $1 million threshold would be adjusted each year to reflect increases in the cost of living.
A second question – number 4 on the ballot – would Repeal of a new law allowing immigrants in the country to illegally obtain state driver’s licenses.
The measure became law after the Democrat-controlled Massachusetts House and Senate overruled a veto by Republican Gov. Charlie Baker in June.
Under the new law, people illegally staying in the country can apply for a driver’s license if they can present a foreign passport or consular identity document to the Motor Vehicle Registry.
You must also provide one of five additional documents: a driver’s license from another US state or territory; a birth certificate; a residence permit; a foreign driving license; or a U.S. state or territory marriage certificate or divorce decree.
The new law is scheduled to come into force on July 1, 2023.
The law was a win for immigration rights groups, which had long pushed for the measure, describing it as a public safety measure. They said those seeking licenses must show they can operate a car properly and are less likely to flee after an accident.
Critics, including Republican Gov. Charlie Baker and GOP gubernatorial candidate Geoff Diehl, said the law could make it easier for those illegally resident in the country to vote. Proponents say the law prohibits illegal immigrants from being automatically registered to vote.
Sixteen other states and the District of Columbia have similar laws.
There are two more questions on the ballot.
Question #2, if adopted, would regulate dental insurance rates, including requiring companies to spend at least 83% of premiums on members’ dental expenses and quality improvements rather than administrative expenses, and make other changes to dental insurance rules.
Question #3, if approved, would increase the number of licenses a retailer could have for the sale of alcoholic beverages for out-of-home consumption, the number of “purely alcoholic beverages” licenses a retailer would acquire could limit and restrict self-consumption-checkout, and require retailers to accept customer ID cards from out-of-state customers.
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