(BOSTON)—Likely voters aren’t inclined to reelect legislators who voted “yes” on the 40 percent pay increase passed earlier this year. They’re not buying arguments put forth by legislative leaders about the crucial need for a graduated income tax, either.
A poll conducted this week by nationally-recognized data specialist Advantage, Inc. revealed deep distrust amongst the electorate toward the legislature.
An overwhelming majority, 65 percent, said they would be less likely to support a legislator who voted in favor of the graduated income tax. An even larger majority, 76 percent, would be less likely to reelect one who voted to raise their own pay.
Also of note: 60 percent of those surveyed had little confidence that the legislature would spend money raised by the proposed tax hike on transportation and education, as proponents have promised. That skepticism remains strong amongst voters of every party affiliation and political ideology. Among Democrats (51%), Independents (66%), and self-identified progressives (47%) are either not very or not at all confident that, if the constitutional amendment passes, the money will go to the stated causes by the proponents.
"Massachusetts voters are smart and have a good memory. They have rejected the graduated income tax scheme five times and know if Beacon Hill has more money, they’ll just spend it. Likely voters think that a 80 percent income tax hike will be used for spending perks like a 40 percent legislative pay raise,” Paul Craney, a member of the Board of Directors at the Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance, said. “The pay raise may have been great for lawmakers but horrible for advocates for the tax increase.”
Take a look at the top line here.