Statement on Boston Celtics Loss of Grant Williams Due to Income Surtax

Following news that Grant William’s decision to leave the Boston Celtics was influenced by the Millionaire’s Tax, the Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance made the following statement calling on legislative leaders to strengthen the proposed tax reform bill to help the Commonwealth regain some semblance of economic competitiveness.

“Surtax proponents specifically told us things like this wouldn’t happen. That was clearly a lie. However you feel about Grant Williams, the Boston Celtics, or Boston sports in general, it would be hard to argue that the successes of our local teams don’t have a huge impact on our state economy. Grant Williams just gave us a concrete example of how our state’s new tax code is making it more difficult to compete in Massachusetts,” said Paul D. Craney, a spokesman for the Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance.

As reported by, Williams rejected an offer of $48 million from the Celtics last year and accepted a $54 million deal with the Dallas Mavericks this year. When talking about the increased purchasing power of his higher salary in Dallas, Williams is quoted as stating, “In Boston, it’s really like $48 million with the millionaire’s tax, so $54 million in Dallas is really like $58 million in Boston and $63 million in L.A.”

“There are people at companies making decisions like this every day. There are small business owners and retirees doing the math out and coming to similar conclusions. We already have the numbers on outmigration, and we’ve seen hundreds of thousands of people leave in the past few years. We still haven’t made up the ground we lost with the massive revenue cliff we hit in April. Massachusetts cannot afford to continue to be hostile to success,” noted Craney.

“If legislative leaders are serious about trying to help the Commonwealth regain economic competitiveness, they need to take a good look at the tax reform bill and make some bold decisions. The capital gains tax reduction needs to be fully included. They need to protect 62F as it was passed by the voters and is currently written. They need to remove the Senate’s ill-conceived plan to enact a marriage penalty. Most importantly, they need to get rid of the archaic estate tax entirely. The only thing that is going to save us is bold action and sending a clear message to people that Massachusetts is not hostile to success, is serious about remaining competitive, and is a place where people can afford to retire,” finished Craney.

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