Mass. residents vote ‘yes’ on ballot questions 1 and 4

For many voters Western Mass News caught up with on Tuesday night, the ballot questions are what they felt most passionate about, rather than the races themselv
Published: Nov. 9, 2022 at 6:37 PM EST
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SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB/WSHM) - Some of the most anticipated results from Tuesday night’s election are the four ballot questions, and some of them were even too close to call.

The results of questions one and four took until Wednesday to finalize. We took a deeper look at how the final results of those questions will play out in the next couple years.

For many voters Western Mass News caught up with on Tuesday night, the ballot questions are what they felt most passionate about, rather than the races themselves.

There were four questions on this year’s midterm election ballot.

The people voted yes on question 1, dubbed as the millionaire’s tax.

On question 2, regarding dental insurance companies taking on more patient costs, people also voted yes.

Bay State residents voted down question 3, which would have allowed more retail alcohol licenses.

Finally, on question 4, which was about whether or not to give driver’s licenses to unauthorized immigrants, the people voted yes.

Two of those questions, the first and fourth, were too close to call Tuesday night, and the results were not announced until midday Wednesday. They are also considered the more controversial questions on the ballot.

We took our questions about ballot question 1 to Maria Toyoda, a political science professor at Western New England University. She told us that the question applies to state income tax and that the state constitution will be amended to impose an additional 4% tax on income over $1 million.

However, that does not just affect millionaires.

“With the way that property values are here in Massachusetts, if you sold your home and have a net gain over a million dollars, you could be subject to that tax,” Professor Toyoda told us.

Those in favor want to see upgrades to the Bay State’s infrastructure and schools since that is where state leaders said the money will go.

The Massachusetts Teachers Association released a statement, which reads, quote:

“Students, families, public schools, and public colleges in Massachusetts won an unprecedented victory today with the passage of the Fair Share Amendment. Public education and transportation in the Commonwealth will receive billions of vital dollars in additional annual funding, allowing for investments that will benefit every resident of the state.”

However, Professor Toyoda said that those in opposition of this amendment are wondering why the state needs to increase taxes when they had so much revenue this year.

“Questions people have about the surcharge tax is why now, why are we doing this, when we just had a major surplus in taxes and people are getting refunds,” she said.

Some people are also worried that this increased income tax will force business owners out of the state.

For question 4, a law was passed this year by legislators, allowing unauthorized immigrants to obtain driver’s licenses in the state.

Governor Charlie Baker vetoed the bill, but voters were given a chance to weigh in, and the majority decided to support it by voting yes to question 4.

State Representative Tricia Farley-Bouvier was in favor of this law because she said it will lead to safer roads.

“We know that people are driving whether they have licenses or not, so what we’re going to do is take a great majority of those and give them the ability to get a driver’s license,” she explained.

That law will not go into effect until July 1, 2023.