Don’t let Robert Kraft join exodus out of Massachusetts



One of the first things Gov. Maura Healey should do is get Robert Kraft to stay in Massachusetts and not join the exodus out of the state.

This is especially urgent in the wake of the passage of the so-called “millionaire’s tax” that raises from 4% to 9% of the tax on income of over $1 million. The optics would be bad for the new administration. The reality is bad for Kraft.

This is not to say that Kraft will join the 46,000 Massachusetts residents who fled the high-tax state in 2021, with more leaving in 2022.

But the question arises since the billionaire owner of the New England Patriots, who recently remarried, just bought an eye-popping $23.7 million penthouse in Palm Beach, a purchase which set a record for the priciest condo ever sold in the South Florida town.

The four-bedroom, 6,376-square-foot condo has floor-to-ceiling windows, and a pool, a cabana, library and a 1,300-square-foot terrace. The condo sits directly on the beach.

Kraft, 81, a widower, married Dr. Dana Blumberg, 47, in October, raising speculation that Kraft could be joining thousands of other Americans who have moved from high-tax states like Massachusetts to Florida.

Unlike Massachusetts, Florida has no state income tax, no inheritance and generous exemptions for new homebuyers. To qualify as a resident, a new Floridian must live in the state for six months and a day.

As it stands now, a billionaire like Kraft must be one of the highest taxpayers in the state. He will be hit even harder under the new tax increase which was approved as a ballot question in the last election.

Despite the state being awash in money, voters bought into the phony “Fair Share Amendment” argument that income from the new tax would go toward education and infrastructure.

The reality is that the new tax revenue will go wherever the Democrat-controlled Legislature and new Gov. Mura Healey want it to go, and that means that it usually goes to paying for pet projects or pay raises for legislators.

Consider the absurdity of tax policy in Massachusetts. The so-called millionaire tax is estimated to raise $1.3 billion. That is before it will inevitably be scaled down to cover those making far less.

This windfall for the state comes when former Gov. Charlie Baker, in a rare development, returned $3 billion to overtaxed taxpayers. He also left the state with a $5 billion budget surplus and beefed up the rainy-day fund by $7 billion.

The state has so much money it doesn’t know what to do with it, and now, thanks to the millionaire’s tax, it will get even more.

No wonder people are leaving for Florida, and the only new arrivals are the illegal immigrants being bused or flown up from Florida and Texas.

There is a sliver of hope for some, though, regarding the new millionaire’s tax.

Veteran Secretary of State Bill Galvin, the only state-wide constitutional officer with any memory, has proposed a carve-out of the new tax for elderly homeowners selling their homes.

These are people who bought their home 20 years ago and upon retirement find that it is now worth $1 million. They technically may have $1 million one-time upon sale of the home, but they are not millionaires who earn that much each year.

Asked if she would support such a carve-out for the elderly by a Herald reporter, Healy, in her typical platitudinal non-response to questions, said “Whatever lands on my desk I’ll certainly take a close look at it.”

The new governor should also look at why people leaving the state and figure out that the high cost of living in Taxachusetts has something to do with it.

Healey ought to carve out some time to talk to Kraft and make sure he stays.  Massachusetts needs people like Kraft, a man who has probably done more to lift the spirits of the people of Massachusetts than the last handful of governors.

It seems that the only happy times around here come when the Patriots win the Super Bowl. And it won’t be this year.

Peter Lucas is a veteran Massachusetts political reporter and columnist.



Source link

Denial of responsibility! Planetcirculate is an automatic aggregator around the global media. All the content are available free on Internet. We have just arranged it in one platform for educational purpose only. In each content, the hyperlink to the primary source is specified. All trademarks belong to their rightful owners, all materials to their authors. If you are the owner of the content and do not want us to publish your materials on our website, please contact us by email – [email protected]. The content will be deleted within 24 hours.