Greenfield rally part of statewide campaign for Fair Share Amendment

  • Greenfield resident Doug Selwyn speaks on the Greenfield Common during a rally organized by Franklin County Continuing the Political Revolution (FCCPR) in July 2020. On Saturday, FCCPR will hold a rally on the common in support of the Fair Share Amendment. STAFF FILE PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

Staff Writer
Published: 6/8/2021 4:46:42 PM

GREENFIELD — Community members will join others across the state at noon Saturday in launching a local campaign to pass what supporters are calling the “Fair Share Amendment.”

The Fair Share Amendment is a proposal to amend the state constitution to create an additional 4 percent tax on the portion of a person’s annual income that exceeds $1 million, according to a press release from Raise Up Massachusetts, a coalition of labor unions, community organizations and religious groups that is organizing the statewide effort. The new revenue generated from the tax is estimated to amount to roughly $2 billion per year, and would be spent on “quality public education” and the “repair and maintenance of roads, bridges and public transportation.”

Locally, Franklin County Continuing the Political Revolution (FCCPR) is hosting a rally at noon on Saturday at the Greenfield Common, according to FCCPR member and Greenfield resident Doug Selwyn.

“It’s really to let people know we’re launching this next push to work toward the amendment in 2022,” Selwyn said. “That’s going to take all of us to do it — all elements of our community coming together.”

To reach the November 2022 ballot, the proposed amendment requires two approvals by lawmakers in the current two-year session, the first of which it received in 2019, according to the Associated Press. The Legislature expects to hold a joint session on Wednesday, June 9, for its second vote.

According to the AP, the business-backed Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation has urged lawmakers to delay its vote until 2022, allowing them more time to consider the potential impacts of the proposed amendment.

Selwyn, however, said the amendment is especially important to those in Franklin County, where public education is in need of funding, and public transportation is scarce, particularly the hilltowns.

“We’re looking for that money to support things we need,” Selwyn said.

That money, he said, can come from those who can “easily afford” to pay for it — those who “haven’t been paying their fair share.”

“This is an attempt to say that part of how you’ve earned your money, or gathered your money, is on the backs of the rest of us,” Selwyn said. “It’s time for you to be paying your fair share, so we can better serve all of us through transportation … and through having public education that can better meet the needs of our kids.”

Selwyn said Kate Stevens from the Interfaith Council of Franklin County and Glenn Johnson-Mussad from the Greenfield School Committee will be among those in attendance on Saturday. The event will include a handful of speakers from different groups to talk about the proposal.

“We ask more and more out of our schools and teachers; at the same time, we don’t adequately fund them,” said Selwyn. “We haven’t adequately funded them for years. … Most of us are not bringing in $1 million. The people who’d be paying for this are the people who have plenty.”

Mary Byrne can be reached at mbyrne@recorder.com or 413-930-4429. Twitter: @MaryEByrne


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