WILMINGTON, MA — During this week’s 90-minute debate between the five Democratic candidates vying for their party’s nomination in the 19th Middlesex State Rep race, the issue of taxes was barely discussed. And when taxes were addressed, it wasn’t in regards to any sort of tax cut, but – instead – a hypothetical tax increase on the wealthy.
All five candidates came out in favor of a millionaire’s tax in response to a question submitted by the Lowell Sun and delivered by moderator Katie Lanan, of State House News.
“I would support it,” said David Robertson (D-Tewksbury). “The millionaire’s tax doesn’t mean someone who has a millionaire dollars in assets, it means a million dollars in income, per year, so don’t leave them fool you. The real folks who make the jobs and grow our economy are upper middle class folks and folks who don’t come anywhere near this. [Large company owners] have employees who use public infrastructure — it’s just fair to have [the owners] pay their fair share. If anyone tells you that’s going to stifle business or development… this won’t make a difference.”
“I do support this,” responded Judy O’Connell (D-Wilmington). “I do believe we need to have a distribution of responsibility financially. As a Democratic candidate, and looking at the constituent base I’d be entrusted to serve, I feel like this would best help the constituents of the district. Yes, there are people within [the district’s] population that may be subject to this, and I’m certainly cognizant and respectful of that, however, there are other tax relief options that they can avail themselves to that aren’t being mentioned as part of this question. I believe in the proper dispersement of taxes amongst our fellow citizens, I believe [those subject to the millionaire’s tax] have the shoulders to handle it, and I believe it makes sense from an overall economic standpoint.”
“I would support this,” agreed Mike McCoy (D-Wilmington). “If you stop and think about the companies that these multi-millionaires own, what about the employees that put them on the map and are on the floor?… You’re only as good as your employees. You have a ton of employees working hard and you see these multi-millionaire owners profiting by that — and that’s their right — but you need to give back.”
“I would absolutely support it also,” added Mark Kratman (D-Tewksbury). “This is something that is overdue. Millionaires are getting tax breaks that the regular residents just aren’t getting. We have some people living in our community that are living below poverty… We have hundreds of families that have to go to our food pantry because they can’t afford to feed their family. We have seniors that have decide if they’re going to purchase their groceries of their medicine… The millionaires have been taking care of by the federal government for many, many decades. Now it’s time to take care of the middle class and lower class.”
“I would also agree with it, for sure,” announced Erika Johnson (D-Wilmington), “When it was originally proposed, it was going to fund public transportation and public education — two areas that absolutely need more funding. I would not only support this, but I would champion this if elected. It’s really important to fund things that everyday people use every single day.”
Following the debate, Republican candidate Pina Prinzivalli (R-Tewksbury) submitted the following statement to the Lowell Sun, contrasting her position with those in the Democratic field:
“The Democrats showed that I’m the only candidate who is running to put the taxpayer first. At a time when we have record spending and $1.2 billion in excess revenue, all five Democrats support raising taxes. I am the only candidate who has worked to cut taxes.”
Prinzivalli previously detailed her efforts to cut taxes in a Q&A with Wilmington Apple:
“When it comes to taxes, I’m the only candidate who is running to put the taxpayers first. I’m the only candidate who has worked to lower our tax burden by collecting signatures for a ballot question to reduce the sales tax and establish a permanent tax free weekend. I’m also the only candidate who has signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge to oppose and vote against all efforts to raise taxes,” said Prinzivalli. “That’s because Massachusetts doesn’t have a revenue problem, it has a spending problem. Our spending is at a record high. The current revenue is $1.2 billion higher than what was originally projected. So please don’t be fooled by the same ol’ Beacon Hill song and dance that we, that taxpayers, need to give more of our hard earned money to the government in order to provide the necessary services. The money is already there. It’s simply a matter of priorities.”
Watch the debate, courtesy of Wilmington Community Television, below. Jump to the 33-minute mark to watch what was written above.
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