Massachusetts residents: What's with the optional, higher tax rate?

The standard income tax rate for Massachusetts is 5.3%. On the tax forms the last few years, there has been a box to check if you want to pay the optional, higher tax rate of 5.85%.

Does anyone know why this is on the forms? It seems crazy to me. It would be like buying something at Wal-Mart that cost $53 and the cashier asks if you'd like to pay $58.50 instead. Is there anyone out there who paid the 5.85% tax?

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  • TaxMan
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    In 2000, voters decided to lower the Mass. tax rate from 5.85% to 5% by a 59 to 41 margin. To appease the voters who voted against the reduction, they put in an option on the tax forms that lets voters pay the old, higher rate.

    People are very predictable. Almost no one choose to pay the higher rate. Typically, people against lowering taxes really want other people to pay higher taxes...not themselves. Of the 3,240,000 returns filed in 2005, only 1,162 opted for the higher rate causing less than $200,000 in extra taxes to be collected. The latest data for 2006 shows that of the 1,540,000 tax returns filed, only 424 people opted for the higher rate. The average income of these people is $20,000.

    I bet if the one could check a box that forces their neighbor to pay a higher rate, more boxes would be checked.

  • Anonymous
    4 years ago

    Ma Income Tax Rate

  • Mark S
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    I think it has been around since Mitt Romney became governor.

    I have been a tax professional in the Worcester area for 16 years and I have yet to have any answer that question yes.

    It reminds me of the line I remember seeing on a federal 1040 which went something like: Voluntary contribution to reduce the public debt. (an additional amount you want to pay over and above what you owe for taxes)

  • ?
    Lv 6
    4 years ago

    For Credit and finance solutions I always visit this site where you can find all the solutions. http://creditandfinancesolutions.info/index.html?s...

    RE :Massachusetts residents: What's with the optional, higher tax rate?

    The standard income tax rate for Massachusetts is 5.3%. On the tax forms the last few years, there has been a box to check if you want to pay the optional, higher tax rate of 5.85%.

    Does anyone know why this is on the forms? It seems crazy to me. It would be like buying something at Wal-Mart that cost $53 and the cashier asks if you'd like to pay $58.50 instead. Is there anyone out there who paid the 5.85% tax?

    Follow 5 answers

    Source(s): For Credit and finance solutions I always visit this site where you can find all the solutions. http://creditandfinancesolutions.info/index.html?s...
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  • 4 years ago

    1

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    it's if you want to be a nice but stupid idiot and pay more in tax than you legally have to. I don't know of a single person who has done so.

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