Massachusetts Millionaire Tax to Fund Free Community College

In the upcoming 2025 budget, Massachusetts plans to introduce a state-sponsored initiative called MassEducate, which aims to cover the cost of community college tuition and fees for its residents. This program will be fully funded by a tax imposed on millionaire residents in the state. The proposed budget would allocate $75.5 million of state funds to cover tuition and fees for community college students.

President Joe Biden has also proposed a plan for free community college education nationally in his fiscal 2025 budget. Currently, there are 20 states that offer tuition-free community college to their residents. State Sen. Michael J. Rodrigues, chair of the Senate’s Ways and Means Committee, emphasized that the community college program in Massachusetts will benefit the state’s workforce and future generations by providing access to higher education opportunities for individuals in need.

The MassEducate program aims to support those who may not otherwise have the chance to pursue higher education, thus preparing the workforce to face the challenges of a global economy. The initiative will provide additional assistance to low-income students, including stipends of up to $1,200 for books, supplies, and other expenses for students with incomes at or below 125% of the state’s median income. Moreover, there will be a $10 million student persistence fund to assist community college students facing significant financial hardships that may impact their studies.

In 2022, Massachusetts implemented a 4% tax on residents earning $1 million or more a year. The revenue generated from this tax was used to set aside $1 billion in the state’s last fiscal budget, which was allocated to provide free school lunches to all children in public schools.

The introduction of MassEducate reflects the growing recognition that access to higher education is crucial for economic growth and social mobility. By providing tuition-free community college education, Massachusetts aims to create an inclusive and equitable higher education system that benefits everyone.

State Sen. Rodrigues highlighted that this initiative is particularly important during these challenging economic times when many people are struggling financially. He emphasized that MassEducate will help ensure that everyone has access to quality education regardless of their financial situation.

Overall, the introduction of MassEducate represents an important step towards creating a more inclusive and equitable society where everyone has access to quality education and economic opportunities.

As we look forward

By Sophia Gonzalez

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