BOSTON - In Massachusetts, the standard income tax rate is 5.3%. However, under the law, residents can voluntarily choose to pay 5.85%. On the state tax form, there are instructions on how to pay the higher optional tax rate (see image pasted below, and note line 22). The question is, did Professor Elizabeth Warren pay at the higher rate?
Warren, who reported earning over $716,000 and a net worth of as much as $14.5 million on her 2011 personal financial disclosure, says the well-off have a moral responsibility to pay higher taxes, but in Massachusetts this is not just an academic question; since 2001, that option is explicitly available for people in the Commonwealth who believe they should pay more. In 2008, nearly 2,000 people took advantage of it.
But when asked yesterday about the higher optional tax, Warren refused to say whether she has chosen this option over the years, telling the Boston Globe:
But Warren, who owns stock and other investments worth more than $3 million, would not say whether she voluntarily pays a higher state income tax, which the Massachusetts form allows.
“While Professor Warren lectures others about their responsibility to pay higher taxes, voters deserve to know if the self-proclaimed intellectual founder of the Occupy protest movement has lived up to the standards she would impose on everyone else, or if she is just another elitist hypocrite,” said Brown campaign manager Jim Barnett.