‘Millionaire’s Tax’ ballot petition faces legal challenge

If the groups lose the legal challenge then the petition will appear on the ballot

BOSTON (WWLP) — A coalition of business-backed organizations are trying to stop the petition from coming before voters on the 2018 ballot.

How they plan to do that? Through the courts. A 2018 ballot petition known as the Fair Share Amendment or Millionaire’s Tax is facing legal challenges.

A coalition of organizations including the Massachusetts High Technology Council, the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation and Associated Industries of Massachusetts filed a lawsuit Tuesday with the Supreme Judicial Court.

Business groups plan to challenge ‘millionaire’s tax’ in court

Eileen McAnneny, President of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, told 22News, “We’re concerned that the question is not properly before voters, that it violates the constitution.”

The petition would impose a 4 percent surtax on incomes over $1 million. The money generated from the surtax would go toward education and transportation.

“This question combines several unrelated matters into one question and then it gives voters a kind of hobsonian choice if you will,” said McAnneny.

McAnneny told 22News higher taxes could cause high income earners to change their investment strategies or move.

State Representative Solomon Goldstein-Rose, (D) Amherst, said he thinks the certification from the Attorney General will stand, “I think we’ll see very soon when the court decides this that it’s entirely legal and has already been certified as such by our Attorney General Maura Healey.”

If the groups lose the legal challenge then the petition will appear on the ballot.

The Massachusetts Taxpayer’s foundation expects that the court will make a decision sometime next spring.