Business groups sue to stop state ‘millionaire tax’

Associated Press
Published: 10/3/2017 10:50:54 PM

BOSTON — Several business groups asked the state’s highest court Tuesday to block a proposed surtax on the state’s highest earners from going before Massachusetts voters next year.

The lawsuit contends the measure often referred to as the “millionaire tax” runs afoul of constitutional guidelines that ballot questions must follow.

The proposal earned a spot on the 2018 ballot by winning a sufficient number of votes from lawmakers in two successive legislative sessions. It would impose a 4 percent surtax, on top of the state’s regular income tax, on any portion of an individual’s annual income that exceeds $1 million.

Proceeds from the surtax would be dedicated to education and transportation, a key sticking point for critics who contend the state’s constitution prohibits specific appropriations from being made through ballot initiatives.

The plaintiffs include the Massachusetts High Technology Council, Associated Industries of Massachusetts, the Massachusetts Competitive Partnership and the state chapter of the National Federation of Independent Businesses.

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