Mass. justices weigh legality of proposed ‘millionaire tax’


BOSTON (AP) — The state's highest court is in the process of deciding the fate of a proposed ballot question that would put an additional tax on Massachusetts' highest earners and use the money to boost education and transportation.

The Supreme Judicial Court on Tuesday heard arguments from a coalition of business groups trying to block the proposal. If they fail, the proposal will be on the ballot for consideration by state voters in November.

The constitutional amendment would impose a 4 percent surtax on any portion of an individual's annual income that exceeds $1 million.

The business groups argued the question would strip the Legislature of its constitutional authority to spend money as it sees fit, and ties together unrelated items.

A lawyer for the state attorney general's office argued that lawmakers would retain discretion over the appropriation of the tax dollars.

A ruling is expected by June.