Voters won’t decide so-called ‘millionaire’s tax’

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In a decision that has implications for the state’s richest residents, the state Supreme Judicial Court rejected a so-called “millionaire’s tax” ballot question for the fall, according to a report by the State House News Service (SHNS).

The state’s high court issued the ruling Monday on a proposed $2 billion income surtax, the SHNS reported. The question improperly mixes two different spending priorities and a major change in tax policy, according to the report.

The decision means that one of the biggest tax questions in decades will not be decided at the polls this November. A 4 percent surtax would have been assessed on household incomes over $1 million. Funds from the tax were targeted to education and transportation, according to the SHNS report.

The Supreme Judicial Court’s ruling remands the case to county court, where a judgement will be entered declaring Attorney General Maura Healey’s certification of the petition “not in compliance” with the Constitution and the petion “not suitable to be placed on the ballot in the 2018 Statewide election.”

The court found that voters who favored a graduated income tax but not earmarking funds for a specific purpose and voters who wanted to designate funds for transportation and education but not to adopt a graduate tax structure would be in an “untenable position.”