Somerville and Five Other Cities File Amicus Brief on Tax Ballot Measure

Ballot measure would give voters a say in an additional source of transportation and education funding

SOMERVILLE – The City of Somerville along with the cities of Lawrence, Lynn, Medford, New Bedford, and Northampton filed an amicus brief Monday, January 22, in support of allowing the proposed “Fair Share Amendment” to appear on the 2018 ballot. Also referred to as the “millionaire tax,” the proposed amendment to the State Constitution would add a 4 percent surtax on income over $1 million. Funding from the surtax would be slated for transportation and education.

Last year, the State Legislature approved the question for the 2018 ballot, but it was challenged by several business groups that have filed a complaint with the Supreme Judicial Court. Somerville and the five other cities filing the amicus brief argued that the question should appear on the ballot and that voters should have a chance to decide on whether to support a new source of funding for core public needs.

“Education and transportation are two of the largest expenses for most municipalities and we often rely on state funding to complete projects,” said Mayor Joseph Curtatone. “Every day I hear from residents who want more educational opportunities for their children or who know of a street or sidewalk that is in need of repair and I’m sure my fellow mayors hear similar requests. Our residents care about these issues, which is why we think it’s important they get a chance to vote on whether to establish a new funding stream for these public priorities.”