ARIZONA NEWS

Arizona ballot initiative proponents unfazed by ‘millionaire’s tax’ ruling

Jun 20, 2018, 1:23 PM | Updated: Jun 21, 2018, 1:46 pm

In this June 5, 2018, photo, mathematics teacher Heather LaBelle, seated right, shows Roger Baker, ...

In this June 5, 2018, photo, mathematics teacher Heather LaBelle, seated right, shows Roger Baker, left, how to gather signatures for the Invest in Education Act, a proposal to raise money on high earners to fund public education. (AP Photo/Melissa Daniels)

(AP Photo/Melissa Daniels)

PHOENIX – Proponents of an Arizona ballot initiative that would raise taxes on the wealthy to fund education aren’t worried about by a recent court ruling in Massachusetts that struck down a proposed “millionaire’s tax.”

“We feel very good about our initiative and that it’s in good standing and that it will be on the ballot in November,” David Lujan, treasurer of Arizona’s Invest in Education initiative, told KTAR News 92.3 FM on Tuesday.

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s legal expert Monica Lindstrom, however, said the Massachusetts case could be cited by opponents to the Arizona ballot measure.

“It is possible there will be legal challenges to the Invest in Ed initiative based on the ruling in the Massachusetts court,” Lindstrom said.

Lujan said he wouldn’t be surprised by a lawsuit because so many ballot initiatives in Arizona have undergone legal challenges.

“Clearly that’s something we anticipate,” he said. “Hopefully that won’t happen, but if it does, we’re prepared.”

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled this week that an initiative to impose an extra tax on income above $1 million to fund education and transportation wouldn’t be put in front of voters.

The court said the proposal was unconstitutional because the ballot question covered two unrelated subjects.

Lujan, who also serves as vice president of the Arizona Center for Economic Progress, said the Arizona initiative differs because it is limited to one topic.

“It’s no different than our current Prop. 301 that’s been on the books for several years, where our law allows money to be directed specifically to public education if the voters approve it,” Lujan said.

“The court struck down the Massachusetts initiative because they had more than one subject; it was not just public education, but transportation as well.”

The Invest in Education initiative would raise the income tax rate on individuals making more than $250,000 by 3.46 percent and on those making more than $500,000 by 4.46 percent.

The funds would be used for teacher salaries and other educational needs.

Supporters need to collect more than 150,000 valid signatures by July 5 to get the initiative on the November ballot.

Lujan wouldn’t say how many signatures have been gathered but expressed confidence that his group was “on track” to reach its goal of 200,000.

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Bob McClay contributed to this report.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

Andrew Ormsby, 22, was arrested on Wednesday, police said. (Maricopa County Sheriff's Office photo)...

KTAR.com

Phoenix police arrest man accused of fatally shooting victim found in West Valley alley

Andrew Ormsby, 22, was arrested on Wednesday for his involvement in the shooting death of Roy Orozco, 24, Phoenix police said.

5 hours ago

Guests mill about at a previous Guild Indian Fair & Market on the grounds of the Heard Museum in Ph...

KTAR.com

Heard Museum in Phoenix holding 66th annual Guild Indian Fair & Market this weekend

The Heard Museum in Phoenix is holding its signature event this weekend, the 66th annual Guild Indian Fair & Market.

6 hours ago

This undated image provided by Mikel Desmond shows his brother Marcus Tessier, who turned up in Dem...

Associated Press

Missing teen with autism found in New Mexico, about 200 miles away from his Arizona home

A missing teen with autism has been found in New Mexico — about 200 miles away from his home in southern Arizona.

8 hours ago

FILE - A group of migrants walk along the border in a remote part of the Arizona desert as they joi...

Associated Press

Bill in Arizona would punish migrants who enter country illegally

Republicans in Arizona are broadcasting a tough border stance with legislation aimed at punishing migrants who enter the United States illegally.

9 hours ago

Mugshot of Brandie Gotch, who faces multiple charges for an alleged rampage against children at a P...

Kevin Stone

West Valley mom accused of driving through park, injuring a child, while her kids were in truck

A woman was arrested Tuesday for allegedly driving her pickup truck through a West Valley park and hitting a child after she thought her kids were being bullied.

12 hours ago

Three former Arizona Department of Education employees are accused of obtaining funds from the stat...

KTAR.com

Former Arizona education employees accused of stealing money from ESA program

Three former Arizona Department of Education employees are accused of obtaining funds from the state's school voucher program for personal use, authorities announced Thursday.

12 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Midwestern University

Midwestern University Clinics: transforming health care in the valley

Midwestern University, long a fixture of comprehensive health care education in the West Valley, is also a recognized leader in community health care.

...

Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Day & Night is looking for the oldest AC in the Valley

Does your air conditioner make weird noises or a burning smell when it starts? If so, you may be due for an AC unit replacement.

...

Sanderson Ford

The best ways to honor our heroes on Veterans Day and give back to the community

Veterans Day is fast approaching and there's no better way to support our veterans than to donate to the Military Assistance Mission.

Arizona ballot initiative proponents unfazed by ‘millionaire’s tax’ ruling