Entries by Chris Sinacola

Safeguarding Tax Concessions for Urban Redevelopment

On March 10, 2023, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court reversed a decision of the state’s Appellate Tax Board, finding that a tax concession granted to the developers of urban redevelopment projects extends to the capital gains realized from the sale of those projects. The SJC had transferred the case on its own initiative from the Appeals Court. Pioneer Public Interest Law Center — then known as PioneerLegal — had submitted an amicus brief in the case.

Defending Free Speech Against Unconstitutional ‘Civility Codes’

In the fall of 2022, Pioneer Public Interest Law Center (PPILC), then known as Pioneer Legal, filed an amicus brief in the case of Barron v. Kolenda et al., pertaining to free speech rights at a public meeting in Southborough, Massachusetts. In a landmark decision on March 7, 2023, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled that municipal “civility codes” meant to govern the public’s participation at town meetings constitute viewpoint discrimination and violate citizens’ constitutional rights.

Keeping State Taxation Powers Within the Law

In December 2022, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled in favor of U.S. Auto Parts Network, Inc., in a case that involving taxation of online sales. Pioneer had submitted an amicus brief, arguing that the application of Wayfair retroactively was impermissible. The ruling will apply in other instances where the DOR seeks to expand tax liabilities retroactively, an invidious technique that has been seen in other contexts.

Securing Religious Liberty Rights in Maine

On June 21, 2022, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Carson v. Makin that a Maine school tuition law that excluded religious schools was unconstitutional. Pioneer Public Interest Law Center, then known as PioneerLegal, had filed an amicus curiae brief urging the Court to strike down the Maine law. The ruling is an important win for religious liberty and parental school choice throughout the U.S.


Stay Informed

PioneerLegal is a non-partisan, public interest law firm that defends and promotes educational options, accountable government and economic opportunity across the Northeast. PioneerLegal achieves its mission through legal research, amicus briefs, and litigation.