HELENA, Mont. -

A judge says a legislative referendum calling for income tax credits if state revenue comes in higher than lawmakers expected is unconstitutional and cannot appear on the November ballot.

The Associated Press reports District Judge Jeffrey Sherlock made his ruling Tuesday in a lawsuit filed by four labor unions and another group seeking to have Legislative Referendum 123 removed from the general election ballot.

Sherlock said the referendum is an unconstitutional delegation of power by the Legislature to a legislative fiscal analyst acting on behalf of lawmakers.

Sherlock's ruling said the Legislature could approve a tax refund or delegate the function to an executive agency, but cannot delegate its power to one of its employees.