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domestic partners can file joint tax returns

California
domestic partners can file joint tax returns

A landmark bill enabling California's registered domestic partners to file joint state income tax returns and have their earned income treated as community property for state tax purposes was signed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Saturday. The State Income Tax Equity Act was sponsored by Equality California and authored by lesbian state senator Carole Migden of San Francisco.

"This is a historic day for equality," Migden said in a statement. "The governor's signature on my tax equity bill gives lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender families, who share the same costs and responsibilities that go with parenthood or being a spouse, the same tax benefits afforded to married couples. At last we acknowledge the equal contributions of LGBT households and remove the tax inequity that has been suffered by these families."

An average family of four with one stay-at-home parent could save as much as $2,000 a year by filing jointly.

In related news, Schwarzenegger also signed the Equality in Prevention and Services for Domestic Abuse Fund, which establishes a fee on domestic-partnership registrations to support education and services for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender victims of domestic violence. "Enactment of this bill means that all victims of domestic violence--regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity--will receive basic information and services," Geoff Kors, executive director for the gay rights group Equality California, said in a statement. "We applaud the governor for signing this bill into law." (The Advocate)

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