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Senate bill would
exempt DP benefits from taxable income

Senate bill would
exempt DP benefits from taxable income

Taxes_2

Sen. Joseph Lieberman and Sen. Gordon Smith introduced legislation Wednesday that would end federal tax inequities that apply to employer-provided health insurance for domestic partners.

Two U.S. senators introduced legislation Wednesday that would end federal tax inequities that apply to employer-provided health insurance for domestic partners. Independent Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut and Republican Gordon Smith from Oregon are the Senate sponsors of the bill, a version of which was introduced into the House in March by Rep. Jim McDermott of Washington State.

The Tax Equity for Domestic Partners and Health Plan Beneficiaries Act would ensure that the value of employer-provided insurance premiums and benefits received by employees for coverage of their domestic partners be excluded from taxable income. Current law exempts only coverage extended to spouses and dependents. The law also would ease the tax burden on employers who offer domestic-partner benefits.

"This legislation takes the next step to ensure that all American workers receive equal benefits for equal work," Human Rights Campaign president Joe Solmonese said in a statement. "A majority of Fortune 500 companies, collectively employing more than 15 million people, now offer health care benefits for the domestic partners of their employees. It is past time that our federal tax code is updated to reflect the reality of what is already happening in businesses across the country."

Log Cabin Republicans president Patrick Sammon praised the bipartisan move and also cited some Fortune 500 companies' progressive steps to include all employees' families. "For too long, the federal government has not caught up with corporate America in providing basic fairness for same-sex couples," Sammon said. "This bill would bring government in line with the majority of Fortune 500 companies, who understand the importance of equitable treatment. We thank Sen. Gordon Smith for introducing this important bill." (The Advocate)

Advocate Magazine - KehlaniAdvocate Magazine - Gus Kenworthy

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