Cambridge, Mass., will make payments to same-sex married public employees to offset the tax those workers must pay on the value of city health benefits received by their spouses.
According to The Boston Globe, "Beginning in July, the city will begin paying quarterly stipends to city employees in a same-sex marriage who must pay federal taxes on the value of the health benefits their spouse receives from the city.
"Federal law requires employers to calculate the value of the benefits received by a same-sex spouse as taxable income to the employee, but health benefits for opposite sex spouses of employees are not taxable."
The tax can cost same-sex employees and their families anywhere from $1,500 to $3,000 that opposite-sex married couples do not pay. Some private employers, including Google, already help cover the tax for their workers, but Cambridge is believed to be the first municipality to contribute, according to the Globe. The city expects to pay around $33,000 per year to cover the stipend for 22 city and school department workers and their spouses.
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