SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS)— A San Francisco Supervisor is trying to eliminate what he called a discriminatory tax burden for same-sex spouses and domestic partners of city workers.

Supervisor Mark Farrell said gay couples are being unfairly taxed if they take advantage of their partner’s health benefits and has now written legislation to put an end to the practice.

He explained that the federal tax code doesn’t recognize same-sex marriages so if a city worker adds their same sex spouse to their health plan, the government treats the benefit as income and taxes it. Farrell noted that doesn’t happen in cases of straight couples and said it’s biased and wrong.

“This is an issue of equality. The additional tax is one of the many results of the Defense of Marriage Act in Congress. However, I don’t believe we can and should stand still in San Francisco while this discrimination continues,” Farrell said.

KCBS’ Barbara Taylor Reports:

Farrell introduced his legislation this week and said it would use city funds, about a million dollars a year, to reimburse same-sex spouses and domestic partners for the federal tax they pay on health insurance.

“This legislation will ensure that same-sex domestic partners working for the City and County of San Francisco will not be burdened with these taxes anymore,” Farrell added.

He concluded that it’s just another of a long list of injustices in the way the government treats same-sex couples they are denied immigration rights, Social Security and survivor’s benefits and other deductions in the federal tax code.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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