Monday, July 11, 2011

Massachusetts Town To Pay Married Gay Employees To Offset Tax

Marriage gay city employees of Cambridge, Massachusetts will become the first in the nation to be paid a small stipend to cover a federal tax that their heterosexual colleagues don't have to pay.
Like many people, these 22 school and city workers chose to put their spouses on their employer-provided health insurance. Because they're in a homosexual relationship, the value of that health coverage is considered taxable income by the federal government. But starting this month, Cambridge will become what is believed to be the first municipality in the country to pay its public employees a stipend in an attempt to defray the cost of the federal tax on health benefits for their same-sex spouses. The city employees hit by the extra tax pay an additional $1,500 to $3,000 in taxes a year and officials estimate the stipends would cost the city an additional $33,000. "This is about equality," said Marjorie Decker, a Cambridge city councilor. "This is a city that models what equality really means."