Miami Beach Passes Tax Equality Policy That Gives Tax Breaks to Coupled Gay Employees

gay_pride_parade.jpg
Employees of the city of Miami Beach in same-sex domestic partnerships will no longer have to pay more taxes for their partner's health insurance than their married counterparts. The City Commission today passed a landmark tax equality policy that will reimburse those employees for the difference in taxes.

Benefits received by gay employees for their partners are treated as income by the federal tax code, and those couples had to pay taxes on those benefits as such.

The new policy was passed unanimously by the City Commission and Mayor Matti Bower.

"The new policy is the strongest and most comprehensive of its kind in the U.S., and it ensures that city employees with domestic partners will no longer pay thousands more in taxes for their partner's health insurance than married employees pay," said Stratton Pollitzer, deputy director of Equality Florida, in a statement.

Thanks to the work of Equality Florida, Miami Beach is now the sixth government entity in Florida to pass similar policies this year. It joins Hallandale Beach, West Palm Beach, the Town of Bay Harbor Islands, the Orange County Tax Collector's Office and the Palm Beach County Property Appraiser's Office.

Follow Miami New Times on Facebook and Twitter @MiamiNewTimes.


Advertisement

My Voice Nation Help
10 comments
chipahoy
chipahoy topcommenter

Now here is some news we can all use....hello.

j-j-roberts
j-j-roberts

Great move on the part of Miami Beach. What is a shame is that it is required: It is a crime that the federal government, on one hand, takes money from a citizen and then denies that very citizen the same status as any other. It's hypocritical to take taxes, to pay for government buildings and services, which are then denied to the very citizenry that paid for those buildings and services. Marriage Equality needs to be passed on both the national and federal levels. Legally recognized status will finally permit the enjoyments, privileges and other legal standing already afforded the majority culture. However, in the interim, thank you Miami Beach for providing some mitigation in light of the cowboys in Tallashassee.

jgcamp99
jgcamp99

Not sure I quite understand this, even though it really doesn't apply to me ? The Federal tax code still would treat that money as income, but that employees of the municipality of Miami Beach get a local tax credit that offsets any differences ? Not sure, but wouldn't the couple have to itemize on a 1040 form to get anything beyond the federal allowances for a standard deduction ? Maybe they need to provide an example and at what income level this would really begin to kick in ?

Ace-n-Gary
Ace-n-Gary

So, a non-married opposite sex partner doesn't generate the same "tax break" as a non-married same sex partner??? That's messed up. At least require the same sex couple to demonstrate that they are committed by getting "married" in a state where it is legal (since Florida doesn't) before paying them more and discriminating against non-married opposite sex couples!!!

Anthonyvop1
Anthonyvop1 topcommenter

So you get a break if you are having sex with someone of the same sex but if your "partner" is of the opposite sex you don't get the discount?   If you want to include a friend you don't get a discount?


Only in the Liberal land of Unicorns and Rainbows is that "Equality"

Ace-n-Gary
Ace-n-Gary

@jgcamp99 No. Medical premiums can be an above the line deduction like a contribution to a Traditional IRA (before your AGI) or simply a tax free fringe benefit which is likely the case here (both are using pre-tax dollars). In other words, employees purchasing insurance for their significant other would do so with after-tax dollars instead. From the article, the difference would be given back to the employee. Sure, it won't be "exact" but close enough. However, I doubt such a policy is constitutional for a government entity to enact. Why? Precisely because it violates the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution by not including ALL non-married significant others (hetero and homo).

Clearly this was just a political show without real substance. I am all for equality under the law, but this does not achieve that and makes a farce out of the whole idea.

j-j-roberts
j-j-roberts

Antony, I joined the Army at 17 and eventually retired. Yes, I served, but I was allowed to serve and eventually reaped the rewards of retirement and other federal benefits for service. My gay friends, fellow human sisters and brothers, neighbors, fellow tax paying citizens were denied the ability to serve and reap the educational (I gained my degree from military educational benefits), health and other benefits (now retirement), even though they paid the same tax. Think about it. The entire generation during which I served (Korea 1978-'79, Panama '83-'86, Korea II 93-94, Afghanistan 07-08, Iraq 09-10 and Afghanistan again 10-2011), gays couldn't openly serve: Hence, if you wanted to be "law-abiding," you paid your taxes and were denied the accolades, benefits and leveraged societal benefits I enjoy. Marriage, marriage to your life love is a basic human privilege that the government has chose to define in heterosexual terms. If these citizens are denied the legal benefits of wedding those they love, then the same government should not have the gall to extort their taxes - If you are heterosexual you have all the advantages afforded by the imposition of heterosexual bias in the law when it comes to tax advantages, estate planning, insurance leveraging, etc. The LGBT community is required to pay "share" the same tax burden as the rest of the citizenry, to fund the burden of heterosexual bias in law, but is prohibited from enjoying the benefits enjoyed by the legal status accorded to those enjoying the legal bias of that same government. That is taxation without representation, and being a combat and long term veteran, I think you should care about that, if you don't see the human side of what should be a basic right to pursue their personal persuasion without interference from biased persuasion and its civic distortions.

FatHand
FatHand

@Anthonyvop1 There's no gay marriage in Florida. If you want to get the tax/health insurance advantage and you are a straight couple, you have the ability to get married. Marriage is nothing but a contract that the state recognizes for certain tax and property rights. I think this is just an attempt to level the playing field for people in Miami Beach that don't have those same contract rights at the state level for whatever reason.

Anthonyvop1
Anthonyvop1 topcommenter

@FatHand     So don't call it equality.  It is not equal in any way.  It penalizes people for not being in a sexual relationship. 

FatHand
FatHand

 anthonyvop1 Hey, if you want to stop giving all people any benefits for being married, I'm all for it. That would be equality. But that's not the world we live in.

Now Trending

Miami Concert Tickets

Around The Web

From the Vault

 

Loading...