Equality California
California Legislature Passes LGBT Health Insurance Tax Parity Bill

September 10, 2013

CONTACT: Jesse Melgar, Equality California
PHONE: 323.848.9801 EMAIL: jesse@eqca.org

California Legislature Passes LGBT Health Insurance Tax Parity Bill

(Sacramento) Assembly Bill 362, authored by Assemblymember Phil Ting and sponsored by Equality California, passed the Senate yesterday with a bipartisan vote of 31-4. The bill will cover same-sex couples who are married or registered domestic partners, who work for public entities or private sector companies that reimburse their employees for federal taxes the couples pay on benefits for their partner and dependents. The bill will continue to Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk.

Anticipating fairness at the federal level shouldn’t delay fairness by the state, and the LGBT Health Insurance Tax Parity Bill addresses the issue now” said John O’Connor, Executive Director at Equality California. “An overwhelming bipartisan majority recognized that no one should pay more in taxes just because of who they love. We thank Assemblymember Ting for his leadership on the issue."

“This is government and business working together to provide tax fairness for same sex couples,” Ting said today. “Together, we are continuing to ensure that state law and even our tax code treats people equally, without regard to who they love.” The federal government assessed taxes on these benefits because it did not recognize marriages of same-sex couples prior to the Supreme Court ruling striking down DOMA, and many employers have already made reimbursements prior to the new IRS guidelines. Similar benefits offered to opposite-sex couples are not considered taxable. Under current state law, the reimbursements provided by an employer would be considered income to the employee, and subject to taxation by the state of California.

Equality California (EQCA) is the largest statewide lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender advocacy organization in California. Over the past decade, Equality California has strategically moved California from a state with extremely limited legal protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people to a state with some of the most comprehensive human rights protections in the nation. Equality California has partnered with legislators to successfully sponsor more than 90 pieces of pro-equality legislation. EQCA continues to advance equality through legislative advocacy, electoral work, public education and community empowerment. www.eqca.org