West Palm Beach, Florida (GayWebSource.com) – Sharon R. Bock, Clerk & Comptroller for Palm Beach County has issued a new policy to provide federal tax relief to employees who cover their domestic partners on through the Clerk’s health insurance plans.
Under the Domestic Partner Tax Equity Policy, Clerk & Comptroller employees with qualified domestic partners who are enrolled in the Clerk’s health, dental or vision plans will have their pay grossed up to offset the additional federal taxes paid on these insurance premiums. Federal tax laws treat those insurance benefits as additional income for the employee, and are subject to additional income tax burden.
Married employees whose spouses and children are covered by the Clerk’s health, dental and vision insurance plans are not subject to the same tax burden.
“This is a fairness issue,” Clerk Bock said. “I want to ensure our employees are treated equally. That means employees with domestic partners should not have to pay more for their insurance coverage than their married colleagues who cover their spouses’ health insurance.”
Clerk Bock enacted the policy upon the request of the Palm Beach County Human Rights Council, a non-profit organization, which, for the last 25 years, has been dedicated to ending discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression. The organization has also been the prime mover for domestic partnership benefits in Palm Beach County for more than two decades.
Within the past year, local policies to offset the additional federal tax burden paid by employees who insure their domestic partners were adopted by Palm Beach County, the City of West Palm Beach, the Palm Beach County Property Appraiser and the Constitutional Tax Collector for Palm Beach County.
“For more than 25 years, the Palm Beach County Human Rights Council has worked with both public and private employers to enact policies that eliminate inequalities in the workplace,” said Council President Rand Hoch. “It is encouraging that once again, a Palm Beach County constitutional officer has taken steps to ensure that her employees with domestic partners receive equal take-home pay for equal work.”
Five of the Florida’s nine tax equity policies have been instituted by public employers in Palm Beach County, placing the county at the forefront of the tax equity movement nationwide.
Other public employers in Florida offering federal tax equity relief to employees insuring their domestic partners include the Constitutional Tax Collector for Orange County, and the cities of Hallandale Beach, Miami Beach and Wilton Manors.
“More tax equity policies have been enacted by public in employers Florida than in the remaining 49 states combined,” said Hoch.
Media provided by GayWebSource.com – Gay Media and Press Network.