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Massachusetts City Set To Pay Gay Employees More Than Straight

The Daily Mail reports:

A Massachusetts city will start paying its gay employees a stipend so it can offset an unequal federal tax.

The Associated Press reports:

When the city issues paychecks to its public employees, nearly two dozen workers find a federal tax on their income that their 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 gay 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.?

Of the thousands of legally married gay and lesbian couples in Massachusetts, none can receive the federal benefits offered to heterosexual married couples because the federal government doesn?t recognize same-sex marriages.

Read the full article via BANGOR DAILY NEWS