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Thursday, 22 September 2011 22:40

Judge In Alaska Wants Property Tax Exemptions For Gay And Lesbian Couples

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Superior Court Judge of Alaska, Frank Pfiffner, said gay and lesbian couples should have the same senior citizen and disabled veteran property tax exemptions as straight couples who are married have.

Alaska tax exemption law allows seniors over age 65 and disabled veterans to exclude from their property tax the first $150,000 of assessed value of their primary home. Married couples get the exemption whether the home is owned by the husband, the wife or both according to the Washington Post.

However, this was refused to three couples because they are not married.

The couples were in committed relationships but were treated as roommates rather than families, according to the Alaska ACLU.

Even if an amendment, voted by the voters of the state, defines marriage between a man and a woman since 1998, in 2005, the Supreme Court of Alaska ruled that same-sex employees could not be denied partner benefits given to married couples.

Pfiffner said the marriage amendment speaks only to the definition of marriage and does not, as the state contended, mention the associated benefits of marriage.

Assistant Attorney General Rachel said by email that she studies the case.


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