The Orange County tax collector says he will offer his employees in a domestic partnership a stipend to offset higher federal taxes they pay because they can't legally marry.
If same-sex couples add an unmarried spouse to their health benefits, the cost the company pays is taxed--meaning the same-sex couples end up paying more than straight couples.
Orange County Tax Collector Scott Randolph's stipend will be between $350 to $1,300 per year to offset the expense. The stipend will cost the tax collector office $10,000 per year.
“Just like the 278 companies that signed on to the recent amicus brief to the U.S. Supreme Court opposing the Defense of Marriage Act, I believe that ‘workplace benefits enhance the employer/employee relationship, which in turn is a key to institutional success,’” said Orange County Constitutional Tax Collector Scott Randolph, citing the brief. “Until federally elected officials change the law, this stipend will help minimize the discriminatory impact that the federal tax code imposes on recognized same sex couples."
Randolph says probably 10 to 15 employees will qualify. The stipend will not be considered salary and will not be included for retirement purposes.