Employer-provided health insurance is the backbone of health coverage for American families, a system which is encouraged by exempting spousal and dependent health benefits from taxation. Nonetheless, even as many companies are realizing the importance of providing equal health benefits to all domestic partners, that coverage is taxed as income to the employee, creating an extra tax averaging $1,069 per year. The employers who provide these benefits are also penalized, paying a total of $57 million each year in payroll taxes on domestic partnership benefits. Although legislation has been introduced in the House and Senate to remedy this problem (H.R. 1820, S. 1556), these equality taxes penalize same-sex and other domestic partnerships and inhibit businesses from adopting domestic partnership policies.
Please join a distinguished panel to discuss the implications of this unfair tax treatment. M. V. Lee Badgett will introduce her new report, "Unequal Taxes on Equal Benefits: The Taxation of Domestic Partner Benefits," which presents original research on the extent of this inequality. The panel will also discuss the broader economic implications of the extra tax on domestic partner benefits.
M. V. Lee Badgett, Research Director, Williams Institute
Janet C. Boyd, Director of Government Relations, Tax and Benefits, The Dow Chemical Company
Jayme White, Legislative Director, Rep. Jim McDermott
Winnie Stachelberg, Senior Vice President for External Affairs, Center for American Progress