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File #: 2013-0197    Version: 1
Type: Ordinance Status: Lapsed
File created: 4/22/2013 In control: Government Accountability and Oversight Committee
On agenda: Final action: 2/3/2014
Enactment date: Enactment #:
Title: AN ORDINANCE providing for a stipend to be paid to employees who are required to treat the fair market value of health-care benefits for their same-sex spouses as taxable income under the Internal Revenue Code; and amending Ordinance 12014, Section 7, as amended, and K.C.C. 3.12.040.
Sponsors: Joe McDermott
Indexes: Employee Benefits, Fair, Health
Code sections: 3.12.040 - *
Title
AN ORDINANCE providing for a stipend to be paid to employees who are required to treat the fair market value of health-care benefits for their same-sex spouses as taxable income under the Internal Revenue Code; and amending Ordinance 12014, Section 7, as amended, and K.C.C. 3.12.040.
Body
PREAMBLE:
1. To attract the best employees, King County seeks to offer robust workplace benefits and fair treatment for all of its employees.
2. Studies have found that benefits packages, especially health-care and retirement benefits, are a direct contributor to employee loyalty, and that satisfied and engaged workers are more productive and perform better than less-satisfied colleagues.
3. The federal Defense of Marriage Act forces employers to consider the gender of the spouses of lawfully married employees when determining the scope and manner of benefits that may be extended to those spouses and the children of those spouses.
4. The Defense of Marriage Act enforces discriminatory tax treatment of spousal retirement and health-care benefits. While the Defense of Marriage Act does not prevent a nonfederal employer from offering health-care benefits to the same-sex spouse of an employee, it imposes discriminatory tax treatment. Under the Internal Revenue Code, the fair market value of health-care benefits for a qualified employee's spouse who is not otherwise a dependent of the qualified employee is not subject to federal income tax, but the Defense of Marriage Act forces both employer and employee to treat that value as taxable income when the qualified employee and his or her spouse are of the same sex.
5. Because of the Defense of Marriage Act, the typical paycheck for a married employee with a same-sex spouse will show higher taxable wages than a married employee with a different-sex spouse due to the imputed value of the spouse's health-care coverage and reduced take-home pay.
6. Similarly, the Defense of Marriage Act also provides discriminatory treatment...

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