Washington state income tax initiative to include gay couples

As reported by Rachel La Corte of the Associated Press:


"Supporters of an initiative campaign to tax the earnings of couples making more than $400,000 annually want to make sure the state's domestic partners are taxed at the same rate as married couples.

"An updated draft of Initiative 1077 was filed with the secretary of state on Friday. The initiative was announced Wednesday by Bill Gates Sr. and others. In addition to making some technical changes, it adds language to ensure that it is consistent with the state's latest expansion to domestic partnerships.

"I-1077 would tax couples with adjusted gross incomes greater than $400,000 annually, or incomes of more than $200,000 for individuals. Supporters said that represents the top 3 percent of earners in Washington. It also would cut the state property tax by 20 percent and increase the business-and-occupation tax credit to $4,800.

"Gay advocates worried that domestic partnerships in which only one person makes more than $200,000 would be unfairly penalized by the tax.

..."'You would have seen gay and lesbian families paying significantly more taxes than their similarly situated heterosexual peers,' said Josh Friedes with Equal Rights Washington."

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