CLERK & COMPTROLLER OFFERS DOMESTIC PARTNER BENEFIT TO EMPLOYEES
Domestic Partner Tax Equity Policy helps offset federal taxes on health insurance
WEST PALM BEACH, FLA. (January 22, 2014) – Clerk & Comptroller employees who cover their domestic partners through the Clerk’s health insurance plans will receive federal tax relief on these insurance premiums, under a new policy signed this month by Clerk Sharon Bock.
Under the Domestic Partner Tax Equity Policy, Clerk & Comptroller employees with qualified domestic partners who are enrolled in the Clerk’s health, dental or vision plans will have their pay grossed up to offset the additional federal taxes paid on these insurance premiums. Federal tax laws treat those insurance benefits as additional income for the employee, and are subject to additional income tax burden.
Married employees whose spouses and children are covered by the Clerk’s health, dental and vision insurance plans are not subject to the same tax burden.
“This is a fairness issue,” Clerk Bock said. “I want to ensure our employees are treated equally. That means employees with domestic partners should not have to pay more for their insurance coverage than their married colleagues who cover their spouses’ health insurance.”
Clerk Bock enacted the policy in collaboration with the Palm Beach County Human Rights Council, a nonprofit organization dedicated to ending discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression.
The Clerk’s office joins other government agencies - including Palm Beach County, West Palm Beach, the Palm Beach County Constitutional Tax Collector and the Palm Beach County Property Appraiser - in reimbursing employees or offering stipends to offset the tax burden for employees.
“It is critical that we work with governments and businesses to make them aware of these issues, and enact policies that eliminate inequalities in the workplace,” said Rand Hoch, president of the Palm Beach County Human Rights Council.
Many of the Clerk’s employees who will be affected by the policy are in opposite-sex domestic partnerships.
The Clerk’s office began offering domestic partner benefits to employees in 2004 and added domestic partner benefits under our Family Medical Leave Act policy in 2012.
For more information about the Clerk’s office, please visit www.mypalmbeachclerk.com or call
The Florida Constitution established the independent office of the Clerk & Comptroller as a public trustee, responsible for safeguarding public records and public funds. Clerk Sharon Bock is directly elected by and accountable to Palm Beach County residents. In addition to the roles of Clerk of the Circuit Court, County Recorder and Clerk of the Board of County Commissioners, the Clerk & Comptroller is the Chief Financial Officer, Treasurer and Auditor for Palm Beach County.
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