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Domestic partnership benefits have IRS drawback

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STEVENS POINT, Wis. (WSAU) -- The City of Stevens Point is well on it’s way to changing it’s family benefit plans to include domestic partnerships.

While supporting the change, City Comptroller-Treasurer Corey Laddick says city employees will have to look carefully at the costs, because the Internal Revenue Service has rules that do not treat domestic partnerships the same as married couples. “Basically, the cost difference between a single plan and a family plan, that amount would be taxable income for the employee, so unfortunately, the IRS does not treat domestic partnership benefits equally.”

Laddick says that IRS rule may impact the number of people participating in the program. “That’s one thing that will reduce the amount of people that might be interested in domestic partner benefits, especially if their domestic partner would have access to health care through their own plan with their own employer.”

Laddick says it is a good idea for employees considering the use of domestic partnership benefits to talk to their tax expert. He says the city has put together additional information. “We have prepared a tax implications bulletin for our employees, so we want to provide them with as much information as we possibly can to make sure that they make the best decision.”

The city has already voted to go forward with domestic partnership benefits, but they are working on some of the policy language issues during committee meetings. One of those meetings is Monday evening, as the Personnel Committee takes up issues at 6:20 p.m.

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