Friday, October 05, 2007

Appellate Court Ruling Protects Domestic Partner Property Rights

Wednesday's California Roundup reports on a favorable appellate court ruling in California rejecting a challenge by homophobic county tax assessors to a policy that treats registered domestic partners as married couples.
"Domestic partners have the same right as husbands and wives to accept or inherit
real estate from one another without big property tax increase
, a state
appeals court ruled Tuesday," reports the Chron's Bob Egelko. "In a victory for
same-sex couples, the Third District Court of Appeal in Sacramento upheld
regulations approved by the state Board of Equalization in 2003 and a law passed
by the Legislature in 2005 that gave registered domestic partners the same tax
break as spouses under Proposition 13. "The ruling is 'a recognition that
domestic partners, like heterosexual married couples, should be treated equally
and with dignity and respect,' said attorney Daniel Powell, who represented
several same-sex couples and the advocacy group Equality California. A contrary
ruling, he said, would have forced some domestic partners "to pay much higher
taxes upon the death of a loved one." "Lawyers for assessors in several counties
who challenged the tax break were unavailable for comment. The ruling could be
appealed to the state Supreme Court."
MadProfessah's State Board of Equalization member, former Assemblymember Judy Chu, discussed this policy last weekend at the 2007 Los Angeles Leadership Awards, where she strongly supported the principle that California tax laws should treat all Californians equally. Judy has been a longtime champion of gay rights and was deservedly presented the 2007 Los Angeles Leadership Award by the L.A. Gay and Lesbian Center's Lorri Jean (previously scheduled former Governor Gray Davis did not show up because he had a sudden death in the family).

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