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3 Couples Sue State of Alaska Over Discriminatory Property Taxes

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Three same-sex homeowners in Anchorage have filed suit against Alaska claiming a $150,000 property tax exemption available to seniors and disabled veterans unfairly excludes gays and lesbians. As you might expect, even with a third-grader’s education, the math works out this way: committed gay couples receive only half of the available exemption, because the state doesn’t recognize their significant others — they are merely “roommates.”

The ACLU of Alaska, which is representing the three couples, points to the 2005 Alaska Supreme Court ruling that says health care coverage provided to married couples violates the state constitution’s equal protection clause. Moreover, says the group’s Tom Stenson, “Alaska law is clear that denying committed same-sex couples the same rights as married opposite-sex couples is unconstitutional. For senior couples and disabled vets, every bit of savings counts. These couples should not have to pay more taxes than other families.”

The three couples include sexagenarians Julie Schmidt and Gayle Schuh (retired educators, together 33 years); Julie Vollick, a 20-year Air Force veteran, and Susan Bernard (together seven years and raising four kids); and Fred Traber and Larry Snider (together for 28 years).

By:           JD
On:           Aug 3, 2010
Tagged: , , , ,

  • 9 Comments
    • Rick Brannon
      Rick Brannon

      Awesome.

      Aug 3, 2010 at 6:29 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Ryanthehulk
      Ryanthehulk

      Sarah Palin melts down in 3…2…1

      Aug 3, 2010 at 8:02 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Ryanthehulk
      Ryanthehulk

      Sarah Palin explodes in 3…2…1

      Aug 3, 2010 at 8:07 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • PLAYS WELL WITH OTHERS
      PLAYS WELL WITH OTHERS

      ARRUUUGGGGHHHH………These loving couples want no special or extra rights. They are simply seeking the exact same thing every other citizen is entitled to……….If the state of Alaska was going to implode into a fireball because of Gay couples, one would think said fireball would have combusted after 33 years by now………..

      @Ryanthehulk: Oh Scarah is gonna explode you betcha!! Instead maybe she may want to consider that Alaska is ranked 12th out of 50 states for percentage of divorces……..

      Maybe she may want to tout these couples as examples to follow instead of using them as scapegoats for a campaign of hate……….

      Aug 3, 2010 at 8:39 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Joseph
      Joseph

      Ha the word “opposite-sex” is catching on!

      Aug 3, 2010 at 9:03 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kurt
      Kurt

      I had to do some more reading to figure this out. So, any property with a value greater than $300,000 would not be an issue.

      I’m not sure why, even for those with a value of less than $300,000 it matters to the State of Alaska even if they are not partners and are just roommates. Even if the person taking the full tax credit was getting rent money from a roommate, it would not seem to matter for Alaska.

      Aug 4, 2010 at 11:27 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • L.
      L.

      I really, really hope they’ll win.

      And that they live in Wasilla.

      Aug 4, 2010 at 1:29 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • L.
      L.

      @Kurt: Let me get straight, so to speak: the regulation not only discriminates against LGBT – but also against “poorer” people? Woa.

      Aug 4, 2010 at 1:31 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • 2010 Alaska Tax
      2010 Alaska Tax

      I like your article post. I think E filing of state taxes and federal taxes is the best way. Now we can easily check our state tax refund status from internet.

      Oct 5, 2010 at 3:55 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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