Wednesday, April 20, 2005

DC Tax Clarity -- Kind of

District of Columbia same-sex couples who married in Massachusetts can file joint tax returns, according to the attorney general there. However, the city's tax folk have the authority to reject any of these filings reports the Washington Post. Huh?

The move by D.C. Attorney General Robert J. Spagnoletti has thus squeezed D.C.'s Mayor Anthony A. Williams and CFO Natwar M. Ganhdi. The latter wants clarification from the other two. Likewise, the mayor turned to the District's lawyers for advice.

Spagnoletti says his ruling was in response to two married-in-Massachusetts men who asked for it as last Friday's tax filing date approached. He says it is the only such request he got from a D.C. couple who had married in Massachusetts.

Williams has tried to avoid taking a position for the District on same-sex marriage. A local paper, the Washington Blade quoted him last spring as, "I'm getting pressure from people who are saying, 'Look, with the political situation we're facing nationally, why do we need to do this now?' And I'm facing, obviously, pressure from the other side, saying we needed to do this last week."

That last-week allusion is real now. As Peter Rosensetin, a member of the local gay and lesbian taskforce there told the Post, "It was felt there would be a case where someone married in Massachusetts would file in D.C. Obviously that's now happening. And the city will have to deal with it."

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