Senate approves bill allowing gay couples to file joint tax returns

Posted on: 11:18 am, January 21, 2014, by , updated on: 03:38pm, January 21, 2014

Pro-civil unions rally at Colorado State Capitol. May 8, 2012.

Pro-civil unions rally at Colorado State Capitol. May 8, 2012.

DENVER — After an hour of debate, a proposal to allow gay couples legally married in other states to file jointly on their state tax returns got initial approval from the state senate Tuesday morning.

Senate Bill 19 was approved on an initial 18-16 vote that split lawmakers right down party lines with Democrats, who maintain a one-seat majority in the senate, voting yes and Republicans, one of whom was absent, all voting no.

The legislation, sponsored by Sen. Pat Steadman, D-Denver, would tweak state statutes so that the formal filing status used on state tax returns is linked to a resident’s federal returns.

Sen. Pat Harvey, R-Highlands Ranch, led the attack for Republicans, arguing that the proposal is a “gratuitous attack” on traditional marriage.

“We have an eight-page bill that does nothing but strike the word marriage out of state statute,” Harvey said, noting that the revised statute would make no mention of marriage as a qualification to file jointly. “This is a direct attack on the institution of marriage.”

Steadman’s proposal would simply state that a resident’s filing status on a state return mirror that on their federal return.

He scoffed at the notion that changing the state’s tax code was any sort of assault on marriage.

“It’s sort of like going back to the days of separate restrooms and water fountains for different groups of citizens,” Steadman said of the current law. “It doesn’t make sense that we don’t allow everyone to participate fairly, pay their taxes in an equal manner.”

Because the federal government now recognizes legally married same-sex couples regardless of where they reside, couples could file joint tax returns and receive all the benefits granted by that status even though gay marriage continues to be illegal in Colorado.

Steadman, who is gay, sponsored the legislation passed last year allowing Colorado LGBT couples to enter into civil unions.

12 comments

  • robert says:

    Keep it up Democrats the real public is getting tired of this. November is not far off.

  • NativeColoRN says:

    …the ignorant liberal democrats have picked up, where they left off. THEY KNOW, the hand writting is on the wall. SO these democrats are on a misson to inflict as much damage as possible before being thrown out!…THERE needs to BE MORE RECALLS…NOW! DO NOT wait for November and the inevitable demolishion of democrats!

  • robert says:

    NativeColoRN,
    Lets start with Hickenlooper and Udall I’ve been trying to get a petion to recall Udall just for being a thug.

  • UncleSamsMisguidedChildrensBudfueledAttorney says:

    I’m all for LGBT rights and gun rights , to bad the dems went for my guns , if it wasn’t for that I’d do all I could to support them on this issue but with the new gun laws I have learned to vote along party lines to protect what I care about more .

  • Test says:

    Let them suffer through the marriage tax just like the rest of us.

  • NativeColoRN says:

    …isn’t this hypocritical… they use the excuse, they want to be compliant with federal laws…BUT, they support the sale of recreational Marijuanna..which the federal government still says it’s ILLEGAL!

  • NativeColoRN says:

    ROBERT:
    WERE do you want to start? Let’s get this rolling

  • tee says:

    Hopefully voters show up to get rid of chickenpooper and the rest of his little coup of losers!!! Nothing like chickenpooper giving Dunlap a break, he is guttless, both of them!!!

  • Fast45 says:

    At least Russia’s Putin has it right …

  • Jim says:

    The answer is to end ALL Tax benefits that are based on marital status for EVERYONE at the state and federal level!

    That is the real inequality. and everyone should be equal, and being discriminated against financially because you are not married is not just a problem for people of alternate lifestyles.

    I Could care less who you marry – The only thing I don’t understand is why Atheists want to participate in a Religious Ceremony called marriage – but whatever -more power to ya – been there, done that, never going back.

    I don’t get at tax break for being good to the same woman for 10 years yet not marrying because we both have been there and not going back – not even the tax break is worth it!!!!

  • Dick Peabody says:

    Tax breaks for the married were instituted to encourage marriage and the formation of a family (with children). Homosexual sodomites can NOT give a child the benefits a mother and father can and they should NOT be given tax incentives meant for a marriage of man and woman. Peanut butter packing does not rate a break, fruits.

  • Ken says:

    @Jim – All marriage is is a contract with the state. That’s it.

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