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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

I-1098 Explained

I-1098 and the Voters Guide

More than a few people are confused as to how I-1098 effects registered domestic partners. The Attorney General’s explanation that the $400,000 exemption threshold applies only to married spouses is misleading at best and inaccurate at worst. In fact, the $400,000 exemption threshold applies to both married spouses and registered domestic partners. Here’s how it works:

· Section 904 of the initiative states: “The department must take actions and adopt rules, forms, and procedures to implement this act consistently with RCW 26.60.015, notwithstanding any term or provision of this act except section 601.”

· RCW Chapter 26.60 is entitled and applies to State Registered Domestic Partners.

· RCW 26.60.15 provides: “It is the intent of the legislature that for all purposes under state law, state registered domestic partners shall be treated the same as married spouses.”

Therefore, if married spouses have a $400,000 threshold for determining a state income tax, registered domestic partners have the same $400,000 threshold.

It is unfortunate that the Attorney General’s explanation does not accurately interpret I-1098. Let the Attorney General know your disappointment in excluding same-sex registered domestic partners and diminishing our lawful rights and responsibilities under the law by contacting his office - or 360-753-6200.

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