Monday, October 28, 2013

Pennsylvania: Lesbian widow suing for equal treatment under inheritance laws

Barbara Baus (L) and Cathy Burgi-Rios (R)
Pennsylvania now has it's own Edie Windsor/same-sex marriage inheritance law suit:

A Bethlehem woman who legally married her same-sex partner in 2011 in Connecticut is suing to seek equal tax treatment in the wake of her partner's death last year.

Barbara Baus and Cathy Burgi-Rios, who lived together for more than 15 years, married on April 29, 2011, in Fairfield County, Connecticut. Burgi-Rios died on Sept. 21, 2012, from leukemia. She was 55.

According to a news release issued this morning by the law firm representing Baus, she sought the spousal tax rate of 0 percent from Pennsylvania for what she inherited from Burgi-Rios.

The state Department of Revenue responded to her request by stating her marriage was not valid in Pennsylvania; the department said she would instead be required to pay a 15 percent rate that applies to legal strangers, according to the news release from the law firm Jerner & Palmer, P.C.

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