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Death taxes become Pa. gay marriage battle front

October 28, 2013
Associated Press

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Two women in separate cases are challenging Pennsylvania's policy that says same-sex couples aren't covered under the inheritance tax waiver that applies to heterosexual couples.

Barbara Alma Baus filed a petition in Northampton County's orphan's court on Friday, saying she married Catherine Burgi-Rios in Connecticut in 2011 and shouldn't have to pay the 15 percent levy on Burgi-Rios' estate.

This week in Harrisburg a Department of Revenue Board of Appeals hearing officer is scheduled to consider a protest of the inheritance taxes charged to the estate of Jeanne Schwartz. Her partner Nancy Nixon is seeking to overturn a $21,000 tax bill.

A 1996 state law defines marriage as between one man and one woman.

A federal lawsuit and several other Pennsylvania cases challenging the same-sex marriage ban are currently pending.



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