Court rules same-sex couples have equal tax rights

The Alaska Supreme Court has ruled that same-sex couples are equally entitled to the same state property tax exemptions for senior citizens and disabled veterans as married couples.

Friday’s ruling upholds a 2011 Superior Court ruling on a taxation case involving three same-sex Anchorage couples who sued the state and municipality of Anchorage 2010 through the Alaska American Civil Liberties Union.

The High Court reversed the ruling for one of the couples, saying the senior citizen in the couple had no actual ownership in the property owned by his younger partner.

The court says the couple thus was not eligible under state law allowing seniors at least 65 years old and disabled veterans to exclude from their property taxes the first $150,000 of assessed value of primary homes.