On a broader scope, Nixon is emboldened that, here on out, same-sex couples fighting inheritance taxes on estates will hopefully, like her, find favorable resolutions to their disputes with the state.
Nixon in May learned that the
Nixon in October went before the department to appeal the levy, arguing that she and Schwartz, after 31 years together, had had a common-law marriage.
"I'm thrilled that this was the outcome and that they agreed with us," Nixon said. "But more important than money is the fact that other people will be able to follow in my footsteps and will not be taxed as well."
Pivotal to Nixon's case was the federal court ruling striking down the gay marriage ban in
"I'm so happy not to have to come up with that," she said. "That's a lot of money for me."
Rulings by the department's appeals board are confidential. A spokeswoman for the
"Each appeal is evaluated on the merits of the individual case," said department spokeswoman
She confirmed that the ruling from Jones did change some protocol for the department, and that officials were "working through" parameters that will impact personal income tax and inheritance tax regulations.
Nixon had planned to argue on the technicality that she and Schwartz had been denied the right to marry all the years they were together.
While the decision from the state agency lacks the overreaching authority of the federal court ruling,
"I think it's an important recognition that there are a lot of same-sex couples who had been denied the right to marry for year even though they lived as married spouses," she said. "For people like
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