Lehigh Valley

Lawsuit seeks same-sex benefits on inheritance tax

Woman sues for equal tax treatment on same-sex marriage

A Bethlehem woman is suing for equal treatment for same-sex spouses under Pennsylvania's inheritance tax law.

Barbara Baus filed the lawsuit Monday in Northampton County court.

Baus and her partner were married in Connecticut in 2011. Her partner died from leukemia in 2012.

Baus says she should be charged the spousal tax rate of zero-percent on her spouse's inheritance, but the state has charged her 15-percent -- the rate that applies to legal stranger.

"The whole issue is.. it's not fair. Our love was as deep as any straight couple's love and our marriage was as valid as any straight couple's marriage," said Baus.

The Pennsylvania Department of Revenue says her marriage was "not valid in Pennsylvania."

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