The City of Miami Beach on Wednesday became the third Florida municipality to agree to compensate gay city workers receiving domestic partner benefits for the extra tax they pay.

Employer-provided health benefits offered to the partners of gay workers are counted as taxable income by the IRS (unless the partner is considered a dependent). Such benefits are not considered taxable income for married heterosexual employees.

The ordinance, sponsored by Commissioner Michael Gongora, was unanimously approved by the City Commission. A friendly amendment submitted last month by Commissioner Jerry Libbin makes the ordinance effective immediately, instead of next fiscal year, as originally proposed.

“This ordinance finally puts city employees in domestic partnerships, whether same- or opposite-sex, on a level playing field with couples in legally recognized marriages when it comes to paying taxes on health benefits,” C.J. Ortuno, a member of the Miami Beach Human Rights Committee, which backed the measure, and the executive director of SAVE Dade, wrote in an email to supporters.

“Before this vote, the policy on the books forced city employees in domestic partnerships to pay taxes that those in marriages did not have to pay. In effect it meant that the city employees in domestic partnerships lost wages worth upwards of $1,000 every year. The new policy corrects that inequality.”

“We applaud the City of Miami Beach for taking a bold step in the right direction,” he added.