How same-sex marriage can boost tax revenues
A new study focusing on Minnesota says legalization can add tens of millions of dollars to state and local coffers.
Here's another, financial argument in favor of same-sex marriage: It can bring in a lot of state revenue.
A new study from the Williams Institute at the UCLA Law School focused on Minnesota -- where state legislators are currently considering the legalization of same-sex marriages. According to the study, extending marriage rights to same-sex couples would bring in tens of millions of dollars for both the state and local economies.
"Marriage equality creates a measurable economic boost for the jurisdictions that enact it," M.V. Lee Badgett, Williams Institute research director and professor of economics at the University of Massachusetts, said in a press release. "But if states don’t use it, they may lose it. A constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage in Minnesota means that many of these wedding-related expenditures will be made elsewhere."
The study estimates that during the first three years of extending marriage to same-sex couples in Minnesota:
The state's wedding and tourism industries would see spending rise by $42 million. That would include $28 million in additional spending on weddings and $14 million in tourism by out-of-town guests.
Minnesota's overall state and local tax revenues would see a $3 million increase, including about $128,000 in local taxes. Of this increase, $2 million would take place in the first year of same-sex marriage being legalized.
Additional travel spending would mean nearly 300 new jobs being created in the state.
Meanwhile, 26 Minnesota business leaders have sent a letter to the state's governor, house speaker and senate majority leader in support of legalizing same sex-marriage in their state. Along with citing what they see as the inevitability of such legislation, the group stressed the economic benefits of same-sex marriage.
"Discrimination is bad for business," they said in the letter. "A welcoming state is essential to recruiting and retaining the best young talent. Minnesota employers have known this for years."
The business leaders also considered how their workers would react to a denial of same-sex marriage in Minnesota. "Marriage inequality makes some of our employees second-class citizens," they said. "Turnover and a loss of productivity are two of the consequences that come when some employees are denied rights that most of us take for granted, including family issues and end-of-life decisions among many others."
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