For all the saviors of civilization out there who say gay marriage would be a big hit to Iowa taxpayers, here’s something to chew on from UCLA — a study that argues same-sex unions would actually increase state tax revenues.
Maybe there’s an Iowa-specific study on the other side, with actual numbers and not just a bunch of “Good vs. Evil” fear rhetoric, but I haven’t seen it. Certainly they’ll dismiss this as lefty propaganda, but it’s pretty interesting. Here’s the media release.
“This study demonstrates that equal marriage rights for same-sex couples are not only good for those couples, but they’re good for the state budget,” noted co-author Lee Badgett, the research director of the Williams Institute. “Iowa’s policymakers do not need to worry about the impact of this policy change on the state’s fiscal health.”
In calculating the net benefit to the State, the study approximates that half of Iowa’s 5,833 same-sex couples, or 2,917 couples, would marry in the first three years of being able. The study estimates that the state would see an increase in income tax revenue of over $1.2 million per year, but a loss of approximately $1.4 million in inheritance tax revenue.
The study also finds that same-sex weddings and associated tourism would generate $160 million in spending over three years, providing a boon to the state economy. Further due to this spending, the state would see an increase in sales tax revenue of about $2.7 million per year.
In addition to overall increased tax revenue, the study finds that same-sex marriage in Iowa would result in a decrease in state expenditures on means-tested public benefits programs, saving the State at least $100,000 per year and as much as $2.8 million. The study also concludes that the impact of permitting same-sex couples to marry on the cost of state employee retirement benefits would be negligible. Negligible effects would also be felt in state court and administrative systems because fees paid by couples will cover any costs generated by same-sex marriage.
The Williams Institute for Sexual Orientation Law and Public Policy advances law and public policy through rigorous, independent research and scholarship, and disseminates its work through a variety of education programs and media to judges, legislators, lawyers, other policy makers and the public. This study can be accessed at the Williams Institute website, www.law.ucla.edu/williamsinstitute.