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Same-Sex Marriage Means Tax Windfall For States

It’s been a month since the landmark Supreme Court ruling that legalized same-sex marriage nationwide, and the positive implications have never been more evident.

Nessel and Kessel clients April DeBoer and Jayne Rowse will never again have to worry about the safety and security of their children; likewise, couples and families just like theirs can marry and reap the benefits opposite sex couples have long enjoyed.

But that’s truly only the start.

The Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law, which has been tracking the effect of same-sex marriage on states since 2001, has projected that the same-sex marriage ruling could ultimately result in $184.7 million annually in state and local tax revenue.

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Same-sex marriage means tax windfall for state.

The following content was originally published by The Herald on July 26, 2015.

The Williams Institute projects that in Alabama, for instance, gay marriage will boost the state’s revenue by $1.8million a year and generate 108 jobs in the next three years in the wedding business and related industries, such as hospitality and transportation. Kansas will gain $1.2million in tax revenue annually, along with 75 new jobs in the next three years.

The institute bases its projections on the effect that same-sex unions had on the states that allowed them before the court decision. A state-by-state study shows that in the first three years in which marriage was made legal in those states, economic activity and state tax revenues grew.

In each of the first three years after California legalized gay marriage in 2008, the state added $31.4million in tax revenue and 2,178 jobs, the study found.

“For many years, we’ve known there was a positive revenue impact of marriage,” said Christy Mallory, the senior counsel with the institute who helped prepare the report.

Even before any state made gay marriage legal, Mallory said, same-sex commitment and civil unions buoyed the wedding and tourism industries and increased revenue from sales and visitors taxes.

But the findings also provide a caution for state tax collectors. After an initial surge, revenue leveled off as did the number of marriages — although revenue continues to grow in the 36 states that legalized same-sex marriage before the court’s June 26 decision.


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