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Economic Impact of Allowing Same-Sex Marriage in Vermont

Economic Impact of Allowing Same-Sex Marriage in Vermont

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Published by Natch Greyes
Extending marriage to same-sex couples will boost Vermont‟s economy by over $30.6 million over three years, which would generate increases in state and local government tax and fee revenues by $3.3 million and create approximately 700 new jobs.

This analysis estimates the impact on business revenue and state and local government revenues if Vermont were to extend marriage to same-sex couples. We take into account the new legal landscape of same-sex marriage, which includes Massachusetts and Connecticut as two same-sex marriage destinations, along with the brief period in which California opened marriage to same-sex couples (June to November of 2008). Using the best data available, we estimate that allowing same-sex couples to marry will result in roughly $3.3 million in revenue over the next three years.
Extending marriage to same-sex couples will boost Vermont‟s economy by over $30.6 million over three years, which would generate increases in state and local government tax and fee revenues by $3.3 million and create approximately 700 new jobs.

This analysis estimates the impact on business revenue and state and local government revenues if Vermont were to extend marriage to same-sex couples. We take into account the new legal landscape of same-sex marriage, which includes Massachusetts and Connecticut as two same-sex marriage destinations, along with the brief period in which California opened marriage to same-sex couples (June to November of 2008). Using the best data available, we estimate that allowing same-sex couples to marry will result in roughly $3.3 million in revenue over the next three years.

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Categories:Types, Research
Published by: Natch Greyes on Apr 07, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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05/14/2012

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 Christopher Ramos
Research Assistant 
 
M.V. Lee Badgett
Research Director,Professor of Economics,University of Massachusetts-Amherst 
 
Brad Sears
Executive Director 
1
MARCH 2009
 
The Economic Impact of Extending Marriage to Same-SexCouples in Vermont
E
 XECUTIVE
S
UMMARY 
 
Extending marriage to same-sex couples will boost Vermont
‟ 
s economy by over $30.6million over three years, which would generate increases in state and local governmenttax and fee revenues by $3.3 million and create approximately 700 new jobs.This analysis estimates the impact on business revenue and state and local governmentrevenues if Vermont were to extend marriage to same-sex couples. We take intoaccount the new legal landscape of same-sex marriage, which includes Massachusettsand Connecticut as two same-sex marriage destinations, along with the brief period inwhich California opened marriage to same-sex couples (June to November of 2008).Using the best data available, we estimate that allowing same-sex couples to marry willresult in roughly $3.3 million in revenue over the next three years.We base our conclusion on the following estimates:
 
Judging from the experience of other states that have extended marriage andcivil unions to same-sex couples, such as Massachusetts and Vermont itself,approximately 997 resident couples will marry in the next three years.
 
In addition, approximately 8,212 same-sex couples from other states will cometo Vermont to marry. These couples will primarily come from New York, wherethey are likely to have their marriages recognized, and from states in theimmediate Northeast region.The weddings of same-
sex couples will generate new economic activity for the state‟s
 businesses:
 
 
2
 
Spending by resident same-sex couples on their weddings and by out-of-statecouples on tourism and their weddings will boost
 Vermont‟s
economy by $30.6million in direct spending over the next three years.
 
Over the next three years, the direct spending by resident and out-of-statesame-sex couples will create approximately 700 new jobs in Vermont.Direct spending from same-sex couples on weddings and tourism will generate almost$3.3 million in new revenues for state and local governments.
 
Spending on weddings by couples living in Vermont, and tourism and weddingsby couples from outside of Vermont, will generate $2.9 million in state sales taxrevenues and meals and rooms tax revenues. This estimate is conservative inthat it does not include increased revenues from many other taxes that areharder to estimate, such as
 Vermont‟s
fuel gross receipts tax,telecommunications tax, alcoholic beverages tax, local option taxes, or taxes onindirect spending or earnings.
 
In addition, the weddings from in-state and out-of-state couples will generateapproximately $414,400 in marriage license fees for Vermont.Our analysis relies on the same methods that we used in previous studies of theeconomic and fiscal impact of marriage for same-sex couples on Washington, NewMexico, New Hampshire, California, Connecticut, Colorado, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Vermont, Maryland,
 
and Iowa.
 
 
3
I
NTRODUCTION
 
In this study, we engage in a series of analyses to examine the effect of same-sexmarriage and wedding spending on
 Vermont‟s
economy and state budget over the nextthree years. We take into account that on July 31
st
, 2008, Massachusetts openedsame-sex marriage to out-of-state couples,
1
Connecticut legalized same-sex onmarriage on October 10
th
, 2008,
2
and California allowed same-sex couples to marry fora brief period (June to November 2008).
3
 Our analyses are grounded in the methodology that we used in previous studies of thefiscal impact of marriage for same-sex couples on Vermont
4
, as well as New Jersey,
5
 Washington,
6
New Mexico,
7
New Hampshire,
8
California,
9
Connecticut,
10
Colorado,
11
 Massachusetts,
12
Maryland,
13
and Iowa.
14
Findings from all of these studies suggestthat extending marriage rights to same-sex couples would result in a positive netimpact on state budgets.Throughout this report, we estimate the economic impact of weddings conservatively.
In other words, we choose assumptions that are cautious from the State‟s perspective
in that they tend to produce lower revenues given the range of possibilities. Even so,we find that the effect of allowing same-sex couples to marry in Vermont is a gain of $30.6 million to Vermont
‟s
businesses and workers, and $3.3 million in state and localgovernment revenues over the next three years.

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