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-Sex Couples in Vermont EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
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. We base our conclusion on the following estimates:
Judging from the experience of other states that have extended marriage and civil 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 come to Vermont to marry. These couples will primarily come from New York, where they are likely to have their marriages recognized, and from states in the immediate 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-state couples on tourism and their weddings will boost Vermont‟s economy by $30.6 million in direct spending over the next three years.
Over the next three years, the direct spending by resident and out-of-state same-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 weddings by couples from outside of Vermont, will generate $2.9 million in state sales tax revenues and meals and rooms tax revenues. This estimate is conservative in that it does not include increased revenues from many other taxes that are harder to estimate, such as Vermont‟s fuel gross receipts tax, telecommunications tax, alcoholic beverages tax, local option taxes, or taxes on indirect spending or earnings.
In addition, the weddings from in-state and out-of-state couples will generate approximately $414,400 in marriage license fees for Vermont.
Our analysis relies on the same methods that we used in previous studies of the economic and...