California Could Gain Up To $25 Million Annually From Gay Marriage Study Says

Wed. May 12, 2004 12:00 AM by

Los Angeles, California - A UCLA study says that if California legalized same-sex marriage there would be a net gain of $22.3 to $25.2 million each year for the State budget.

The study was prepared by the Williams Project, a think tank at UCLA School of Law and by the Institute for Gay and Lesbian Strategic Studies.

Savings in means-tested public benefits programs, increases in sales tax revenues from tourism, and additional dollars for same-sex wedding ceremonies would account for the windfall to the State, the study says.

"These savings more than offset a decrease in income tax revenues, says" Brad Sears, co-author of the study and Executive Director of the Williams Project.

The main savings for the State would be the consequence of decreasing the number of individuals eligible for means-tested state benefit programs, like Medi-Cal and CalWorks the study says. Under the benefit programs a person's married same-sex partner is included when determining eligibility for state benefit programs.

"Even if only a small percentage of individuals living with partners register and become ineligible for public benefits," says economist and study co-author, Dr. M.V. Lee Badgett, " California is likely to reduce its expenditures on these programs by more than $23 million each year."

In addition, the S tate will benefit from a boom in tourism if it extends marriage to gay couples. When San Francisco was allowing gays to marry couples flew in from 46 states and 8 countries.

The study concludes that if same-sex marriage were permanently offered, each year California would benefit from over $100 million in increased business revenues -- generating over $10 million in sales tax revenues for the State.

According to Sears, "our analysis makes it clear that providing California families with equal rights is fiscally responsible. Making same-sex partners accountable to each other not only strengthens families; it has a positive impact on the state budget."

The study was released on the eve of a hearing before the California State Assembly Appropriations Committee on same-sex marriage legislation.

“This study makes it clear that equal protection is not only the right thing to do morally, but also fiscally,” said Geoffrey Kors, Executive Director of Equality California.

“By passing this bill, the legislature could avoid onerous proposed budget cuts in education and health programs. The Assembly Appropriations Committee can not in good conscience let this bill die when it could do enormous good for families and for the economy.”

©® 2004

This article originally appeared on Republished with permission.