$88 Million Boost for WA Economy if Gay Marriage Recognized


The Williams Institute has released a report that estimates that, when factoring in the total spending on wedding arrangements and tourism, marriage equality could add an $88-million boost to the Washington economy over the first three years after it is legalized. This, in turn, is projected to generate an estimated $8 million in tax revenue for state and local governments.

The report’s figures, based on the average wedding expenditures in Washington teamed with tourism reports from 2010 and data on the marriage expenses of same-sex couples in other states, shows that even under conservative estimates Washington could see a considerable monetary benefit in opening marriage up to same-sex couples.

From the press release:

The report considers that couples in existing registered domestic partnerships might have different spending patterns from couples that do not have that status. Even if there was no new spending by the 7,518 couples currently in registered domestic partnerships, the state would see an estimated increase in spending of $18 million and a tax boost of $1.6 million.

According to Census 2010, there are 19,003 resident same-sex couples in Washington State. Of the 19,003 couples, the report estimates that 50%, or about 9,500 couples, will choose to marry in the three years following the opening of marriage to same-sex couples in Washington.

“Our study estimates that resident same-sex couples will spend $39 million on weddings in Washington in the first year alone,” said co-author Angeliki Kastanis, Public Policy Research Fellow at the Williams Institute. Added Kastanis, “That translates to approximately $3.4 million in tax revenue, given Washington sales tax rates.”

It should be noted that this estimate does not factor in same-sex couples from out of state who travel into Washington in order to marry, which would likely be another source of extra income.

You can read the full report here.

Washington’s marriage equality legislation will receive its first hearing on Monday. Should everything run smoothly through public consultation and then committee stages, it is expected that the legislation will be up for a floor vote by next month.

Read the latest on that, and how computer giant Microsoft has thrown its support behind marriage equality, here.

Related Reading:

WA Lawyer Moves to Repeal Gay Marriage (Before Itís Even Been Legalized)

Washington Gay Marriage Votes Within Reach?

GOP Senator Supports Washington Marriage Equality Bill

Photo used under the MorgueFile user license, with thanks to pennywise.


James Campbell
James Campbell4 years ago

Darryll G. “marriage is between one man and one woman”

Really? so how does this “rule” apply to intersex people?

Darryll Green
Darryll Green4 years ago

Give them anything. BUT don't call it Marriage, because it is not. marriage is between one man and one woman, God made Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve. quite trying to legitamize something that go against nature even, if it didn't they would be able to reproduce naturally. But they can't, tell Washington state to open their eyes. besides the person who wrote this article must not be able to add if he thinks 9500 people can produce revenues of 39 million dollars in 3 years

Chad A.
Chad Anderson4 years ago

Let's just do this because it is the right thing to do...

Dijana D.
Dijana D.4 years ago

YES! Legalize gay marriage! and marijuana. both would benefit the economy among other things

Brian M.
Past Member 4 years ago

Washington state would experience an 8.8 billion dollar boost in revenue if they would regulate and tax the production and sale of cannabis for adult consumers.

Winn Adams
Winn Adams4 years ago

It's great that it would bring in more money to my state but WA State should do it because it's the correct thing to do.

JACarlton Author
jill c.4 years ago

Whoo hoooo Washington! Lead on!

Sa F.
Sandi F.4 years ago

What we need is a federal amendment allowing any two persons of legal age to marry. Done, no more questions, no more discrimination. How hard it? Oh, I forgot, it offends nasty little bigoted people like Santorum, Bachman, Gingrich, Paul and Romney, right wing Republicans and perhaps most of the population of Kansas.......

Ros G.
Ros G.4 years ago

Come on Australia - get behind this. What a boost to our domestic economy Julie and Tony, put aside your personal beliefs. But then again Bob and Penny have probably been telling you this all along. Legalize same-sex marriage before the next recession hits. Come on Wayne you're the Treasurer crunch the numbers. Think of the headlines "The World can beat recession through Equality" Wayne Swan the World's best Treasurer.

Linda T.
Linda T.4 years ago

Smart states benefit from smart Civil Rights policies.