TaxProf Blog

Editor: Paul L. Caron, Dean
Pepperdine University School of Law

Monday, July 1, 2013

The Impact of Same-Sex Marriage on Federal and State Budgets

Tax AnalystsDiana Furchtgott-Roth (Senior Fellow, Manhattan Institute), Same-Sex Marriage Decisions Won't Affect Uncle Sam's Bottom Line, 140 Tax Notes 75 (July 1, 2013):

Furchtgott- Roth presents data to show that the Supreme Court decisions on the Defense of Marriage Act and California’s Proposition 8 are unlikely to affect federal or state budgets. ...

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office last estimated the effects of same-sex marriage in 2004. It concluded that federal recognition of samesex marriage would reduce the budget deficit by $500 million to $700 million a year between 2011 and 2014, or 0.016 percent of total federal spending of $3.7 trillion. [The Potential Budgetary Impact of Recognizing Same-Sex Marriages] ...

In a December 2012 paper, University of Michigan economist Adam Stevenson estimated an annual increase of $34 million in federal revenues, or 0.001 percent of federal spending, if same-sex marriage were legalized at the federal level. He estimated a lower revenue gain than the CBO did because he assumes that many gay spouses would change their labor force participation rates in response to the marriage penalty. [The Labor Supply and Tax Revenue Consequences of Federal Same-Sex Marriage Legalization, 65 Nat’l Tax J. 783 (Dec. 2012)] ...


The effects of same-sex marriage on federal and state revenues appear to be minor because of the low incidence of those marriages; the Supreme Court decision therefore will not have major fiscal consequences on a regional or national level.

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