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Arizona Missing Out on $5 Million in Tax Revenue Due to Gay-Marriage Ban, Study Says

Researchers at UCLA estimate that an additional $62 million in spending would take place in Arizona if the state allowed same-sex marriage.

Since same-sex couples have to go to another state if they want to get married (in a marriage that's not even recognized by this state), researchers with UCLA's Williams Institute estimate the state could raise more than $5 million in sales taxes in just three years.

See also:
-Gay Couples File Lawsuit Challenging Arizona's Ban on Same-Sex Marriage

From the researchers:

According to 2010 U.S. Census data, the most recent data available, 15,817 same-sex couples live in Arizona. Of those couples, the Institute estimates that 50 percent (7,909 couples) would choose to marry in the first three years, a pattern that has been observed in Massachusetts and elsewhere. Over 5,000 marriages would occur in the first year alone, and bring up to $39 million in revenue to the state of Arizona that year.

These estimates not only include wedding costs, but also spending by out-of-state guests attending the wedding.

The researchers also estimate that the expansion in marriage could lead to the generation of more than 500 full- and part-time jobs.

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None of the estimates take into account the prospect of same-sex couples from other states holding their ceremonies in Arizona, if Arizona's ban were to be lifted. Similarly, there's no estimate for the number of same-sex couples from Arizona who've already gotten married in another state.

"This study confirms that all Arizonans benefit from marriage for same-sex couples, not just the LGBT community," Williams Institute scholar M.V. Lee Badgett says in a statement.

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Follow Matthew Hendley at @MatthewHendley.

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