The Impact on Rhode Island’s Budget of Allowing Same-Sex Couples to Marry

By Jody L. Herman, Craig J. Konnoth, M.V. Lee Badgett
February 2011

This analysis estimates the impact on Rhode Island’s state budget of introducing marriage rights for same-sex couples. Using the best data available, we estimate that a measure recognizing marriage between same-sex partners will garner the State $1.2 million in 2010 dollars over the three years following the measure. The benefits accrued will change every year, as the number of married same-sex couples each year will change. The State will gain approximately $358,000 in the first year after offering these rights (Year 1), $416,000 in the second year (Year 2), and $421,000 in the third year (Year 3). This net impact will be the result of savings in expenditures on state means-tested public benefit programs and an increase in state marriage license fees and income and sales tax revenue.

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