Prof. Steven Homer Co-Authors Study Showing Fiscal Impact of Same-Sex Marriage in New Mexico

Norman BayUNM Law School Professor Steven K. Homer and Williams Institute Public Policy Research Fellow Erin Fitzgerald studied the fiscal impact of extending marriage to same-sex couples in New Mexico.

Their research shows that extending marriage rights to same-sex couples in New Mexico would bring an estimated $20.4 million to the state economy over the first three years.

According to the most recent U.S. Census, there are currently 5,825 same-sex couples living in New Mexico. An estimated 2,913 (50 percent) of those couples would marry in the first three years, according to the pattern that has been observed in Massachusetts, which has had marriage equality since 2004, and elsewhere.

New Mexico Map

The report estimates that 50 percent of the state's 5,825 same-sex couples will marry in the first three years and direct wedding spending will reach $20.4 million. The spending will generate some $1.4 million in state and local sales tax revenue and the state will see income tax revenue of about $500,000, according to the report, with a net positive to the state general fund of $2.5 to $3.7 million in the next few years.

The estimates are based on what has happened in other states with same-sex marriages and adds in the fact that New Mexico is already a tourist destination. Each wedding will cost about $5,345, for instance and direct spending from already-issued licenses will total $4.8 million, according to the estimate.

The analysis estimates a total of 46,600 out-of-town guests for the same-sex weddings, with 318 jobs created from the boost in economic activity.