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Gay Marriage Would Shift Money To Counties

Liz Jones

If Washington state voters uphold a same–sex marriage law this fall, the state's budget will take a very slight hit. That's according to state budget officials, as KUOW's Liz Jones reports.


The estimates come from the Washington state Office of Financial Management. It looked at how the outcome of November ballot initiatives would affect public funds.

On the list is Referendum 74. It asks voters to uphold or reject the state's new marriage equality law. The Legislature passed it in January.

If the law stands, state revenue would see a little dip of about $81,000 in the next five years. That's because fewer people would likely file for domestic partnerships.

But in that same five–year period, the new law would boost county funds by $128,000. Budget officials expect that extra money would come from more applications for marriage licenses.

The maximum cost of a marriage license is $64. The county gets slightly more than half that fee. The rest goes to the state.

Washington lawmakers approved domestic partnerships in 2007. Same–sex marriage opponents challenged it with a referendum. But a majority of voters rejected it.

More than 9,000 couples in Washington are now registered as domestic partners.

I'm Liz Jones, KUOW News.

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