WKU Economics Professor Susane Leguizamon talks about her research detailing the effects same-sex marriage could have on federal and state income tax receipts.
The debate over same-sex marriage is one that has heated up this year, with the Supreme Court striking down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which blocked the federal government from recognizing gay marriage. Seven states in 2013 saw same sex marriage legalized through court order, laws passed by state legislatures, or through popular vote.
WKU Economics Professor Susane Leguizamon has conducted some research about an aspect of same sex marriage that most people probably haven't thought about: namely, what would the impact of nationwide gay marriage be on federal and state income tax receipts?
The research conducted by Prof. Leguizamon and her two co-authors finds 23 state would see a new fiscal benefit from same sex marriage legalization, while 21 would see a decline. Seven states wouldn't be impacted in this way since they don't have income taxes.
You can request a copy of the research by emailing Prof. Leguizamon here.
Here are some excerpts from our conversation with Prof. Leguizamon:
How would same-sex marriage legalization impact the income tax revenues of the three states in our listening area: Kentucky, Tennessee, and Indiana?
The Internal Revenue Service will begin accepting tax returns Jan. 30. The IRS had planned to open tax season on Jan. 22, but had to push back the date because of last-minute tax changes Congress made to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff.
Kentucky IRS spokesman Luis Garcia says the agency has had to re-program its computers and forms to reflect the late changes.
"A lot of work, but we want to make sure the filing season runs as smooth as possible," Garcia replies. The majority, 81% of people in Kentucky get a refund and we want to make sure that money gets sent as quickly as possible."
Despite the late start to tax season, the filing deadline remains April 15th. This isn't the first time the IRS has had to deal with late action by Congress. Two years ago, President Obama and lawmakers were at odds on many of the same issues. That delayed the opening of tax season to mid-February.
Kentucky’s Blue Ribbon Tax Commission has spent months learning how the state’s tax system works, and is now beginning to hammer out proposals to reform the state’s tax code. The commission met again this week in Frankfort to hear some final reports from the Beshear administration on how Kentucky’s current revenue systems work.
As taxpayers face tomorrow's income tax filing deadline, WKU Historian Dr. Jack Thacker says income taxes were first established in the United States during the Civil War. He says the federal government used income taxes as a way to help pay for the war effort.