Interesting Ways For States To Increase Their Revenues

Ken AshfordEconomy & Jobs & DeficitLeave a Comment

(1) Allow same-sex marriages before your neighboring states do:

"Right now, so few states provide for marriage for same-sex couples that there is a kind of marriage tourism that goes on," Gates explains.

In other words, states that legalize same-sex marriage — and that are among the first to do so — would see the biggest uptick in tourism due to couples from neighboring states making the trip to say "I do."

"Assuming that people buy rings and rent halls and cater food and all of those things that go with weddings and, for tourism, that they bring some people along with them and they all stay in a hotel and all of those kinds of activities — we try to take [that] into account."

"[Gay marriage] creates some positive revenue for the state because it simply means that people who could not get married now can."

And Gates even argues that more jobs would be created.

"If you have this much tourism revenue, it supports this many jobs in the states. So we argue if you get this much additional tourism revenue, then you would expect this many additional jobs."

(2)  Legalize, and then tax, marijuana:

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger…  is facing a $42 billion budget deficit, his prisons are filled to bursting, in substantial part with people in on drug-related crime, and he will soon be forced by judicial edict to start freeing people. He also has an offer from a group call Let Us Pay Taxes, which claims to represent the marijuana industry and is willing to pay $1 billion annually in taxes if only he will legalize. No doubt they are low-balling.

(3)  Tax porn:

Because of recent court decisions over the relatively new area of taxing Internet transactions, the sales tax would apply only to pornographers who are located in the state. It's a break for out-of-state Web sites that wouldn't have to collect from New Yorkers.

It's difficult to tally how much people spend for online porn, but, a site reviewing products and ranking their quality, performance and revenue, says the industry brought in $2.84 billion in 2006. The cable, pay-per-view and phone sex industries brought in $2.19 billion that year, the site says.

Paterson's tax also applies to downloads of music and movies, so this government action on pornography isn't likely to face the same legal challenges over indecency and freedom of speech as past measures because the tax isn't specifically targeting content.

(4)  Casinos and slot parlors:

The state treasurer thinks Massachusetts would get a financial boost by licensing three slot parlors.

Tim Cahill believes the state could generate up to $3 billion in one-time licensing fees up front and about $250 million a year in tax revenues.

"I think given the financial crisis we're faced with, and the need for revenue, this is a cleaner and quicker way to get that revenue," Cahill told WBZ Tuesday.

Gov. Patrick failed in his attempt to bring full scale-casinos to Massachusetts last year.

The slot parlors would be privately-owned and operated, but publically regulated.

The state would get 27-percent of the money made from them.

(5)  Tax "thingy":