Chief city economist Edmund Egan testified today that the state ban on gay marriage is costing San Francisco millions in lost revenue and increased services.  Although Egan could not precisely quantify how much the city would have gained if it had allowed same sex marriage, he estimated the number was around $2.6 million in hotel and sales tax revenue every year.

The figure cited by Egan was based on the roughly 5100 marriage licenses that were issued in San Francisco when gay marriage was legal in 2008 for a 5 month duration.  Egan’s logic derived from the assumption that if San Francisco experienced an uptick in weddings, economic activity related to weddings would also increase.

Further testimony was given that the city had seen higher mental health costs due to discrimination against gays with projected costs at $2.5 million.  Egan indicated that San Francisco must spend more on health care for uninsured workers because same-sex couples are not always covered under their partner’s employee health care plans.  Testimony given by the city was clear; the ban on gay marriage has a negative economic impact on incoming tax revenue.

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