DAVENPORT, IA (WQAD/CNN) – The marriage business is booming in one Iowa county, but the county is actually losing money despite the brisk pace of nuptials.
Scott County ranks second in the state of Iowa for same sex marriages.
"Business is booming," Vargas said. "It sure is."
Scott County recorder Rita Vargas says numbers really shot up the past three months after the military announced full benefits to same-sex couples.
But marriage, straight or gay, is not a money maker for the county.
In fact, right now, it's losing about $10 per license.
"We charge $35 and through our own study the cost to actually do it is more like $45," Vargas said.
"So you're losing 10 bucks a marriage?" reporter Chris Minor said.
"Yes," Vargas said.
The county loses even more when you factor in the state's chunk of that $35 fee. The state gets $31; the county gets only $4.
"And the burden of doing all the work is on us," Vargas said.
Vargas and her counterparts have so far unsuccessfully lobbied lawmakers to raise the fee by $10.
"It's the county's citizens that are subsidizing the marriages by $10," Vargas said. "If we could just get that changed, it would just be a win win-for everybody."
Vargas says with so many out-of-towners headed to the Hawkeye State to tie the know, trying to break even just makes dollars and sense.
"Especially all the people coming from the bigger cities, they pretty much can't believe that's all we charge is just $35," Vargas said.
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