Immigration News Blog
Thursday, February 15, 2007
The net fiscal impact of illegal immigrants? New Jersey and Texas studies clashThe net fiscal impact of illegal immigrants? New Jersey and Texas studies clash
By Peter Rousmaniere
A study of New Jersey asserts that illegal immigrants cost taxpayers $2.1 Billion. A Texas study last year asserted that the burden on taxpayers was $1.2 Billion. New Jersey’s total population is 8.4 million and it estimates its illegal immigrant population at 372,000. Texas in contrast has 20.8 million people of which 1.4 million are estimated to be illegal immigrants. How can New Jersey have almost double the taxpayer burden with less than 40% of the population of illegal immigrants?
And consider this: the New Jersey study authors say it is irrelevant what the contribution of illegal workers make in payroll taxes (yes, many pay payroll taxes) and consumer taxes. Why? Because for every illegal worker there is a legal American sitting on a bench ready to take the job if vacated! This is like saying that the taxpayer burden of red headed left handed persons is so many millions, and it doesn’t matter how much they pay in various taxes. Nor do the authors address a more important question, a step up in complication: what illegal immigrants add to the gross state product. Talk about one-sided accounting!
Per the Pew Hispanic estimates (you will find them on the right column under “undocumented workers by state”) there are 256,000 illegal workers in New Jersey and 1.024 million in Texas (2005 figures).
Go here for the Texas study, which I posted on in December.
The New Jersey study estimates these burdens on taxpayers: schools, $1.85 billion; healthcare $200 million; incarceration, $50 million. The Texas study has these comparable figures: schools, $967 million; healthcare $58 million; incarceration, $130 million.
The Texas study estimates that illegal households pay $867 million in consumption taxes and, per their rental or owned residences, $582 million in property taxes. With other payments, total payments by illegal immigrants into the public fisc are estimated at $1.581 billion, or $424 million higher than the total $1.156 billion burden on taxpayers.
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