Here's A Real Shocker
This article was lifted from the Winston Salem Urinal:
Services cost more than taxes collected;
Illegal immigrants negatively affect budgets, study says
By Billy House
MEDIA GENERAL NEWS SERVICE
State and local taxes paid by undocumented immigrants fail to offset the cost of public services that state and local governments provide, a new study done for Congress says.
The same report said that state and local officials can do little to avoid or minimize some of these costs because they are limited by rules governing federal programs, court decisions and state laws or constitutional requirements.
The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office report does not estimate how much more money, exactly, is spent on public services for the estimated 12 million undocumented immigrants than the amounts taken in through their tax dollars.
But it said that these costs are concentrated in programs that make up a large percentage of total state spending, particularly in the areas of education, health care and law enforcement.
“The result is probably a modest negative impact on state and local budgets,” said Peter Orszag,
the director of the Congressional Budget Office.
By most estimates, spending for unauthorized immigrants accounted for less than 5 percent of total state and local spending for those services, the study said.
The study was done at the request of GOP Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa.
Previous studies have found that the fiscal impact of both legal and unauthorized immigrants is slightly positive for state and local governments - that the tax revenues they generate exceed the cost of government services they use.
But this new study focuses strictly on the fiscal impact of undocumented immigrants only.
The study’s researchers acknowledged that their work was difficult and imprecise. Differences in benefit programs and mixes of sales taxes, personal property taxes, real property taxes and income taxes vary greatly.
Meanwhile, advocates for immigrants complain that such studies produce merely snapshots in time - they don’t account for immigrants who move up the socio-economic ladder over time and, therefore, eventually pay higher taxes.
“Over time, these same immigrants increase their earnings, succeed, marry, buy homes, create businesses and naturalize, like immigrants have done throughout the history of this country,” said Angela Kelley, the director of the Immigration Policy Center of the American Immigration law Foundation.
I love that last paragraph - I'm still giggling!