News

Immigration overhaul could boost U.S. states’ revenue

Immigration overhaul could boost U.S. states’ revenue

Immigrants stand for the invocation during a naturalization ceremony to become new U.S. citizens at Boston College in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts March 21, 2013. Photo: Reuters/Brian Snyder

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Granting citizenship to 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States could boost state and local government coffers by about $2 billion annually, said a liberal-leaning think tank study released on Wednesday.

The findings come as the House of Representatives debates the move as part of a revamp of immigration law after last month’s U.S. Senate approval of legislation granting a pathway to citizenship.

The new state-by-state analysis from the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy is based on tallies of increased income, sales, excise and property taxes that undocumented immigrants would pay if they gained legal status. They already pay $10.6 billion annually in taxes to state and local governments.

The analysis assumes newly legalized immigrants would earn higher wages. The biggest tax revenue bump would come from increased income taxes that new citizens would pay, according to the report, which used data from the Pew Hispanic Center to estimate state immigrant populations and family sizes.

The benefits to states would vary greatly. For example, in 2010, undocumented immigrants paid less than $2 million in taxes to Montana and more than $2.2 billion to California.

Illegal immigrant families pay about 6.4 percent on average of their income in state and local taxes, a figure that would increase to 7 percent if they won citizenship.

The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office has reported that enactment of the Senate-passed bill would reduce deficits and curb the flow of illegal immigrants into the country.

The Senate bill won the backing of more than a dozen Republicans and calls for increased U.S.-Mexico border security as well as a path to citizenship for 11 million illegal immigrants. The bill’s passage in the Republican-controlled House is far from certain.

Opponents of granting undocumented immigrants citizenship cite a study by the conservative Heritage Foundation that estimated legalization would cost $6.3 trillion over a half century due to increased use of federal services and benefits.

Latest Headlines

in Local

Snow-Battered Maine Getting Another Storm

Fresh
snow

GRAY, Maine (AP) — Snow-weary Maine residents who've barely finished digging out from this week's blizzard can expect another heavy storm.

in Local

Man Convicted Of Maine Double Slaying Denied Parental Rights

Fresh
Hayden_Joel_0

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) - A man convicted of killing the mother of his four children and one of his friends has lost his appeal to regain parental rights.

in Local

Ex-Maine Teacher Gets 50-Year Sentence For Molesting 3 Boys

Fresh
GENERIC GAVEL AND FLAG

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) - Less than a week after a former special education teacher from Maine was sentenced to a 65-year federal prison sentence for videotaping the sexual abuse of three young boys, he was sentenced to a 50-year state prison sentence on similar charges.

in Trending, Viral Videos

TODAY’S MUST SEE: Babies going through tunnels

Fresh
11-overlay6

You have to see these kids react to the magic of underground transportation.

in Local

Maine Senate Confirms Public Utilities Commission Nominee

WGAN-100x100

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) _ The Maine Senate has confirmed Republican Gov. Paul LePage’s pick for the Public Utilities Commission. The…

Tweets

  • 2m
  • 40m
  • 40m
  • 48m
  • 50m
  • 51m
  • 3h