We retired Tax Justice Blog in April 2017. For new content on issues related to tax justice, go to www.justtaxesblog.org
Weeks after the New York Times broke the story of General Electric’s tax avoidance, it’s still hard for many Americans to believe how successfully GE has managed to avoid owing any tax on its profits. Yet some anti-immigrant groups find it much more plausible that undocumented immigrants somehow pay no taxes at all, while relying heavily on state and local government services.
A new report from the Immigration Policy Center, fueled by data from ITEP’s Microsimulation Model, shows that in fact, undocumented families pay a substantial amount of state and local taxes across the nation. The report estimates that these families pay over $11 billion a year in state and local sales, excise, income and property taxes.
It’s notoriously difficult to know precisely even the basic facts about the changing undocumented population in the US, and the IPC report should be understood not as a definitive answer but as a sensible estimate based on the best available data. But the new IPC report serves as an important reminder that undocumented taxpayers make important financial contributions to the fiscal health of state and local governments.