$613 million

April 16, 2015 | Number of The Day
Amount of local and state taxes paid by undocumented immigrants in New Jersey

This is a week in which there is a lot of grumbling about taxes — with good reason. No one likes writing a check to the government. And while it often gets lost in the debate about immigration, it is interesting to note that undocumented immigrants do pay taxes — just not many income taxes. But whether or not you are documented, you still have to pay property taxes, sales taxes, and excise taxes.

The Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP) a liberal-leaning Washington think tank, estimates that New Jersey’s undocumented immigrants contribute $613 million to state and local tax levies. That includes $276 million in sales and excise taxes, $285 million in property taxes, and $51 million in state income taxes. (Federal taxes were not considered.) Income taxes, according to the report, are paid by 50 percent to 75 percent of undocumented immigrants using false social security numbers or other documents used to obtain jobs.

If these immigrants were granted permanent legal status, their tax payments would rise to $701 million, according to the report, with most of the rate increase due to additional income taxes.