Unauthorized immigrants living and working in Idaho pay an estimated $28.6 million annually in state and local taxes, according to a new report by a Washington, D.C.-based think tank.
They contributed $2.8 million in individual income taxes, $8.8 million in property taxes, and $17 million in sales and excise taxes to the state in 2015, according to the report from the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, a critic of the Trump administration’s deportation efforts.
“In a time when most states are facing revenue shortages, the potential budgetary impacts of mass deportation merits careful consideration,” said the report issued this month.
The report said taxes paid by people here illegally could increase if these unauthorized immigrants were given a pathway to citizenship but would decrease if they are deported in high numbers.
The Idaho State Tax Commission said it had not done its own study on taxes paid by unauthorized immigrants, has not fully studied the institute’s report and could not comment on its conclusions.
The vast majority of the estimated 11 million unauthorized immigrants in the U.S. could be at risk under President Donald’s Trumps orders to step up deportations. Idaho has an estimated 45,000 unauthorized immigrants, nearly 3 percent of its 1.6 million population.
The estimated annual tax contributions of unauthorized immigrants represent less than 1 percent of Idaho’s tax revenue. They pay sales and excise taxes when they buy goods and services. They pay property taxes directly on their homes or indirectly as renters. Many also pay state income taxes.
The study indicated that many also pay federal income taxes. They could be using Social Security numbers that are fake or belong to someone else. Or more likely, according to the report, at least 50 percent of unauthorized immigrant households file income tax returns using Individual Tax Identification Numbers (ITINs).
The Internal Revenue Service issues these numbers in lieu of Social Security numbers to people who need to pay taxes. ITINs are issued regardless of immigration status because both resident and nonresident immigrants may have a U.S. filing or reporting requirement under the Internal Revenue Code.
Collectively, people illegally living in the U.S. pay an estimated $11.74 billion in state and local taxes annually, the report said.
Statewide tax collections in 2015 totaled $1.5 billion in individual income taxes, $1.5 billion in sales taxes and $1.7 billion in property taxes.