New report: Latinos in Chicago contribute more in tax revenue than public services received

The Latino population in the Chicago area contributed more in tax revenue than the cost incurred by local governments to deliver public services, a newly released study found.

Latinos contributed almost $1.2 billion more in tax revenues than the cost of public services such as education, health care and other services like public safety, according to “The State of Latino Chicago 2010: The New Equation” report released today.

The economic impact by undocumented Latino immigrants alone could not be determined because federal and local data used to compile this report did not include legal status, said Juan Carlos Guzman, research director for the Institute for Latino Studies at the University of Notre Dame.

The study was released Wednesday morning at a forum held at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. The forum included a panel discussion about the study’s findings with Eduardo Arnal Palomera, consul general of Mexico in Chicago, Ngoan Le, vice president of programs at Chicago Community Trust and William Testa, director of regional research for the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.

“This report sets the record straight,” Palomera said. “This confirms how much Latinos contribute to society and shows that Latinos are not a drain on society.”

Other key findings in the study included:

  • Latinos pay $4.3 billion in local taxes and indirectly contribute another $724 million that accounts for taxes paid by businesses as a result of their spending.
  • Local governments paid out $3.9 billion in education, health care, public safety and other human services.
  • Latinos contributed an estimated $23 billion in consumer spending in 2009, helping to sustain more than 170,000 jobs.
  • With a rate of 73.6 percent–three points higher than either white or Asian counterparts–Latinos show a higher level of participation in the labor market than any other group.

Researchers used data from the 2009 American Community Survey, which is released annually by the U.S. Census Bureau.

© Community Renewal Society 2011


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  • Interesting. I find it also interesting that no one talks about how much more would be accumulated if illegals were not getting jobs and those jobs were occupied by legally tax paying citizens.

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