How a change in immigration laws could give Michigan an economic boost

Jul 10, 2013

Michigan could get a boost in new tax revenues if the federal government approves proposed changes to immigration laws.

That’s according to a new report.  

The Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy predicts Michigan could gain $35 million dollars a year in new sales, property and income tax revenues, under the immigration changes.

Matt Gardner is the institute’s executive director.  He says the report is based on assumptions that immigrants will earn more, send less money back ‘home’ and become fully integrated in the U.S. financial system.

Gardner says right now only about half of undocumented immigrants have income taxes withheld from their paychecks.

“Immigration reform would essentially boost that number to a hundred percent, bringing a lot of income into the income tax system,” says Gardner, “And that’s going to be the main source of revenue growth from immigration reform.”

Critics complain the proposed immigration laws will require state and local governments to spend more on social and other services.

It’s unclear if the comprehensive immigration legislation will pass the Congress.