Arellano, AlecAwuor, GeorgeJones, RichSemro, BobStephan, LizzyWaterous, Frank
The inglorious end to the 2012 legislative session and the special session required to tie up loose ends have garnered much attention. While that is warranted, we don't want it to overshadow what was otherwise a productive 120 days at the Capitol.
Given the realities of an election year and the continued effects of the Great Recession, most observers expected an acrimonious and highly partisan session from day one. But for the most part, lawmakers worked together quite well and accomplished a great deal.
Using reasonable estimates of the number of undocumented immigrants and budget data published by the state, we estimate the total costs of providing federally mandated government services to undocumented immigrants in Colorado is nearly $225 million per year.
Undocumented immigrant households paid between $159 million and $194 million in total taxes in 2005. We estimate the average undocumented household working on the books in Colorado paid $1,861 in state and local sales, income and property taxes in 2005. Undocumented immigranttax payments are equal to 70 to 86 percent of the state and local governments??? costs for providing federally mandated services.
Newspapers around the state report on the Bell Policy Center's 2006 issue briefs, "State and local taxes paid in Colorado by undocumented immigrants" and "Costs of federally mandated services to undocumented immigrants in Colorado."