Pat Young, Long Island Wins blogger, shares with us Suffolk legislator Jack Eddington’s thoughts on why his voters dislike immigrants. Mr. Eddington’s district encompasses the neighborhood where the hate crime against Marcelo Lucero took place. In an interview with Guernica magazine, Mr. Eddington said:
By and large, county residents have not welcomed the influx of Hispanic men… Many white Suffolk County residents directly link the value of their homes to illegal immigrants, who they claim have brought noise, crime, and clutter to their once peaceful communities.
Even though advocates will say they [immigrants] pay taxes,…I will tell you this, come back in the spring, you know what garage sales are? There is nothing but Hispanics going to garage sales. And there is no sales tax on garage sales. There’s a subculture now where they know how to get used stuff.
According to Mr. Eddington immigrants do not pay taxes. But the facts and research show otherwise. The truth is that after subtracting income and payroll taxes, savings, remittances, and property taxes, Long Island immigrants had an estimated $7.5 billion in buying power in 2006. Their total spending produced an economic impact of $10.6 billion.
According to a report by the Hagedorn foundation, in 2006 alone, immigrants contributed an estimated $2.13 billion in taxes and other government revenues, while costing Nassau and Suffolk local governments about $1.06 billion for K-12 education ($772 million), health care ($244 million), and corrections ($44 million). This yields a net benefit to Long Island of about $1.07 billion, or $2,305 per immigrant resident. Not surprisingly, Mr. Eddington’s assumption is flawed.
Immigrants in Long Island do not mind buying “used stuff” and their economic contributions are beyond a visit to a garage sale.