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Thursday, November 18, 2010

Arizona Immigration Law Has Sucked $141 Million From State Economy, Report Says

Posted By on Thu, Nov 18, 2010 at 3:45 PM

Fewer state visitors = less money for strippers. Is Rocco the real victim of SB 1070?
  • Fewer state visitors = less money for strippers. Is Rocco the real victim of SB 1070?

Remember the Board of Supervisors' tepid boycott of Arizona to revolt against that state's strict "papers please" immigration law? Many lambasted our city's boycott as yet another symbolic, feckless meddling in affairs far afield of San Francisco's issues. 

But San Francisco was not alone in this one -- actually joining the ranks of such boycotters as Shakira, the SEIU, the World Boxing Council, and the city of Los Angeles. And a new report released by the progressive think tank Center For American Progress finds the calls for boycotts from organizations and cities across the country have actually exacted a heavy toll on the Grand Canyon State's economy: $141 million in lost revenue since the law's passage in April.

click to enlarge Fewer state visitors = less money for strippers. Is Rocco the real victim of SB 1070?
  • Fewer state visitors = less money for strippers. Is Rocco the real victim of SB 1070?
The think tank calculated the state lost $15 million in revenue in the lodging industry alone via canceled and boycotted conventions and contracts. From that, the researchers extrapolated out the lost food, entertainment, transportation, and retail sales, settling on the startling $141 million figure.

By this logic, all those lost conventioneers means lost fares for taxis to the convention center, lighter tips for bartenders serving them Budweiser at Applebee's afterwards, and less toothpaste money for the strippers giving them lap dances.

According to the report: 

The state will also lose income taxes on now-lost salaries, and sales taxes on goods and services that would have been purchased with those earnings. The ripple effect of the meetings and conventions that have already been canceled adds up to a fiscal setback of more than $9 million in lost tax revenue over the next two to three years.

The stricter provisions of SB 1070 that allow police to ask for a person's papers to prove they're in the country legally are on hold, pending a challenge in federal court. Yet it seems the biggest punishment to immigrants is economic. Who do you think makes up the backbone of the hospitality workforce? 

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Lauren Smiley

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