If you told Manuel Gomez 15 years ago how much of an impact Tulsa’s immigrant population would have on its economy now, he probably wouldn’t have believed you.
Gomez, co-owner of local grocery chain Supermercados Morelos, is one of thousands of Tulsa immigrants contributing to the economic boost outlined in a study released Wednesday.
Even now, he felt surprised while reading through the study’s documentation of the financial influence of immigrants in the Tulsa metropolitan area.
Among the highlights found in the report is that immigrants paid $252.1 million in federal taxes and $135.2 million in state and local taxes in 2015, leaving them with $1.2 billion in spending power.
“I never thought these numbers would be so high,” said Gomez, who immigrated to the U.S. from Mexico when he was a kid. “At some point, though, it does make sense in the way that I’ve seen the city and its Hispanic community grow so much.”
Read the full story from Tulsa World: “Tulsa’s growing immigrant population responsible for significant economic gains, study shows”