Citizens of Illinois are doing the one thing they can to avoid the high taxation of their state, moving out. It’s not just the retirees heading to Florida leaving Illinois, it’s also workers and small businesses who are fleeing to nearby states to avoid Illinois’ high taxes. The Wall Street Journal writes that Illinois lost $4.75 billion in adjusted gross income to other states in 2015. That’s a new record, and not one to be proud of.
I’ve written many times that higher state taxes will only drive away business. I’ve written about Illinois’ position specifically, saying in July “Despite having some of the highest income taxes in the country already, Illinois politicians seem certain they’ll be able to get the state’s finances under control if they can steal just a little bit more of the people’s hard earned money.”
The WSJ reports:
While Florida with zero income tax was the top destination for Illinois expatriates, the Illinois Policy Institute notes that Illinois lost income and people on net to all of its neighbors—Wisconsin (6,000 people based on claimed exemptions), Indiana (8,200), Iowa (1,900), Missouri (2,000) and Kentucky (1,100). What’s the matter with Illinois?
Too much for us to distill in one editorial, but suffice to say that exorbitant property and business taxes have retarded economic growth. Illinois’s corporate tax rate is 9.5%, and pass-through business owners pay 6.45%. Though Illinois’s flat 4.95% income tax rate is relatively low compared to its neighbors, Democrats have found other ways to clobber their citizens.
Property taxes in Cook County and Chicago’s “collar” counties are the highest in the country outside of California and the Northeast. The average homeowner who moves from Lake County, Illinois, across the border to Kenosha County, Wisconsin would receive an annual $3,200 annual property tax cut. Taxes may increase as Democrats scrounge for cash to pay for pensions. Fitch Ratings reported this week that Illinois’s unfunded pension liabilities equalled 22.8% of residents’ personal income last year, compared to a median of 3.1% across all states and 1% in Florida.
Read more here.
E.J. Smith - Your Survival Guy
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