New year. New start. New state?
The latest Internal Revenue Service figures show Illinois residents are more likely to make that move, taking their wealth and tax dollars with them. Since Illinois in 2011 hiked its state income tax rate to almost 5 percent, a steadily increasing amount of wealth has vanished.
Illinois lost $4.75 billion in adjusted gross income in 2015, nearly double what was lost in 2011. This summer Illinois state leaders gave residents even more reason to skedaddle by making the “temporary” hike from 2011 “permanent,” costing a family of four earning $100,000 a year an additional $1,100.
Part of the rationale for the higher taxes was that if Illinois didn’t get a handle on the backlog of bills, which hit $16.4 billion at one point, then the state’s bond ratings could hit junk status and the cost of borrowing could escalate by millions in interest. Illinois could still find itself rated as a junk investment because Moody’s Investor’s Service is looking at the state’s massive pension liability — estimated at $130 billion by the state and $251 billion by Moody’s — and getting beyond jittery.
Need more reason to move?
The Great Recession dropped home values to a point that most still are not back to their 2007 values, yet Illinois’ 6,963 local units of government kept property taxes on the rise. After adjusting for inflation, property taxes statewide still rose 10 percent during the decade since the recession, according to Americans for Prosperity Illinois.
Remember that Paul Simon Public Policy Institute poll? About 80 percent of Illinois residents would move if they could as a result of bad government, taxes, jobs and the weather.
Fewer residents mean higher taxes for those stuck behind.
Might want to call ahead to make sure a rental truck is available.