Finally free from taxes

Happy Tax Freedom Day!

It took 120 days to get here, but at last Illinoisans are working for themselves and not the government, local, state or national. Woot! Woot!

But look around, and the excitement is quickly quashed. Illinois’ Tax Freedom Day comes later than the national date of April 24. The Land of Lincoln has the 43rd heaviest tax burden among the other 50 states and the District of Columbia – a burden far heavier than its neighbors’. Missouri, Kentucky and Iowa had their tax freedom parties two or more weeks ago. Indiana’s was 12 days before Illinois’; Michigan’s, 10 days, and Wisconsin, five.

And this is where Illinois is at even after the higher temporary income tax rates expired. If lawmakers who wanted to make the tax increases permanent had had their way, the state’s plight would be even worse.

It’s another reminder of the hard work ahead for Illinois to become competitive with other Midwest states. Until then, many people will continue to leave Illinois and many new residents and businesses will stay away.