Illinois was recently given the dubious honor of having the nation’s heaviest state and local tax burden, according to personal finance website WalletHub. And unfortunately, the hits keep coming. After the primary election on March 20, Illinoisans in various communities across the state are going to see higher taxes.
The Illinois News Network reported that roughly 100 different tax or bond questions appeared on primary ballots, and about 60 percent of those questions passed, even if voters didn’t overwhelmingly approve them.
And in the meantime, all of these taxes have added up to another no. 1 ranking: Illinois is first in the nation in outbound moves, according to surveys from two major moving companies (North American Moving Services and United Van Lines National Movers). “It’s not hard to see how the Land of Lincoln earned the dubious honor,” U.S. News & World Report wrote. “Political infighting has led to budget chaos and a state credit rating near junk bond level. Meanwhile, business and property taxes have gone up. Those who have fled the state, taking their businesses and workers with them, are not looking back.”
Other items in the litany of financial problems? To name a few:
- $9.1 billion in unpaid bills
- $239 billion in pension liabilities
- $37.4 billion in bonds
All of this, plus a high tax and regulatory environment and general dysfunction between Gov. Rauner and legislative leaders, have caused numerous corporations—including General Mills, Mondelez International, and Butterball—and smaller businesses to pack up and go.
Legislators return to work on April 9—but whether they will actually make any progress on tackling the state’s problems remains to be seen.