Review of IRS data shows rampant out-migration to states with lower taxes and housing costs, border states
SPRINGFIELD (Dec. 20, 2011) — Last week, Illinois lawmakers approved a special tax deal to keep Sears and CME Group from leaving the state. But businesses aren't the only ones fleeing Illinois because of high taxes; a new report from the nonpartisan Illinois Policy Institute has found that one taxpayer moved out of Illinois every 10 minutes between 1995 and 2009.
Researchers at the Institute examined the most recent data available from the IRS and found that for more than 15 years, more people have moved out of Illinois than have moved in. While conventional wisdom might suggest people move away in pursuit of warmer weather, more than 270,000 people have fled Illinois for other states in the midwest. The researchers found that people preferred states where tax burdens were lighter and housing costs were lower, among other factors.
"Too many of us have experienced the loss of family, friends, neighbors and colleagues as they move elsewhere in seek of greater economic opportunity," said Kristina Rasmussen, executive vice president of the Illinois Policy Institute. "It doesn't have to be this way; Illinois can regain its mantle of being a place where people want to live if we implement public policy solutions that create a dynamic and growing environment – creating a state where families want to grow and businesses want to expand."
Some highlights from the report:
On a net basis, 1 taxpayer left Illinois every 10 minutes between 1995 and 2009.
These 806,000 people took to other states more than $26 billion in taxable income.
In 2009 alone, Illinois lost 40,000 people to 43 other states. That figure is akin to half of the population of Decatur moving to another state in a single year.
People who left Illinois moved to states with lower state and local tax burdens, lower income tax, lower union membership and lower housing costs.