STUMP » Articles » Taxing Tuesday: Tax Season Begins and Taxpayers Keep Migrating » 21 January 2020, 19:51

Where Stu & MP spout off about everything.

Taxing Tuesday: Tax Season Begins and Taxpayers Keep Migrating  


21 January 2020, 19:51

That is, I’m finally getting a bunch of the paperwork to start my 2019 taxes. I downloaded TurboTax. Woo. I’m so looking forward to doing taxes.



Outmigration and Illinois’ unfair tax system

With a previous administration that left Illinois’ education system decimated and social services underfunded, and with a fundamentally unfair tax system in place, it’s no surprise so many Illinoisans chose to find another state to call home.

So they’re going to the even higher-taxed New York? Is that what you’re trying to say?

[note: they are not. The biggest “winners” are places with less “generous” public services]

For too long, Illinois has had a tax system that fails our working families and our state as a whole. By forcing everyone to pay the same tax rate, regardless of income, lower and middle-class Illinoisans have been disproportionately burdened by their tax load. This has led to ever-worsening income inequality, and a system that stifles growth and opportunity.

You know what really cause a heavy tax load?

Having a disproportionate level of costs to cover. If the “Fair Tax” [btw, there was a Fair Tax proposal that means something else. Just call it a progressive tax] gets passed, I am willing to bet taxes will be increased on everybody. Because I didn’t hear anything about costs getting cut.

Also, it’s not those wanting a high level of social services moving away, I think [unless they really are moving to New York.]

We can start to address this by passing the Fair Tax in November. By creating a tax system where those who have a higher income pay a higher rate, we can level the playing field and give everyone the chance to succeed.

While you are certain to hear fearmongering and misleading claims from opponents of a Fair Tax about what impact this will have on our population, the fact is thousands of Illinoisans are already leaving because of the lack of resources and opportunity our tax system has created in this state.

The overwhelming majority of states with an income tax utilize a Fair Tax system, including many of Illinois’ neighboring states that have all gained residents in recent years. And one of the most popular states for people leaving Illinois is California, a state that has a Fair Tax with a top rate of 13.3%, far higher than Illinois’ proposed rates. Despite what the other side claims, it’s clear that taxes are not the reason people are leaving Illinois.

So let us think — you are comparing leaving to a state with population of three times the population of Illinois? Really? How many are leaving for Texas? [which is the second most populous state]

I grabbed the data to check the Illinois to elsewhere stats. Maybe I’ll do a deeper dive later, but, noting that the vast majority of folks stayed put, let’s see where Illinoisians went to.

Here ya go: Outmigration from Illinois by state – top 10 — first number column represents number of tax returns, and the second number column is amount of adjusted gross income that represents (in thousands of $).

Inmigration to Illinois by state of origin – top 10

I leave it as an exercise to the reader as to what drives the moves. I don’t think it’s because rich people aren’t taxed enough.

For comparison of top marginal tax rates:

State individual income tax rates:

With an education system made up of rundown schools, outdated textbooks, and large class sizes, it’s no surprise that parents are choosing to raise their children elsewhere. And with an underfunded higher education system, it makes sense that so many Illinoisans are choosing to go out-of-state for college and then remaining there.

The Fair Tax would be crucial to solving this, generating billions of dollars of additional revenue to improve our state and ensure it offers the same opportunity other states do. This could lead to bringing young people into the state for college and keeping them here to start their careers, it could attract new businesses who are looking for locations their employees want to live, and it could help grow the existing businesses already here.

In the past year, Illinois has already taken great strides toward making it a place that people want to call home — passing a balanced budget for the first time in years, passing a historic infrastructure package to help rebuild our roads and bridges, and passing a minimum-wage increase to ensure all Illinoisans make a living wage, to name a few.

The Fair Tax is the next step we need to fundamentally change the trajectory of this state, and make Illinois the best place it can be for all its current and future residents.

Quentin Fulks is the Chairman of Vote Yes For Fairness, a ballot initiative committee working to pass the Fair Tax in Illinois

And Fair Tax will also remove all skin blemishes!

Uh huh.

Good luck with that campaign.


I do want to move back to NYC at a certain point, but yes, I live in the suburbs right now.



That is obnoxious.

Related: Stu & I were talking about the Japanese habit of opening umbrellas at the slightest sign of rain (and no raincoats). Are they made of sugar?


See you next week for tax stuff!

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