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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Still leaving Illinois: An exodus of people and money

The Illinois Policy Institute (via Newsalert) has a study about the economic environment of Illinois. Click through to see the report:
Illinois residents are fleeing the state. When people leave, they take their purchasing power, entrepreneurial activity and taxable income with them. For more than 15 years, residents have left Illinois at a rate of one person every 10 minutes.

Recent data from the Internal Revenue Service shows that, in 2009, Illinois netted a loss of people to 43 states, including each of its neighbors – Wisconsin, Indiana, Missouri, Kentucky and Iowa. Over the course of the entire year, the state saw a net of 40,000 people leave Illinois for another state.

The data reflects a continuation of a trend of out-migration from Illinois that has lasted more than a decade. Between 1995 and 2009, the state lost on a net basis more than 806,000 people to out-migration.

When people leave, they take their income and their talent with them. In 2009 alone, Illinois lost residents who took with them a net of $1.5 billion in taxable income. From 1995 to 2009, Illinois lost out on a net of $26 billion in taxable income to out-migration.
Rich Miller at Capitol Fax also notes:
Keep in mind this data was compiled well before the tax hike. Also, the net out-migration actually seems to be slowing. The average over 15 years is just under 54,000, so 40,000 net outmigration is less. That could be because of the recession and the fact that lots of people can’t sell their houses, however.
Illinois has issues. I noted at least two of them in the post about Illinois' governor's mansion. Corruption and fiscal issues. The state just concluded a session that looked at the fiscal issues. Illinois can't hope to solve these problems unless there's a way to stimulate the economic environment here. Give the people a reason to stay here.

Here's IPI's solution:
Illinois policymakers must change the failed policies that have prompted so many people to leave Illinois. The state needs to lower taxes so that it can compete with its neighbors as well as states around the country.

In addition, the state must end its culture of spending and borrowing, which ultimately drive up taxes and chase away residents. Only through fiscal discipline can the state avoid a crisis and set the tone for a wave of in-migration.
Do you agree?

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