Illinois residents still fleeing state in record numbers

A recently released IRS report shows what every resident in the state of Illinois already knows: the state is losing population at a record pace.

Wall Street Journal:

The Prairie State lost a record $4.75 billion in adjusted gross income to other states in the 2015 tax year, according to recently IRS data released. That's up from $3.4 billion in the prior year. Many of the migrants were retirees who often flock to balmier climes. But millennials accounted for more than a third of the net outflow in tax returns.

While Florida with zero income tax was the top destination for Illinois expatriates, the Illinois Policy Institute notes that Illinois lost income and people on net to all of its neighbors – Wisconsin (6,000 people based on claimed exemptions), Indiana (8,200), Iowa (1,900), Missouri (2,000) and Kentucky (1,100). What's the matter with Illinois?

Two words: taxes and corruption:

[S]uffice to say that exorbitant property and business taxes have retarded economic growth. Illinois's corporate tax rate is 9.5%, and pass-through business owners pay 6.45%. Though Illinois's flat 4.95% income tax rate is relatively low compared to its neighbors, Democrats have found other ways to clobber their citizens.

Property taxes in Cook County and Chicago's "collar" counties are the highest in the country outside of California and the Northeast. The average homeowner who moves from Lake County, Illinois, across the border to Kenosha County, Wisconsin would receive an annual $3,200 annual property tax cut. Taxes may increase as Democrats scrounge for cash to pay for pensions. Fitch Ratings reported this week that Illinois's unfunded pension liabilities equalled 22.8% of residents' personal income last year, compared to a median of 3.1% across all states and 1% in Florida.

That's the tax part.  The corruption part is related to the way taxes are collected.  NBC 5 reports on the extraordinary corruption of the Cook County assessor.

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner announced plans to call on Cook County Assessor Joe Berrios to resign Monday following an investigation revealing inequities and errors in Berrios' assessment system. 

Rauner was slated to discuss his stance during a press conference Monday morning at the home of a Cook County resident facing high property taxes, the governor's campaign office said in a release. 

Berrios continues to face the fallout of a Chicago Tribune/ProPublica Illinois investigation alleging that his office has failed to estimate the value of thousands of properties, sometimes simply carrying over one number from one year to the next.

The analysis, published Thursday, also revealed that errors in Berrios' system created "deep inequities" that punished small businesses while "cutting a break" to owners of high-value properties – ultimately forcing homeowners to pay more in property taxes.

That investigation revealed a level of incompetence and corruption rare even for Cook County.

Chicago Tribune:

For example, as the financial crisis cratered the real estate market in 2009, Berrios' predecessor estimated the value of a stout brick building in a bustling commercial area on Chicago's Northwest Side at $13,455,132.

Three years later, in 2012, Berrios had taken office and the commercial real estate market had come roaring back. Yet the assessor's estimate did not change: $13,455,132.

In 2015, as the market continued to climb, Berrios' office once again arrived at the same number: $13,455,132.

Three straight reassessments. Three identical values.

Given the complexity of the commercial real estate market and its dynamic nature, experts say it is inconceivable for such values to remain the same over time.

But an analysis of more than 40,000 parcels of commercial and industrial property in Chicago shows that, under Berrios, more than two-thirds had identical first-pass values in at least two consecutive reassessments.

Meanwhile, suburban homeowners are watching as their property taxes skyrocket over the same period.

You'd have to be nuts to think of relocating a business to Illinois – not only because of the massive business taxes, but because your employees would be socked with personal and property tax increases that would immediately lower their standard of living.

Illinois residents are voting with their feet.  For Springfield, and especially Cook County, it's business as usual. 

A recently released IRS report shows what every resident in the state of Illinois already knows: the state is losing population at a record pace.

Wall Street Journal:

The Prairie State lost a record $4.75 billion in adjusted gross income to other states in the 2015 tax year, according to recently IRS data released. That's up from $3.4 billion in the prior year. Many of the migrants were retirees who often flock to balmier climes. But millennials accounted for more than a third of the net outflow in tax returns.

While Florida with zero income tax was the top destination for Illinois expatriates, the Illinois Policy Institute notes that Illinois lost income and people on net to all of its neighbors – Wisconsin (6,000 people based on claimed exemptions), Indiana (8,200), Iowa (1,900), Missouri (2,000) and Kentucky (1,100). What's the matter with Illinois?

Two words: taxes and corruption:

[S]uffice to say that exorbitant property and business taxes have retarded economic growth. Illinois's corporate tax rate is 9.5%, and pass-through business owners pay 6.45%. Though Illinois's flat 4.95% income tax rate is relatively low compared to its neighbors, Democrats have found other ways to clobber their citizens.

Property taxes in Cook County and Chicago's "collar" counties are the highest in the country outside of California and the Northeast. The average homeowner who moves from Lake County, Illinois, across the border to Kenosha County, Wisconsin would receive an annual $3,200 annual property tax cut. Taxes may increase as Democrats scrounge for cash to pay for pensions. Fitch Ratings reported this week that Illinois's unfunded pension liabilities equalled 22.8% of residents' personal income last year, compared to a median of 3.1% across all states and 1% in Florida.

That's the tax part.  The corruption part is related to the way taxes are collected.  NBC 5 reports on the extraordinary corruption of the Cook County assessor.

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner announced plans to call on Cook County Assessor Joe Berrios to resign Monday following an investigation revealing inequities and errors in Berrios' assessment system. 

Rauner was slated to discuss his stance during a press conference Monday morning at the home of a Cook County resident facing high property taxes, the governor's campaign office said in a release. 

Berrios continues to face the fallout of a Chicago Tribune/ProPublica Illinois investigation alleging that his office has failed to estimate the value of thousands of properties, sometimes simply carrying over one number from one year to the next.

The analysis, published Thursday, also revealed that errors in Berrios' system created "deep inequities" that punished small businesses while "cutting a break" to owners of high-value properties – ultimately forcing homeowners to pay more in property taxes.

That investigation revealed a level of incompetence and corruption rare even for Cook County.

Chicago Tribune:

For example, as the financial crisis cratered the real estate market in 2009, Berrios' predecessor estimated the value of a stout brick building in a bustling commercial area on Chicago's Northwest Side at $13,455,132.

Three years later, in 2012, Berrios had taken office and the commercial real estate market had come roaring back. Yet the assessor's estimate did not change: $13,455,132.

In 2015, as the market continued to climb, Berrios' office once again arrived at the same number: $13,455,132.

Three straight reassessments. Three identical values.

Given the complexity of the commercial real estate market and its dynamic nature, experts say it is inconceivable for such values to remain the same over time.

But an analysis of more than 40,000 parcels of commercial and industrial property in Chicago shows that, under Berrios, more than two-thirds had identical first-pass values in at least two consecutive reassessments.

Meanwhile, suburban homeowners are watching as their property taxes skyrocket over the same period.

You'd have to be nuts to think of relocating a business to Illinois – not only because of the massive business taxes, but because your employees would be socked with personal and property tax increases that would immediately lower their standard of living.

Illinois residents are voting with their feet.  For Springfield, and especially Cook County, it's business as usual.