Madigan camp downplays severity of business exodus from state
Illinois lost more residents in a recent one-year period than any other state, the U.S. Census said in a report this week.
The state lost 114,144 residents between July 2015 and July 2016, the Census said.
When incoming residents are factored in, Illinois’ overall population dropped by 37,508.
Residents have been leaving the state for other states that have lower taxes and better job opportunities, economic analysts at the Illinois Policy Institute said in a statement.
“People are essentially leaving because they know that things are better for them financially in another state,” state Rep. Jeanne Ives (R-Wheaton) told the DuPage Policy Journal.
“On top of that, if you are informed at all, and you have a financial reason to leave, the other reason you are leaving is you just feel like government is really trying to pickpocket you every chance they get,” Ives said.
“Essentially, the intransigence of Mike Madigan and his Democrats are going to lead to further population loss in 2017 if we don’t get a budget, if we don’t get our spending under control, and if we continue to accumulate deficits and debts as we are doing at every level of government.”
However, when he was asked about whether businesses look at taxes in the state, or the overall financial situation of the state, when they consider moving to a new state.
Steve Brown, a spokesman for House Speaker Mike Madigan (D-Chicago), said he didn’t think it was a dramatic problem, during an interview with Dan Proft, host of the radio show "Illinois Rising," an Illinois Policy Institute production.
“I think a lot of them look at the availability and dependability of utilities, where you are geographically in the country, what the transportation network is like, so as a result, you see companies coming here," Brown said. "You see announcements. I think, on a weekly basis, it seems like you are seeing some new corporate headquarters coming to Chicago, relocating from the suburbs to Chicago."
Brown also said there were 20-30 cranes in the city skyline, which proves that it is growing, not shrinking.
“I think if those people thought things were as bad as someone portrayed, those things wouldn’t be happening.”
Ives also said another pressing problem was that the state would be losing a congressional seat in 2020.
“You lose a lot of representation in the federal government when that happens, but the real sad thing is that everybody left behind is going to have to pick up a bigger share of the tax burden here because it doesn’t seem to be getting better," Ives said. “You don’t have school districts spending less money; they always want more and with a declining tax base, you are only going to drive more people out of the state,” Ives said.
“We have to reverse this trend, and we need bold reform to do it, not small policy decisions.”
Every five minutes, the state loses $32,000 of taxable income, the equivalent of one resident, the Illinois Policy Institute website said.