Will County Clerk candidate McPhillips: Taxes causing residents to flee Illinois
Laurie McPhillips sees and hears every day what a recent IRS study -- detailing that more than 86,000 people left Illinois at an adjusted gross income cost of nearly $5 billion over 12 months -- revealed to everyone.
“I’m a real estate broker; I witnessed it firsthand every day,” McPhillips, who is running for Will County clerk, told the Will County Gazette. “The reason for everyone fleeing is twofold: taxes and jobs. It’s just not affordable to live in Illinois anymore.”
In addition to the IRS study, a recent Paul Simon Public Policy Institute survey also found that nearly 50 percent of all Illinois residents want to leave the state.
Data from IRS also show the cash-strapped state experienced a loss of nearly 42,000 tax returns to other states over the year surveyed, 2015-16, equating to an all-time high in lost exemptions.
Researchers noted millennials are leading the charge for greener pastures, with the top 10 states where Illinois residents moved being Florida (12,800 exemptions gained from Illinois on net), Texas (9,400), Indiana (8,200), California (7,600), Arizona (6,400), Wisconsin (6,000), Colorado (4,700), Georgia (4,200), Tennessee (3,600) and North Carolina (2,700).
“The problem in Illinois is instead of the economy growing, it’s the government that’s doing so,” McPhillips said. “There needs to be pension reform and funding with schools. Those are the main drivers.”
McPhillips, who is seeking to replace retiring Nancy Voots as Will County clerk, said the fact that millennials are the primary group turning their backs on Illinois is another red flag.
“That’s our future workforce; the ones working to buy homes and pay taxes,” she said. “Property taxes are the No. 1 reason they give me for walking away.”
McPhillips said what needs to happen should be clear.
“We need a change of leadership, term limits and (House Speaker Mike) Madigan gone,” she said. “We have to find a way to hold the line on spending.”