Balich sees high taxes as fueling exodus from 'broke state'
Stephen Balich said taxes are the primary reason for the mass exodus in Illinois.
Responding to the recent Illinois Policy report “Illinois Loses Title of the 5th Largest State to Pennsylvania,” which revealed Census Bureau data showing a decline of 33,700 people from 2016 to 2017, the Will County Board member from Orland Park told the Will County Gazette when an Illinoisan makes $40,000 annually and has to pay $7,000 property taxes a year, it becomes illogical to stay.
“When sales tax ranges between 8 and 12-percent on everything you buy, disposable income gets reduced to the point that people have to refrain from getting things unless they really need them,” Balich, a retired 30-year Teamster, said. “When we see the broke state create new unnecessary expenses due to bad legislation like abortion on demand and the sanctuary state bill, people see no hope.”
Balich, who is running for re-election in the county's 7th District, which includes Homer Glen, Lockport, unincorporated Homer Township and part of New Lenox, said he has remained in Illinois for one purpose.
"The reason I stay is because of family and friends,” Balich said, adding he knows dozens of families who have left. “All that left were people that could transfer within their company, were self-employed or retired.”
When hard-working people leave the Illinois, the problem perpetuates, he added.
“Every time those paying higher taxes leave, more of the bills have to be paid by those who remain,” Balich said. "When the state drops to junk bond status, things will get even worse as the debt increases to a point that bankruptcy is the only answer.”
House Speaker Michael Madigan (D-Chicago) is much to blame, Balich said.
“The only answer is to elect people to represent us that will stand for the people instead of special interests, and their own agenda,” Balich said. “Our only hope is to vote for those who will stand for less taxes, less regulation and less government.”
As a Will County Board Republican, Balich said he and his GOP peers have reduced the tax rate three years in a row while constructing a new public safety building and breaking ground on a new courthouse and Health Department.
“I am currently leading an effort to repair and maintain items on your property without a building permit,” Balich said, adding another cost saving measure he helped institute. “In Will County unincorporated, if your vehicle is towed and you are found not guilty in court, you can get your money back for towing, storage and administration fees.”
Balich said he will continue to fight for Illinois so citizens can stay in a place they've called home for so long.
“If Illinois begins to spend only on very necessary items, changes the pension system, stops employee raises, has a property tax freeze, puts a cap on sales tax at 6 percent or less and eliminates excessive regulation there is hope,” Balich said.