by J. Scott Moody, Wendy P. Warcholik
Illinois Policy Institute
July 10, 2014
Taxpayers, families and business owners have been fleeing Illinois for decades in search of a friendlier environment to put down roots or grow a business. New data from the Internal Revenue Service for the 2010 tax year show that Illinois was second only to New York in loss of people and income nationally. The Illinois exodus is a stark reminder that policymakers should consider why people are leaving the state, and where they’re going. Illinois’ biggest losses were to Texas and Florida, both zero-income tax states. But it’s not only income taxation that drives people out of Illinois. Residents moved to states where union membership is 43 percent lower, death taxes are 71 percent lower, housing costs are 15 percent lower, and temperatures are 20 percent higher.