Inspired by this post by James at Outside the Beltway I thought I’d put a little flesh on the bones of what I’m griping about when I complain about taxes in Illinois. Per an analysis by WalletHub Illinoisans pay the highest state and local taxes of any state in the Union. Here’s the breakdown:
|Effective state and local tax rates on median U. S. household||14.90%|
|Annual state and local tax rates on median U. S. household||$8,653|
|% difference between state and U. S. average||38.51%|
|Annual state and local tax rates on median Illinois household||$8,585|
There’s really no contest. We’re the worst off by a considerable marginSure, Californians can complain about their state’s high income taxes and Washingtonians about their state’s high sales tax (however Seattle’s combined sales tax percent is 10.1% while Chicago’s is 10.25%, the highest of any major city). But when you tax Illinois’s high reatl estate tax, its high sales tax, and its increasingly high income tax, we are simply no longer a low tax state. That is in the past.
Illinois fares better in other analysis. Tax Foundation places us as seventh worst (right along with Louisiana, Arkansas, Tennessee, and Alabama). Kiplinger says we’re one of the least “tax-friendly”. USA Today places us at 46th of 50 states.
Further, Illinois already has the lowest credit rating of any state right along with high liabilities and, as our high taxes and population outmigration tell us, we cannot dig our way out of the hole we’re in simply by raising taxes but that’s the only solution being proposed by Illinois’s politicians.
A more realistic solution requires something like shared sacrifice including higher taxes, reductions in pensions, and reductions in state payrolls. That would require multiple amendments to the state constitution and I doubt that we have it in us.