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Wirepoints: Illinois loses nearly $13 billion in revenue last two years as over 200,000 taxpayers exit




CHICAGO – Wirepoints’ analysis of data released by the Internal Revenue Service shows Illinoisans continue to leave the state in record numbers. Illinois lost more people and more taxable income in both 2017 and 2018 than in any past year, according to new domestic migration data. 

Illinois lost a net of more than 130,000 residents in 2017 and another 88,000 in 2018. The state’s tax base shrunk by $6.8 billion and $5.6 billion respectively, as those who left took their incomes with them.

In 2018, the $5.6 billion in lost Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) cost the state approximately $230 million in additional income tax revenues alone. That number doesn't include the millions in sales, property, gas, and other taxes that weren't collected as a result of fewer people living in Illinois.

The state continues to be a national outlier when it comes to losing people and the money they earn. Only Alaska and New York lost more people on a percentage basis than Illinois. And only New York lost more taxable income per capita than Illinois.

Here are the facts from the latest Internal Revenue Service release:

  • Illinois lost more than 130,000 tax filers and their dependents in 2017 and another 88,000 in 2018. Illinois’ 2018 loss was the third worst in the country, with only California and New York losing more residents, 153,000 and 160,000, respectively.
  • Illinois lost $6.8 billion in Adjusted Gross Incomes to net out-migration in 2017 and $5.6 billion in 2018. Illinois’ 2018 loss was the third worst in the country, with only California and New York losing more AGI, $8.0 billion and $9.6 billion, respectively.
  • Domestic in-migrants to Illinois earned far less than the Illinois residents who left the state. The average AGI of those who left in 2018 was approximately $85,000, while those who entered the state had incomes of just $66,000.
  • Illinois was a net loser of people to 43 states in 2018, while it netted gains from just six states. The total gain from those six states, however, was trivial – just 667 net residents. In contrast, Illinois netted losses of 88,664 people to the other 43 states.
  • All of Illinois’ neighbors netted gains vs. Illinois. Indiana gained nearly 26,000 Illinois residents but gave up just 15,000 of its own. That left Indiana with a net gain of nearly 11,000 residents vs.Illinois. Wisconsin ended up with a net gain of more than 7,000 residents vs. Illinois. Kentucky, Iowa, Michigan and Missouri all netted gains of 1,200 to 2,900 residents.

Ted Dabrowski, President of Wirepoints, says, “Any way you slice the data, Illinois is chronically losing its population and its tax base. The outflow is particularly alarming given the state’s pension shortfall, which is already the highest in the nation. As the state’s population and tax base continue to shrink, the risk of insolvency for the state continues to rise. And more tax increases will only make things worse – Illinoisans already face the highest total tax burden in the nation, according to Kiplinger and Wallethub.”

“Illinois’ legislature shows no signs of pursuing the spending and pension reforms needed to make Illinois competitive again. Until that changes, expect the Illinois exodus to only get worse,” Dabrowski said.

Read the full report here: https://wirepoints.org/new-irs-data-record-number-of-illinoisans-leave-state-as-tax-base-continues-to-shrink-wirepoints-special-report/


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