Less jobs and a smaller population in Illinois are compounding the loss of tax revenue for the state. That’s according to the executive director of the Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability.
COGFA’s Dan Long said Illinois saw revenues dropped more than $250 million in January from the year before. A lot of that drop was from the decrease in the individual and corporate income tax rates, but Long also says fewer jobs and outbound migration plays a role.
“As the national recovery strengthens more the state’s residents are seeking opportunities elsewhere,” Long said. “There’s been a net of like 67,000 residents left the state in 2015 and that was up from the number in 2014 when we only lost about 60,000 residents.”
“Illinois has clearly been losing population to other states.” Long said. “Even our bordering states like Indiana, we’ve lost population to them, in addition to retirees who might move to warmer climates.”
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Long said sales taxes had been doing well, but even that has started to level out in recent reports. Long said COGFA expects upwards to $5 billion in revenue declines from the previous fiscal year.
Meanwhile gaming revenue in Illinois is up, but video gaming terminals in your neighborhood bar are taking away from the state’s riverboats.
One of the largest sections of the January report from COGFA focuses on gaming revenue for Illinois. Long said the state is nearing full implementation of video gaming and gaming revenues are up, but there’s a twist.
“Taxes from gaming are going up but it’s shifting,” Long said. “It’s clear that the video gaming is taking revenue away from the riverboats but overall adding to the total taxes collected by the state.”
Long said riverboats can have 1,200 gaming positions but when adding 22,000 extra positions it impacts boat operations in places like Alton, Peoria and elsewhere.
Regardless, COGFA’s report says the added gaming positions has increased gaming revenue over $64 million from 2014 to 2015.