A new poll indicated that almost half the people living in the State of Illinois have thought about moving, but the main concern is not how many people were thinking about leaving the state, but who.
The Paul Simon Public Policy Institute poll indicated that 47 percent of Illinois residents have talked about moving. Another 20 percent said they may leave within a year.
Todd Maisch, president and CEO of the Illinois Chamber of Commerce, said he hears it all the time.
" ‘When my kids are out of school, I'm ready to go.’ " Maisch said he hears this from residents regularly. "I'm not sure everyone follows through on it, but it is a real common-sense indicator of where our state is."
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The poll, however, has more troubling news: 58 percent of residents between the ages of 35 and 50 -- folks in their prime earning years -- have talked about leaving.
IRS data suggests the poll results are on target. Census data shows that about 100,000 more people left the state from 2013 to 2014 than moved in or were born here.
More troubling is that those leaving are taxpayers who fuel local and state government budgets.
Maisch said the people who own homes and have jobs are feeling the strain of Illinois' tax burden. No wonder they're looking to leave.
"Five or six years ago, I'd hear from very high-net-worth individuals that they want to (move to) the State of Florida,” Maisch said. “Now I am hearing it from middle-management types of folks." Maisch said many residents have indicated that high property taxes are driving them out of the state.
The poll said people are looking to move because of Illinois' high taxes and a lack of opportunities.
Maisch said Illinois can turn things around, starting with improving schools and reducing the cost of government.