As Cook County taxes rise, taxpayers in the Chicago area are choosing to vote with their dollars and deciding to leave, according to Taxpayers United of America. Data from the U.S. Census Bureau released Thursday indicates the state’s largest county is declining in population. Between 2014 and 2015, 10,500 residents left Cook County. That’s the largest population decline among counties nationwide, according to the Census Bureau, and the first population decline in the county since 2007. Jared Labell, director of operations for Taxpayers United of America, says the county’s continual tax increases have left certain residents with no choice. “Chicago, in an effort to raise revenue to pay for their financial misgivings over the years as well as the pensions, they’re taxing residents out of the city,” Labell said.
Click here for summary
He adds that tax increases in Cook County, including property taxes, alcohol and tobacco taxes and even taxes on Internet streaming services like Netflix, have prompted some residents to pack their bags. “Taxpayers are being hit hard and so they’re making that choice to vote with their feet and leave,” Labell said. “And we’re seeing that also throughout the state of Illinois, unfortunately.” Census figures also show 6,300 residents left the Chicago metropolitan area, the first population decrease in the city since 1990. Labell says residents who are leaving the area are moving to surrounding suburbs, neighboring states like Wisconsin and Indiana, and even moving to more taxpayer-friendly states like Florida and Texas.