Out-migration to continue as long as taxes remain high, Miller says
Illinois' population decline, which is in its fourth consecutive year, is only going to continue, according to Katie Miller.
“Unfortunately, many families I have talked to are planning to move out of Illinois due to high taxes, especially their property taxes,” Miller, a Mount Prospect Republican vying for the 53rd District House seat, told the North Cook News in response to the recent Illinois Policy report titled “Illinois Loses Title of the 5th Largest State to Pennsylvania,” which revealed Census Bureau data showing a decline of 33,700 people from 2016 to 2017.
Miller, who is looking to replace retiring Rep. David Harris (R-Arlington Heights) in the 53rd District, which covers Prospect Heights and Mt. Prospect, said her son’s best friend’s family is relocating to Virginia next summer and other family friends migrated to Texas two years ago.
“Both of these families have chosen to leave Illinois for better job opportunities out of state,” Miller said. “When I walked in the district many people I spoke to were thinking about or actively moving out of state. They stated it is because of high property taxes.”
The Illinois Policy report called the exodus the “worst decline of any state in the U.S. in raw terms,” with nearly 643,000 leaving Illinois since 2010, and said “that is like the entire population of the city of Peoria up and leaving.”
Miller said there is still hope however harrowing the numbers seem.
“I believe that we can stop the exodus out of the state if we make changes now,” Miller said. “Most people I talk to are thinking of leaving in a few years, but if we improve the job climate in Illinois like the surrounding states have, we can improve that tax burden on taxpayers.”
Miller said Illinois highest property taxes are destroying home values, noting that Arlington Heights home values are down by 19.5 percent, Mt. Prospect home values have declined by 34.1 percent, Prospect Heights home values have been reduced to 36.1 percent and Des Plaines home values are down by 42 percent.
“Lawmakers need to remember that they work for the taxpayers of Illinois,” Miller said, adding income tax increases should be revoked. “Also, we need a 1 percent flat property tax, which would be 1 percent on the value of property.”
Breaking down the reduction, Miller said if a property is worth $300,0000, then property taxes should be only $3,000.
“Lastly, we need to make Illinois more friendly to businesses,” Miller said. “I would fight for Illinois to become a right to work state. That would make Illinois more competitive compared to surrounding states that already are right to work.”