Smolenski says Illinois exodus is a matter of survival
Marilyn Smolenski said citizens are exiting Illinois because they can no longer afford to maintain their lifestyle.
“Their taxes continue to rise while their home values are declining,” Smolenski, a Park Ridge Republican vying for the seat held by Rep. Marty Moylan (D-Des Plaines) in the 55th District, told the North Cook News in response to the recent Illinois Policy Institute report “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.
“We should always have hope for a place that we love, but Illinois needs immediate changes starting with new leadership,” Smolenski said of the exodus that Illinois Policy reported was the “worst decline of any state in the U.S. in raw terms,” with nearly 643,000 leaving Illinois since 2010.
Seeking the 55th District seat, which covers of Park Ridge, Des Plaines, Elk Grove Village, Arlington Heights and the Northwest Side of Chicago, Smolenski said she wants to eliminate regulations that put Illinoisans at a disadvantage to neighboring states.
“Meanwhile, Pennsylvania saw modest population growth of 18,400 people over the same time,” according to the Illinois Policy report. “And that was enough to overtake Illinois as the fifth-largest state in the country. The census pegged Pennsylvania’s population at 12,805,537.”
Losing its ranking to Pennsylvania is simply unacceptable, according to Smolenski, who owns Nickel and Lace, a women’s concealed holster brand. Smolenski, a board member of the Republican Women of Park Ridge, said she will do all she can to stop the exodus.
“I will fight for a hard 1-percent cap on property tax to help keep families together,” Smolenski said.
According to the Illinois Policy report, the latest data “marks the fourth consecutive year of population decline in Illinois,” and "in percentage terms, Illinois saw the third-worst population decline in the nation."