Illinois suffered record population and taxable-income losses over a two-year period ending in 2018, according to data just released by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
The state lost a net of 218,000 residents from 2017 through 2018 and saw its tax base collectively shrivel by at least $12.3 billion, the IRS reported. In terms of taxable income, policy watchdog Wirepoints reports that a $5.6 billion drop in 2018 alone equates to a loss of around $230 million in additional income tax revenues just for that year. And that figure does not include the small fortune lost in sales, property, gas and other taxes that were not collected due to the decreasing population.
Wirepoints adds that only Alaska and New York lost more people on a per-capita basis and only New York lost more Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) per capita. Those who escaped Illinois for greener pastures in 2018 earned an average of nearly $19,000 more than the few residents that moved here from other states.
In all, Illinois was a net loser of nearly 90,000 residents to 43 different states in 2018. The state gained just 667 residents that year from the six states. Ranking at the top among the states that picked up the most now former Illinoisans over that time were Indiana and Wisconsin, respectively.
And with Illinois now home to the highest total tax burdens in the U.S., Wirepoints warns that improvement could be a long way off.
“The state legislature shows no signs of pursuing the spending and pension reforms needed to make Illinois competitive again,” Wirepoints wrote on its website. “Until that changes, expect the Illinois exodus to only get worse.”