313 leave Illinois every day, 40 to Wisconsin

via By Bethany Blankley / The Center Square

photo courtesy of listener "Dave" from Gurnee

Illinois lost 114,000 people on net to other states, or roughly 313 residents per day according to U.S. Census Bureau data.

Yet residents continue to leave. Among them, about 40 move to Wisconsin every day. A new policy briefLeaving Illinois for Wisconsinby the free market think tank, the Badger Institute, notes that Illinois’ loss is Wisconsin’s gain.

“On net, Wisconsin has gained 116,000 Illinois residents between 2006 and 2017, an average of nearly 40 residents every day from 2014-’17,” according to the report.

The key to the migration pattern, the institute notes, is Wisconsin’s lower tax burdens, less regulation, greater fiscal stability, right-to-work laws and resisting calls for higher minimum wages.

University of Michigan-Flint economist and American Enterprise Institute scholar Mark J. Perry, the author of the study, compared both states across 14 metrics including measuring fiscal health, economic growth, various tax burdens, business climate and labor markets. Wisconsin beat Illinois in 13 out of 14 categories.

The one category where Illinois came out on top was its flat income tax rate is lower than Wisconsin’s top, progressive rate. Wisconsin’s top rate is 7.65 percent compared to Illinois’ flat 4.95 percent. Illinois top rate could increase to higher than Wisconsin's if voters approve a constitutional amendment in November 2020 to allow for a progressive income tax system where higher wage earners are assessed higher rates.

“It’s an important reminder to our new governor and to Republicans in the Legislature,” Michael Jahr, SVP at the Badger Institute, told The Center Square.

“Now is not the time to backtrack on the policies and reforms that have gotten us here,” he adds. The Institute argues that if Wisconsin wants to make itself even more attractive to businesses and residents of high-tax states, its leaders should address the one area where Wisconsin is not competitive: its income tax structure.

The complete story here > Reports: 313 leave Illinois every day for other states, 40 per day to Wisconsin


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