Governor Bruce Rauner, his shills, "The Illinois Policy Institute," and many on the right end of the political spectrum are weaving a web of deception by highlighting the fact that property taxes in Illinois are the 2nd highest in the nation. Their attempts to link LOCAL taxes to the totally unrelated 50 year underfunding of Illinois pension funds are misleading at best and when coupled with their frequent claims of taxes in Illinois being out of line with our neighbors are flat out lies.
Close examination of the facts lays the lie to their claims and actually points out that the "flat income tax" structure in Illinois coddles the wealthy at the expense of the middle class and the poor, a fact they'd rather not talk about.
The most relevant, apples to apples comparison, weights the total tax burden by percentage of income. Rated as a percentage of income Illinois ranks 14th out of 51 states and the District of Columbia.
Ranked by percentage of income, Illinois has lower overall taxes than Indiana, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Kentucky. Regionally only Iowa and Missouri has a lower overall tax burden and only by 1/2 of a % and 1% respectfully. We are not only in line with our regional neighbors, we are below the median.
If this distinction bothers you, ranked by tax dollars, CNN Money ranks Illinois at #29 out of 50 states. http://money.cnn.com/pf/features/lists/total_taxes/total.html No matter what standard you use Illinois is not one of the highest taxed states. It never has been, especially for the rich.
There is one category however, in which Illinois finds itself in shady company. Our "flat income tax" ranks us as among the worst states in exacerbating the historic income inequality gap by codling the wealthy and putting an undo burden on the Middle Class and the Poor.
This dubious trait is shared by many "Red States" and helps explain in part the historic economic underperformance of these states and regions of the country. If you've ever wondered why Lousiana, Mississippi, Tennesee and West Virginia have always been at the bottom of our national economic dog piles, the chart below points out a big reason why.
This convenient omission of this inconvenient fact by Governor Rauner, "The Illinois Policy Institute," and others of this ilk, cements together their fundamental dishonesty of policy and character. They should be ashamed. But they are not.