Tax-and-spend policies fueling Illinois exodus, Caulkins says
Dan Caulkins, running to replace retiring Rep. Bill Mitchell (R-Forsyth) in the 101st District, had been planning to push to repeal the 32 percent income tax hike instituted as part of the new state budget if he was elected.
In the wake of a new IRS report that revealed Illinois lost more than 86,000 residents and nearly $5 billion in adjusted gross income over yearlong period beginning in 2015, he’s more determined than ever.
“People are being hurt by these tax-and-spend policies,” Caulkins, a Decatur Republican, told the Macon Reporter. “Retirees are being forced out because they can’t afford to live in the house they paid for. The IRS study showed people are not just heading to Florida; they’re going to Indiana, Wisconsin and Iowa. This corrupt political system has become too much.”
In addition to the IRS report, a recent Paul Simon Public Policy Institute survey found that nearly 50 percent of all Illinois residents now want to leave the state, with runaway taxes being cited as their primary motivation for bolting.
Overall, the IRS data found that Illinois experienced a loss of nearly 42,000 tax returns to other states over the 2015-16 year, equating to an all-time high in lost exemptions.
Perhaps making matters even more troubling is the fact millennials are leading the charge in fleeing the state as they seek more promising opportunities.
“It’s worse than I think anyone could have imagined,” Caulkins said. “I wonder what will happen now that you have this 32 percent income tax hike on top of everything. I dread what the numbers will look like in 2017-18. Lawmakers are more interested in taking care of their pet projects and their personal friends than the people they are obligated to.”
Caulkins said the only solution lies in the people retaking control of their own destinies.
“People are going to have to rise up and send a clear message to Springfield,” he said. “You do that by electing people who will stand up to career politicians. We have to get a handle; the budget is still not balanced, and people won’t stand for another increase. There’s nothing left to do, but the right thing.”
To do that, Caulkins added he feels the system needs a complete overhaul.
“There will be at least 25 new freshmen members going to Springfield in 2018,” he said. “I don’t believe there’s a person running right now that doesn’t completely understand the problems we face. I’m willing to work with anyone to bring Illinois back to its prominence. I believe I can go to Springfield and work with this class to put an end to these spend, spend, spend, tax, tax, tax policies.”
The 101st House District includes parts of Champaign, McLean, Dewitt, Macon and Piatt counties.