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Rezin: The fight to be average

$19 billion. That’s how much more money Illinois would have in its coffers since 2002 if our state’s economy grew like an average state. Even average job growth in our state would have resulted in 600,000 more jobs than we have today. That $19 billion could pay for our current budget deficit and our bill backlog in one year. That’s with no new taxes or new spending. Economic growth would have taken care of those obligations.

Average economic growth can solve a lot of our budget problems. This is exactly why fighting for reforms that grow our economy and create jobs is so critical.

More than one million people have left Illinois since 2000, and they aren’t all leaving for better weather. People are leaving because jobs are leaving, there is more opportunity elsewhere, and they are tired of bailing out their local and state governments with more taxes.  

At the top of that list is Illinois’ property tax rate. It’s the second highest or said another way, the second worst in the country. Property tax relief can go a long way toward helping our economy by offering relief for employers and homeowners.

Illinois’ workers’ compensation system is one of the most burdensome in the nation for businesses. Improving that – even slightly – would be helpful in keeping jobs and bringing jobs here. 

When hundreds of thousands of jobs leave, but there are not enough new jobs because of the high cost of doing business in Illinois, our tax revenue drops, impacting our state budget. 

Our state offers farmland rich with the finest soil, great transportation infrastructure, a world-class technology hub, some of the best universities in the country, a workforce unlike any other, and the list of our positive attributes goes on.

The best is here, yet our state is the worst, financially. If our tax and economic policies were even average, imagine the growth and imagine our budget. This is one of those times where being average would make a huge – positive – difference for Illinois.

 

-          State Sen. Sue Rezin

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