Illinois residents' tax burden decreases, study says

October 24, 2012

Scott Kanowsky

A new study shows taxes are taking a smaller chunk out of Illinois residents' incomes.

Research from the non-partisan think tank Tax Foundation shows state and local taxes paid by Illinois residents were taking 10.2 percent out of their average incomes in fiscal year 2010.  That year, residents were paid $4,512 in taxes per capita, while making $44,224 in incomes per capita.

It's a slight decrease from the fiscal year 2009 study, when 10.5 percent of Illinois residents' incomes went to state and local taxes, according to revised numbers from the Tax Foundation. Illinois has the nation's 11th highest "tax burden"—a measurement of the amount of taxes taken out of incomes.

"Illinoisans need to ask themselves: Is it really a better deal for me to be paying higher tax burdens? Or is there other options for giving me the services that I desire at a lower cost?" said Tax Foundation economist Scott Drenkard.

"If you can have a government that can give you the services that you need and can do it at a lower cost to you, that's going to be the winning combination there."

Drenkard said this study does not factor in recent corporate and personal income tax hikes in Illinois, which he predicted could lead to a higher tax burden in the future.

New York had the highest tax burden in the nation, at 12.8 percent. Alaska had the lowest, at 7.0 percent.