Hoosier playbook: How Indiana lures Illinoisans with opportunity
Illinoisans cross the border to become Hoosiers at a stunning rate. Illinois had a net loss of 4,100 people and $76 million of annual income to Indiana in 2010 alone, the most recent year of Internal Revenue Service data. That’s because for every three people who left Indiana for Illinois, four left Illinois for Indiana. Illinois’ losses to Indiana are...
Illinoisans cross the border to become Hoosiers at a stunning rate. Illinois had a net loss of 4,100 people and $76 million of annual income to Indiana in 2010 alone, the most recent year of Internal Revenue Service data. That’s because for every three people who left Indiana for Illinois, four left Illinois for Indiana.
Illinois’ losses to Indiana are nothing new. Indiana gained 105,000 people and $2.2 billion in annual income from Illinois alone from 1995-2010, according to IRS data.
Opportunity talks. The reason families leave Illinois for states like Indiana is because those states have embraced the free enterprise system of allowing human potential to flourish within their borders. The government provides core services and gets out of the way.
But not in Illinois. State government in the Land of Lincoln is heavily involved with everything from trying to manage a nearly bankrupt worker retirement system to charging the second-highest business startup costs in the U.S.
According to a recent survey by Thumbtack.com, small businesses in Illinois are feeling the pain. Small businesses gave Illinois an F for business friendliness, based on 10 different metrics. Indiana received a B-.
The survey is backed by hard facts. State governments make key decisions that determine whether their state will grow or wallow. Rankings by start-up costs, business tax environment, regulatory burden, debt and liabilities, workers’ compensation costs, tort liabilities and labor law show that Indiana is embracing opportunity across the board, while Illinois lawmakers keep the state stuck in the mud.
With an economy and population that are half the size of Illinois’, Indiana has massively out-performed its neighbor. The Hoosier State runs annual budget surpluses. And in the last decade, for every private-sector job created in Illinois, 35 were created in Indiana.
Illinois government needs to get in the game and start going on offense to compete against neighbors like Indiana. Going on offense would not only address the problems above, but would unleash human potential in Illinois. Here’s where Springfield can start:
- Modernizing the tax code by eliminating income taxes, and transitioning to consumption taxes
- Slashing start-up fees and wait times to foster entrepreneurship
- Eliminating prohibitive licensing requirements for low-income businesses
- Reforming employer liability laws and
- Repealing the death tax to keep family farms and businesses intact