Poll: Johnson’s $800M tax hike likely to speed Chicago exodus
New polling shows more than one-third of Chicago voters would leave the city if they could, citing taxes and affordability as a top concern. Mayoral candidate Brandon Johnson’s $800 million tax hike could make them move out faster.
Chicago reported the third-largest population decline among U.S. cities in 2021 and new polling suggests mayoral challenger Brandon Johnson’s “tax-the-rich” revenue plan could give more than one-third of residents a stronger push to leave.
An Illinois Policy Institute survey conducted by Echelon Insights Feb. 15-19 found 34% of Chicagoans would leave the city if given the opportunity, citing taxes and affordability as their No. 2 concern behind crime.
In their open responses, 39% cited the city’s near nation-leading taxes and the high cost of living as their main reason for wanting to leave.
The majority also said they support a citywide property tax freeze and lowering taxes on businesses, rather than making residents and businesses pay more to cover the city’s budget shortfalls.
Yet the revenue plan proposed by Johnson calls for $800 million in new taxes on city businesses and middle-class workers.
This includes taxes on those coming to Chicago by air, workers commuting into the city by train, taxing businesses for each employee, taxing those enjoying a night out and taxing “rich” residents – who turn out to be middle-class Chicagoans when the details of his plan are examined.
Overall, Johnson predicts the plan would produce about $2 billion in “revenues and efficiencies” for the city.
Johnson is a Chicago Teachers Union organizer who received nearly $2.5 million in contributions from CTU and its affiliates by the Feb. 28 primary election. He helped organize three teachers strikes in the city and has pushed the Red for Ed agenda intended to spread the Socialist doctrine among teachers.
Both Johnson and Paul Vallas are headed into runoff election April 4 to decide which candidate will take the city’s top office for the next four years.