“I was born and raised here, and I raised my family here. I’ve given 50 years of my life to this state. And it’s just not financially feasible anymore.
“I certainly wouldn’t [move] if there wasn’t such a financial difference. We’re deeply rooted here. Sure, Florida’s a nice place to visit, always thought so. But I never thought about setting up home base anywhere else.
“My dad and I are [both] moving out. Combined, he and I are going to save $96,000 a year just from the move – Florida doesn’t have a state income tax at all.
“We go from paying right now around $62,000 or $63,000 but we calculated that under the new progressive tax we’d pay just over $96,000 in taxes, so that’s the amount we’ll be saving by the move.
“I work for a national firm, and we have a lot of institutional clients. They’re sitting on the sidelines, too. [Illinois is] throttling the investment, the flow of capital from the private side … because they’re scared to death of what’s going to happen.
“Where we’re [also] really concerned is property taxes. On my home and on this [office], it’s ridiculous.
“Every year [the appraiser] is trying to bump me up a little bit more. I’ve argued to him … there’s no demand. This space has been vacant since 2017. Assessments keep going up. You should see the rents we get at this place, they barely pay the bills.
“My home is ridiculous. We bought that for $640,000. I found a buyer who’s willing to only pay my remaining loan balance on the property, which is about $380,000. So, we took $200,000 loss just on that. Plus, we put over $200,000 into the property, on items you would expect to increase market value: brand new everything in the kitchen, custom built; new sliding doors.
“I’ve lost a half a million dollars when you add that up. It hurts when I walk in that damn house.
“I’m moving my three children and my wife. My wife’s sister already moved down to Florida.
“Not only do we have direct impact from this graduated income tax and the property taxes, [but] as a business guy, bad government really irritates me. The layers you have to go through to do something simple. I saw the difference when I went down to Florida to do all the things you have to do to set up a home down there. It was efficient.
“I’m excited about being part of something that is growing and is new. Orlando is just exploding, and I’m very excited to go be a part of something like that.
“You only get one life, and I’m more than halfway through mine. I want to finish it feeling good, I want to be a part of something positive. I need that.”